Surfed started it:
The Fountainhead was a better read, a more cogent and focused book and you get the same dose of the philosophy....
Addendum: In the movie Dirty Dancing (1987) Baby confronts Robbie to pay for Penny's abortion. Robbie refuses to take responsibility and preaches “Some people count and some people don’t” and then hands Baby a used paperback copy of The Fountainhead saying, “Read it. I think it's a book you'll enjoy, but make sure you return it; I have notes in the margin."
And then Kit Carson said:
Yes, Atlas Shrugged is great. But her earlier novel, Fountainhead, is her greatest work. Fountainhead is much shorter and she presents all her main themes and her analysis more clearly and in more entertaining fashion. The epic scene where Ellsworth Toohey explains himself and his intentions is one of the most significant pieces of writing of the modern world. Reading those few pages may well change your life.And Tank:
I too would recommend The Fountainhead instead.And the (here inaptly named) SomeoneHasToSayIt said:
Yes. Read Fountainhead before Atlas Shrugged, which would have been better served, imo, by the title Rand wanted, The Strike.And Tom began with an excellent appeal to my vanity:
Althouse, I believe you'd find The Fountainhead a more enjoyable read. In fact, I've often though of you, as a blogger, blogging in a similar manner as Howard Roark worked in architecture. To the point that I could see you destroying this blog if it was co-oped and transformed into something without your consent. What I believe that Rand was getting at - at least in my limited understanding - was a sense of personal ownership and self-accountability.Henry dumps a pitcher of cold water:
In Atlas Shrugged, she explores these concepts more. And while she always warns against the "looters" and "moochers", it is on the productive and creative that she aims her lesson - your success or failure is owned by you and is created or destroyed by your choices. What she telling the productive and creative is that there are those would will use all manner of tactics to instill in your a sense of guilt. But it is your choice to accept or reject this premise. This is not moderation in the political sense of, "should we put the road in this location or that?" -- those choices are not what Rand is getting at. Rand is asking the virtuous to understand the nature of personal ownership and self-sovereignty.
My initial reaction to both books was probably more of an adolescent "I'll take my ball and go home" reaction. Only over time did I understand that life really requires me to understand my values and to live those values based on my choices, not others. It doesn't mean I divorce myself from others - in fact, just the opposite - it means valuing who I love in the deepest sense.
Atlas Shrugged was readable as a kind of gaseous Hindenburg melodrama. I'm baffled how anyone can recommend The Fountainhead. That was as unreadable as any novel I've ever picked up. It doesn't help that Rand conflates ideology with aesthetics. Foolishness results.Mike Dini had a different approach to appealing to my vanity:
Ann -- You are normally interesting. It isn't April fools. Are intentionally trying to piss off the type of individual that tends to follow your blog? This is the sort of tripe I’d expect out of Chris Matthews.Stay away from me. Stay away from my sister, or I'll have you fired.
Don't jump into Atlas Shrugged from Anthem. Read Fountainhead first. You've decided beforehand not to like the books but at least you will be able to talk intelligently about the novels. You didn't do that here.