Ayn Rand’s books are deliciously anti-statist, but her philosophy is borderline Nazi

‘I am Howard Roark in a world of Ellsworth Tooheys…’ I tweeted in a fit of depression the other day, though I rather wish I hadn’t. I’m not an architect — and if I were I definitely wouldn’t be a humourless monomaniac into concrete and influenced by Le Corbusier; I don’t have hair ‘the exact color of ripe orange rind’ (does anyone?); I’m not a rapist; and, to be honest, I’m not even sure I like the novel that much anyway.

It’s called The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, and if you haven’t read it that’s quite understandable as the Russian-born novelist and philosopher Rand (née Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum in 1905) is much bigger in the US than she is over here. Though she’s now better known for Atlas Shrugged (1957) — currently enjoying a massive revival in the US as part of the Obama backlash — it was The Fountainhead (1943) that made her name and has since sold around 6.5 million copies.

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