For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition)

Overview

This is Ayn Rand's challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the "atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion" that they create. One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was the proponent of a moral philosophy—and ethic of rational self-interest—that stands in sharp opposition to the ethics of altruism and self-sacrifice. The fundamentals of this morality—"a philosophy for living on Earth"—are here vibrantly set ...

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For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition)

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Overview

This is Ayn Rand's challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the "atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion" that they create. One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was the proponent of a moral philosophy—and ethic of rational self-interest—that stands in sharp opposition to the ethics of altruism and self-sacrifice. The fundamentals of this morality—"a philosophy for living on Earth"—are here vibrantly set forth by the spokesman for a new class, For the New Intellectual.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451163080
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 285,480
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand is one of the rare writers who not only drew in readers with her novels, but created a philosophical movement with them. Her seminal Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, cornerstones of her individualistic Objectivist world view, can be viewed as literature, self-empowerment texts, or both.

Biography

Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At age six she taught herself to read and two years later discovered her first fictional hero in a French magazine for children, thus capturing the heroic vision that sustained her throughout her life. At the age of nine she decided to make fiction writing her career. Thoroughly opposed to the mysticism and collectivism of Russian culture, she thought of herself as a European writer, especially after encountering authors such as Walter Scott and—in 1918—Victor Hugo, the writer she most admired.

During her high school years, she was eyewitness to both the Kerensky Revolution, which she supported, and—in 1917—the Bolshevik Revolution, which she denounced from the outset. In order to escape the fighting, her family went to the Crimea, where she finished high school. The final Communist victory brought the confiscation of her father's pharmacy and periods of near-starvation. When introduced to American history in her last year of high school, she immediately took America as her model of what a nation of free men could be.

When her family returned from the Crimea, she entered the University of Petrograd to study philosophy and history. Graduating in 1924, she experienced the disintegration of free inquiry and the takeover of the university by communist thugs. Amidst the increasingly gray life, her one great pleasure was Western films and plays. Long a movie fan, she entered the State Institute for Cinema Arts in 1924 to study screen writing.

In late 1925 she obtained permission to leave Soviet Russia for a visit to relatives in the United States. Although she told Soviet authorities that her visit would be short, she was determined never to return to Russia. She arrived in New York City in February 1926. She spent the next six months with her relatives in Chicago, obtained an extension to her visa, and then left for Hollywood to pursue a career as a screenwriter.

On Ayn Rand's second day in Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille saw her standing at the gate of his studio, offered her a ride to the set of his movie The King of Kings, and gave her a job, first as an extra, then as a script reader. During the next week at the studio, she met an actor, Frank O'Connor, whom she married in 1929; they were married until his death fifty years later.

After struggling for several years at various non-writing jobs, including one in the wardrobe department at the RKO Corporation, she sold her first screenplay, Red Pawn to Universal Studios in 1932 and saw her first stage play, Night of January 16th, produced in Hollywood and then on Broadway. Her first novel, We the Living, was completed in 1933 but was rejected by publishers for years, until The Macmillan Company in the United States and Cassells and Company in England published the book in 1936. The most autobiographical of her novels—it was based on her years under Soviet tyranny—We the Living was not well-received by American intellectuals and reviewers. Ayn Rand was up against the pro-communism dominating the culture during "the Red Decade."

She began writing The Fountainhead in 1935. In the character of the architect Howard Roark, she presented for the first time the kind of hero whose depiction was the chief goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as "he could be and ought to be." The Fountainhead was rejected by twelve publishers but finally accepted by the Bobbs-Merrill Company. When published in 1943, it made history by becoming a best seller through word-of-mouth two years later, and gained for its author lasting recognition as a champion of individualism.

Ayn Rand returned to Hollywood in late 1943 to write the screenplay for The Fountainhead, but wartime restrictions delayed production until 1948. Working part time as a screenwriter for Hal Wallis Productions, she began her major novel, Atlas Shrugged, in 1946. In 1951 she moved back to New York City and devoted herself full time to the completion of Atlas Shrugged.

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was her greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatized her unique philosophy in an intellectual mystery story that integrated ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics and sex. Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized that in order to create heroic fictional characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles that make such individuals possible. She needed to formulate "a philosophy for living on earth."

Thereafter, Ayn Rand wrote and lectured on her philosophy—Objectivism. She published and edited her own periodicals from 1962 to 1976, her essays providing much of the material for nine books on Objectivism and its application to the culture. Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, in her New York City apartment.

Every book by Ayn Rand published in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each year, so far totaling more than twenty million. Several new volumes have been published posthumously. Her vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth have changed the lives of thousands of readers and launched a philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.

Author biography courtesy of The Ayn Rand Institute.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Alice Rosenbaum (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 2, 1905
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Petersburg, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      March 6, 1982
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

Table of Contents

Preface
For the New Intellectual
We the Living
Anthem
The Fountainhead
The Nature of the Second-Hander
The Soul of a Collectivist
The Soul of an Individualist
Atlas Shrugged
The Meaning of Money
The Martyrdom of the Industrialists
The Moral Meaning of Capitalism
The Meaning of Sex
"From Each According to His Ability, to Each According to His Need"
The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine
The Nature of an Artist
"This Is John Galt Speaking"

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect intro to objectivism.

    This book is a wonderful spring board into objectivism. Ayn Rand runs through the founding principles of her philosophy in the first half of the book. In the second half she takes key excerpts from her novels that illustrate those principles. You will not be disappointed!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL When many years ago I decided that Rand's work was an area that I needed to investigate, I found myself at a floor-to-ceiling rack of her volumes in a bookstore. Intimidating. Even today there are few first-rate introductions to her vast output then, there was only, either in that rack or otherwise known to me: the 'For The New Intellectual' volume. It's a snapshot of her philosophical viewpoint, but as presented in the novels, not in her nonfiction essay collections. One may question the strategy there, since the philosophy (outside the context of story characters) is approached differently in the nonfiction (and thus some readers could suffer confusion), but for a one-volume taste of the total viewpoint, I found it just the thing needed. It didn't bring me to a total understanding of Objectivism, but it gave me enough basics to know what sections to pursue next, and as well helped to clarify that which Objectivism was not. A closer observation of the book's structure reveals that it's actually not one but two things. First, as the back-cover blurb indicates, it has the philosophical passages from the well-known novels. But there's also the longer and opening title piece, new at the time and not included in different essay collections since. That 50-page essay (as opposed to the novel excerpts which sketch answers to various philosophical problems) brings to light her conception of the problems that required the answers. In about 20 pages she pretty much covers the intellectual history of the Western world, along the way describing how later thinkers either followed or deviated from previous ones. Proceeding toward the middle ages, the essay is the prose equivalent of an intellectual disaster movie (as humanity turns away from civilization) and then becomes more upbeat (as the Renaissance sees a reduction in ignorace and suffering). It concludes with a view of the contemporary situation, setting the stage for the recommendations in the novel excerpts that follow. Any number of later books claim to offer convenient introductions to Rand's core work. This is the one I myself used at the start of my research on her, and found that it worked well both as backstory (the title essay) and as sales pitch or inducement (the excerpts). As with any large system, there's no shortcut to apprehending Objectivism, but this book contains the initial small steps by which readers could later hit their stride.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    A great new perspective of dominant ideologies

    The first half of For the New Intellectual is a detailed non-fiction essay explaining past and current ideologies in terms of 'mystics of muscle', aka 'Attilas', and 'mystics of the mind', aka 'witch doctors'. These basically translate into those who want to control what people *do* such as dictators, and those who want to control what people *believe* such as religious leaders. The essay goes into detail explaining their dependency on both each other and their victims. Perhaps most importantly it explains how not to be a victim. <br><br> The second half of the book illustrates many of the principles described in the first half through excerpts from Ayn Rand's fictional works We The Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. WARNING: There are plot spoilers in the excerpts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Recycled material

    Objectivism is an interesting philosophy and Ayn Rand is an equally compelling character, but the very publication of this book almost serves to illustrate the greatest (or at least most ironical) vice of objectivist rationality. More than half of this book is composed of passages from Rand's other works, formatted in a one-after-the-other line-up that offers NO fresh, updated spin on the presented ideas and instead opts for an elongated preface that restates a good deal of her cherished dogmas. The back cover fails to mention this and it is nowhere apparent that the MAJORITY of this book is word for word copied from her fiction novels. It's like Signet is just trying to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the Randian lemon. It is as bitter as it is obtuse. The first fifty pages are interesting enough but do not warrant an eight dollar purchase. See Atlas Shrugged for her most worthy novel, or look online/dedicate an hour or two to the bookstore if you want to experience her essays. This book is a mostly just a waste of a tenner and a waste of time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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