THE FOUNTAINHEAD Author:AYN RAND The Fountainhead, possibly the most influential and controversial novel of ideas in American history, presents a philosophy of vital interest to anyone seeking an understanding of our present-day culture. As relevant and exciting now as it was for those who clamored to read it when it burst upon the scene in 1943, this book continues to focus wo... more »rldwide attention on its brilliant author, who pointedly asks, "Is it possible to be an individual in today's world?"
The Fountainhead is the story of a gifted young architect, his violent battle with conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with the beautiful woman committed to destroying him. Howard Roark, expelled from school, mocked at parties and in print, perseveres in the face of near-universal derision and in the face of the fabulous success of his friend, the conniving Peter Keating, the most sought-after architect of the day, who knows nothing about actually designing buildings. In fighting for success, Roark, loosely based upon Frank Lloyd Wright, discovers the seductive power of money and acclaim, only to find that in the end he must be true to his own genius despite the great unhappiness that commitment may bring.
What do we owe our community and what freedom does our community owe us? This debate has raged in our land since Emerson. The argument is especially heated in the realm of art: to what extent must the artist be held responsible to the desires of his audience, and can creativity survive in a world where one's intelligence is measured by the popularity of one's ideas? The Fountainhead became a towering book on the contemporary intellectual scene by simply illustrating the difficulties we encounter when we dare to march to our own drummer and by offering us the hope that it can be done.
This timeless classic updates cherished and very American notions of liberty for a modern world, which, while no longer plagued by a global struggle against totalitarianism, threatens to be overrun by faceless corporate conglomeration. Agree or disagree with Rand's plan to maintain originality of thought and independence of action in such a world, her superb and powerful novel will leave you convinced at least of the nobility of the sentiment.« less