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the fountainhead

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This is the fascinating portrait of the brilliant young architect Howard Roark, who follows his calling and sets himself up against those who spinelessly parrot the views of others; of Peter Keating, a fellow architect who sells his soul for commercial success and public esteem; of Guy Francon, a traditionalist who uncritically copies architecture from the past; and of the intellectual Ellsworth Toohey, who manipulates public opinion while slyly grooming the masses for a socialist takeover.

‘The theme of my novel', said Ayn Rand, 'is the struggle between individualism and collectivism, not in the political arena but in the human soul. My aim in writing The Fountainhead was always to present a novel whose protagonist embodies the ideal man.’ That man is Howard Roark, a creative artist who, like a sun, is surrounded by less talented and easily influenced characters who envy him his genius and vocation. But equally, The Fountainhead is the story of the struggle between two lovers: between Roark and the beautiful, idealistic and uncompromising Dominique Francon – two likeminded spirits determined never to sacrifice their own liberty or autonomy.


Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was a writer and a philosopher. After fleeing the Soviet Union to the United States, Rand set herself resolutely against socialism and all forms of altruism. She believed in the ultimate freedom of the individual. Her books and notions are inspirational, provocative and became cult treasures with millions of editions. Her other great novel Atlas Shrugged, and ode to capitalism, is the most popular book in the United States after the Bible, and it was thé source of inspiration for the Republican Party during the elections.

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