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Publisher's Summary

In the 1960s and early '70s, the most prominent, vocal cultural movement was the New Left, a movement that condemned America and everything it stood for: individualism, material wealth, science, technology, capitalism.

While the New Left achieved limited political success, it brought about vast cultural changes that remain with us to this day. The reason is that while its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition.

Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. The audience for the book, she wrote, is "all those who are concerned about college students and about the state of modern education" and who are seeking "a voice of reason to turn to".

In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause. Where most viewed the New Left and its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the "establishment", Ayn Rand identified these "rebels" as in fact dutiful, consistent practitioners of the ideas taught to them by their teachers.

Return of the Primitive is an expanded edition of The New Left. It features the entire contents of the original edition authorized by Ayn Rand, plus two of her other essays, "Racism" and "Global Balkanization", which are highly relevant to today's campuses and world. Additionally, it features three essays written after her death by Peter Schwartz, analyzing some of the ideologies that the New Left helped spawn, such as multiculturalism and environmentalism.

For those who seek to understand the state of American culture today, Return of the Primitive is required reading.

©1999 Peter Schwartz; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Why Hadn't I Read or Listened to This Book Sooner?

This book is as relevant today (actually, more so) than it was in the late 60's. I just wish I would have read it sooner! An intellectually damning indictment of the New Left and Progressive Movements that have corrupted the U.S. educational system from kindergarden to grad school. Not to mention the deleterious affects this has had on capitalism and American society. Ayn Rand gives a penetrating explanation of the faulty logic used and perpetuated by specific groups to maintain their hold on considerable numbers of people. Forming their attitudes from childhood and thus conditioning their dependence well into adulthood. Leaving the responsible people to pick up after and support an ever growing population of unenlightened, mis-informed, self-centered, and depressed people.

The Audible version is flawless and I'm sure to listen to it again and again. Highly Recommended!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mica
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 01-18-10

Extreemly relevant to our current climate

Ayn's razor sharp depiction of the mind set underlying the anti progress progressive green movement is a must listen. Schwartz's essay are passable, though perhaps less intellectually rigorous. Keep in mind this is not an entertaining audiobook. It is a glimpse at a political movement, it's conceptual foundation and the circumstances surrounding their "revolution"

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Must read for anyone who votes

these concepts are timeless. this could have been written yesterday and is really an enlightening read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyle
  • Monroe, NY, United States
  • 08-08-10

Fantastic

This is the best non-fiction book by Rand that I have ever heard or read. It is more accurately a collection of essays. They are more personally written than most she has written and display an insight into human psychology that is no less than profound. This book lays to rest any claim that she was a detached intellectual that lectured from her idealistic, unrealistic ivory tower and instead shows she was sensitive, thoughtful, and in tune with others' feelings. Rand's goal was to advocate a philosophy that can rescue Western Civilization from itself - should we choose the very un-altruistic path of standing up for it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Intelligent and concise

What more can I say? The narrator was very fluid and quite easy to listen into the evening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • Mason, OH, United States
  • 07-08-11

Why are progressives like they are?

If you want to get an understanding on why progressives and liberals spend their lives denying reality you must read "Comprachicos" and "The Age of Envy". I think these are two Ayn Rand's best essays. And this is saying a lot!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Thr Most Applicable Rand volume

By far the most applicable collection of Rands essays pertaining to today. Topics range from the mental destruction of progressive education to the nihilist roots of multiculturalism. And, as usual, Ms. Dunne is the best narrator of Rand's work I've heard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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We are now repeating the past, important read!

I'm sure many people that hear this book will be shocked to hear that what is happening now in the world and America has happened before . Older people remember when this was going on, and have tried to warn this generation but lack of respect for the older people has caused their warnings to fall on deaf ears. Those that deny, hide, or try to remove the past are doomed to repeat the Past! I suggest your next read be Anthem.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Things worse now

Things have continued to get worse since it was written in around 1970. One current irrationality is the endeavour to encourage inflation by inflating the money supply which negates the benefits of use of technology to increase production to make more goods and services available at lower prices

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly insightful and prophetic

Wonderful book.

The narrator occasionally repeats the last sentence. This seems to be an editing error. It happens infrequently enough to be a minute annoyance rather than an impediment to enjoying the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anchor
  • 07-14-13

My best read this year. It is about us...

Would you consider the audio edition of Return of the Primitive to be better than the print version?

Depending on perception. I have a bad eye sight. So yes I consume better by listening. But after listening this one I have bought the print version. I just had to get other people to see some of it and to be able to quote it.

What other book might you compare Return of the Primitive to, and why?

Other work of Ayn Rand. Especially the virtue of selfishness.

Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances? How does this one compare?

not before. I don't think so.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. I am a school teacher and those first chapters about "progressive" education made me ache... <br/>50 years ago this type of education have created hippies... Why are we starting it again?

Any additional comments?

I think every person who is responsible for an upbringing of the new generation (officials and parents) should read it. And if they have any ability to reason they should learn from it a great deal.