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Wright and Wrong

4out of 5

by PubliusMinor on July 10, 2008

I am working my way through the works of Ayn Rand, an author who was mentioned in hushed, scandalized tones when I was a young man...certainly not the kind of book allowed in school libraries. Now that I am a high school teacher, I wish Rand's works were more widely read because of her belief in individualism. The Fountainhead is the story of an uncompromising young architect who sets himself against the establishment, celebrating functional design over slavish imitation and empty ornamentation. The plot is a bit like a Greek tragedy in which the hero's strengths are his greatest liabilities. Roark's refusal to submit to groupthink threatens lesser men who try to destroy him. They fail in part because he is as immune to external condemnation as he is to others' praise. His faith in the rightness of his work is its own reward. Predictable at times, perhaps a bit long, a very good book that makes important points and misses real greatness by very little.
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Reviewed by PubliusMinor

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