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Publisher's Summary

Ayn Rand here sets forth the moral principles of Objectivism, the philosophy that holds human life - the life proper to a rational being - as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with human nature, with the creative requirement of survival, and with a free society.

Ms. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are set forth in this insightful piece of nonfiction.

©1961, 1964 Ayn Rand; 1962, 1963, 1964 by the Objectivist Newsletter Incorporated (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott
  • United States
  • 05-06-13

Rand Lovers Only

In classical Rand fashion, she delivers a controversial rebuttal of societal norms. While I am sympathetic to her point of view, I think the book is mostly word play more than truly presenting a new view of ethics. She spends time redefining selfishness, only to come back and coalesce her view close to what is already the norm in society. For those not versed in Rand the content may seem outrageous and lead to a entertaining listen. For those versed in Rand, it is a primer in the underlying philosophy behind characters such as Howard Roark which was not explicitly discussed in the novel.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • St. Petersburg, FL, USA
  • 12-12-05

Good Luck!

Although Ms. Rand can be very black & white about things (as most in this field tend to be) I found much of what she discusses in this book to be brilliant. I think it would be a better read, as her thoughts deserve more contemplation than the three seconds given between most sentences. WARNING: The narrator is extremely difficult to listen to! Her voice is boring and very cold, giving the impression that we are listening to something evil. If you've recently had some coffee and are in the mood to be challenged then this audiobook is for you. Overall good stuff.

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beyond brilliant

As an enthusiastic student of Ayn Rand since my days at Princeton in the early 70?s (a member of a yearly trek of mathematicians and physicists to join a soiree of cohorts at Harvard backstage with Ms. Rand after her annual presentation at the Boston Forum) , this wonderfully read rendition of her masterpiece (primarily Chapter One: The Objectivist Ethics) rejuvenates my soul. I am a Medical Director of a very large Child and Adolescent Hospital currently adopting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the foundation for treatment and intend to incorporate Ms. Rand's teachings of ethics and morality as the basis for accepting a comprehensive model of CBT. Her philosophy today is more compelling than ever and merges seamlessly into the primary evidence based treatment of dealing with emotional disturbance, the cognitive therapy model. Thank you for putting this on audio!

53 of 73 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • Orlando, Florida United States
  • 10-03-08

Read Atlas Shrugged Instead

This philosophical treatise is pretty good. But even the author emphasizes that she has made her major points in the novel Atlas Shrugged. I agree that the message is much more clear in the novel and you don't really need to read this if you have read Atlas Shrugged.

18 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Essential for Human living

Ayn Rand's "The Virtue of Selfishness" is possibly the most liberating treatise on human living ever put to pen. This work should be at the top of the list of essential reading. Moreover, the world would be a far better place if more people chose to live a rational, conscious life.

28 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Chesterton, IN, United States
  • 03-01-17

An excellent overview of enlightened self-interest

The speeches and essays included here challenge the reader to maintain an objective sense of morality and argue for adherence to capitalism as a moral economic reality. I found very little to disagree with in theory here...The rub always comes when unfettered capitalists use government power and influence to their own advantage/vested interest at the immoral expense of others...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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an imperative to read now!

in lieu of the recent election and how I've seen that people have a collectivist mindset this book is an absolute must to read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ayn Rand is awesome

If you are pro socialism after reading this book, then you have no right to call yourself a rational human being.

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A necessary primer to understand Objectivism.

If you are interested in delving into the philosophy of Objectivism well this audio book is the best book written by Ayan Rand to start with as a primer in my own opinion. This book lays out many of the key principles and arguments necessary to understand the underlying philosophical foundations Objectivism itself. It is also worth picking up because the key philosophical social issues and dangers that Ayn Rand discusses and points to at the time which Western nations were facing are still around. E. g. the many faces of rabid collectivism (and in it's lesser guise tribalism) that fuels the self-destructive nature of the proponents of this cannibalism of individualism and humanistic societal improvements. In fact in many respects far they are more rampant and destructive then in the past because they have eaten away at the philosophical and idealogical foundations that have allowed Western nations to flourish.

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The Publisher Must Have Come Up With the Title

There was only one chapter on selfish - Rand covers a lot more, which was honest and refreshing - she had a lot of good (and original) observations. Sad that academic philosophers try to demean her by calling her a 'popular philosopher' when she thought circles around them.