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The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand

The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Objectivism, Ayn Rand's groundbreaking philosophy, and brought her immediate worldwide acclaim.

This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite...of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy...and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress...

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: ClassicsLiterature & FictionPhilosophy

Reading time: 2629 hours


Tim Urban

“The Fountainhead was a major influence when I wrote a long blog post about why I think Elon Musk is so successful. To me, he’s like Roark—he’s tremendous at reasoning from first principles. In the post, I call this being a “chef” (someone who experiments with ingredients and comes up with a new recipe). Musk is unusually cheflike. Most of us spend most of our lives being like Keating, or what I call a “cook” (someone who follows someone else’s recipe). We’d all be happier and more successful if we could learn to be chefs more often—which just takes some self-awareness of the times we’re being a cook and an epiphany that it’s not actually as scary as it seems to reason independently and act on it.”