Review of The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand
Rating: 5/5

This is my favorite book I've read in a long time. I've always been a fan of Atlas Shrugged, but upon subsequent rereadings, I find myself bogged down by its length, pacing and atmosphere. The Fountainhead is a better book in every way, but is similar enough to Atlas Shrugged in order to communicate the same ideas.

The Fountainhead is an unconventional book, telling the story of four characters as they revolve around Howard Roark: the personification of incorrigible merit and confidence. Each character falls short of the ideal in a different way, and each suffers for it. This is not so much a book as a philosophical treatise told in literary form, but it's a healthy dose of inspiration for those of us who need its message. For those of us who need to know that excellence is life's greatest joy, that it's admirable to disagree with the majority, that there are higher ideals than charity, and that sympathy can be weaponized by the incompetent.

At its heart, The Fountainhead is an ode to human excellence, superiority, and accomplishment. Its message is distasteful in the contemporary political climate, and liking Rand can immediately get you branded as an enemy of the blue tribe. Many of these ideas are likely to be unpalatable to a modern audience, but I'd argue that's even more of a reason to read The Fountainhead.

Strongly recommended.