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Book Reviews

THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS * Ayn Rand (1964)

the_virtue_of_selfishness_1964_edition.jpgSelfishness — a virtue? Ayn Rand chose this book’s provocative title because she was on a mission to overcome centuries of demonization. “In popular usage,” Rand writes, “the word ‘selfishness’ is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends . . . and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

“Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word ‘selfishness’ is: concern with one’s own interests.

“This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.”

Mass Market Paperback: 173 pages

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Book Reviews

Atlas Shrugged * Ayn Rand Book Review

This has been due for a long time. The mammoth book that Ayn Rand wrote over 60 years ago (1957) is a manifest for objectivism and a case study of how the world would turn out if socialism were to be the ruling force of society. If need and not ability would be the ones that were deemed as worthy of pay. If the mooching people and the leaches would reach the ruling class and would give out laws that suit them and their friends.

I read it over a span of two years with a break in the middle as the book can get a bit overwhelming and dark. I recognised so many things from other countries’ way of ruling and the corrupt ways of power and I fell in love with the strong characters that this book had to offer. Dagny Taggart- a female tycoon who wants to build a trans-continental train line, Hank Reardon – a metallurgist who invents his own alloy which is lighter than iron and multi-functional. Francisco d’Anconia who sets up to increase his family’s fortune in copper mines. Further along the book come John Galt and Ragnar the pirate. Bad boys who destroy / save society by quickening the process that had started and by removing the leacher’s blood victims from being sucked to death.

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Book Reviews

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand * By Leonard Peikoff

In Objectivism, Peikoff covers every philosophic topic that Rand regarded as important—from certainty to money, from logic to art, from measurement to sex. Drawn from Rand’s published works as well as in-depth conversations between her and Peikoff, these chapters illuminate Objectivism—and its creator—with startling clarity. With Objectivism, the millions of readers who have been transformed by Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead will discover the full philosophical system underlying Ayn Rand’s work.

This book should be read by anyone interested in philosophy (which is hopefully a wide as audience as possible). Even for those who don’t agree with her, this book will present her actual ideas, which is very rare when her name is brought up in discussions. Read it for yourself and make your own conclusions about her ideas and where she may have erred.
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