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Michelangelo

What order should the O'ism books be read in?

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If you want more Ayn Rand fiction, then check out THE EARLY AYN RAND. I particularly suggest THINK TWICE, RED PAWN, and IDEAL in the aformentioned book. The first two I just finished reading after 8 years of loving Ayn Rand and her fiction. I was very pleased. I am shocked that I didn't take the time before to read them.

Americo.

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NB, is there a specific thing that interests you more? Ethics, politics, art? The books are nicely setup to suit particular interests. There's also the non-AR O'ist non-fiction. I 100% suggest Loving Life by Craig Biddle for an expansion on the Objectivist Ethics.

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I am currently re-reading and am almost done with The Fountainhead-I read Atlas Shrugged years ago.

I would very much like to further study Objectivism-which would make the most logical sense that I read next, Atlas Shrugged or something else? Also recommendations after my next book or even a reading list are welcome.

Thank you.

D

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There are plenty of other threads that address this same topic. Please spend a little time searching around before you start a new thread to ask a question.

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Dawn, if re-reading Atlas Shrugged sounds like it would be fun, I'd recommend that. Otherwise, if you want non-fiction, I'd advise reading "Virtue of Selfishness". That should give you enough to think about, before moving on to anything else.

As a broad rule, I would recommend reading Ayn Rand's own work before that of other Objectivists.

If you'd like to get a set of books and read particular essays, then you can use this sequence of essays (link) suggested by the "Ayn Rand Institute".

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Dawn, if re-reading Atlas Shrugged sounds like it would be fun, I'd recommend that. Otherwise, if you want non-fiction, I'd advise reading "Virtue of Selfishness". That should give you enough to think about, before moving on to anything else.

As a broad rule, I would recommend reading Ayn Rand's own work before that of other Objectivists.

If you'd like to get a set of books and read particular essays, then you can use this sequence of essays (link) suggested by the "Ayn Rand Institute".

thank you I will read Atlas Shrugged again-just to refresh my memory and after that I'll check out "Virtue of Selfishness"

also will do a search on similar threads as mentioned.

D

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I would very much like to further study Objectivism-which would make the most logical sense that I read next, Atlas Shrugged or something else?  Also recommendations after my next book or even a reading list are welcome.

What you should read next depends on your purpose. If you have a long-range goal of understanding more of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, then I recommend as indispensable, The Ayn Rand Lexicon. The editor, Harry Binswanger, has selected excerpts from Ayn Rand's many writings. The topics are arranged alphabetically -- for example, beginning with "Abortion" and going to such topics as "Errors of Knowledge vs. Breaches of Morality" and ending with "Zero, Reification of."

After each excerpt, Dr. Binswanger states the exact source for the excerpt, so that you can go to that source and read the complete work if you want to follow-up. You can order all of Ayn Rand's writings online, at The Ayn Rand Bookstore.

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At the moment, I'm reading Anthem, I've read 3 Ayn Rand books/compilations (I'm still very much a rookie) and a bunch of individual essays. I find that sometimes I wish that I had read a certain book or essay first. If you were to introduce someone to Objectivism (Christmas season has me thinking), in what order would you recommend they read her books/compilations/essays? I don't want it to seem like a pyramid scheme, but I think I've found that, for instance, Philosophy: Who Needs It is more fundamental than The Romantic Manifesto. I'd prefer to hear from those who've read nearly everything.

So the question is: If someone decided they wanted to learn about Objectivism and were set on reading every work of Rand, in what order would you recommend they read her works? You may introduce Leonard Peikoff at some point as well (if you like).

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Hmmm....

Anthem

The Fountainhead

Atlas Shrugged

The Virtue of Selfishness

And I'll let others finish that up.

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So the question is: If someone decided they wanted to learn about Objectivism and were set on reading every work of Rand, in what order would you recommend they read her works? You may introduce Leonard Peikoff at some point as well (if you like).

Wow, great question. I in fact just came back from Barnes & Noble, where I bought 3 copies of Atlas Shrugged for Christmas presents! :)

I also am interested to hear what the other more experienced students of Objectivism will have to say. My personal opinion is that the Ayn Rand's art of fiction is the best way to introduce someone to Objectivism.

It really depends on the person. I would not recommend VOS immediately for a person who is a hard-core socialist. Better to start with Atlas Shrugged, although it is much longer. The case for l-f capitalism and a defense of individual rights are gradually made. In the shorter non-fiction, she addresses these points succinctly and expertly, but immediate concrete statements are not made, and this is presumably why she used fiction to persuade folks. The case is gradually built for capitalism and individual rights, a case no rational person can deny.

Just my two cents.

Edited by Liriodendron Tulipifera

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This question has come up before, and everyone has their favorite sequence. (I haven't been able to find the previous threads). Ideally, one would tailor any sequence to the interests of the person. In general, I would say the fiction (FH and AS) would be the place to start. For someone who wants to read non-fiction, my recommendation is VoS, followed by CUI.

The ARI has created a list like this, where they have actually suggested a sequence of essays.

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(I haven't been able to find the previous threads)
They were merged into this one.

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They were merged into this one.
:) That explains it. Thanks.

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I would suggest The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged first. Though, if the person is under fifteen, go with Anthem. Anthem is great for those who aren't ready for The Fountainhead or Atlas, but it's also a great book to come back to after reading her longer works.

For non-fiction, I would say start with VOS, as it lays the framework for CUI.

One that hasn't been mentioned is The Voice of Reason. I highly recommend this as for those that have read of Rand's fiction and at least one non-fiction.

Though, that's just my take on things. I love getting people Atlas for Christmas, though I'm not sure if I should start giving out The Fountainhead too. I can't tell who would like it more and who would like Atlas more.

Zak

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Seems like this question has been answered rather rigorously, but I actually started with OPAR, as it seemed to be the most comprehensive treatise on the subject at my local bookstore. From there I moved to The Virtue of Selfishness and then on to Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, which is admittedly still sitting in my car.

I'm actually not a tremendous fan of Rand's fiction; I find her style a bit obtuse and while I agree very much with the message and the actions described in her works, she's still not as good as writers like, say Orwell--who's politics I abhor, but whos talent cannot be denied. Rand was too literal-minded to write effective, symbolic literature in my opinion.

One could reasonably make the argument that, since Rusisian was her native language, she suffered an understandable handicap, and taking this into account she's not a terrible writer: in fact, she wields the language much better than many of its native speakers. Her ideas are delivered with unquestionable clarity and in a refreshingly unambiguous fashion, but some of the situations she puts the characters in are a bit ridiculous. I had a hard time believing that the crowd at James Taggart's reception would have had the attention span [or intelligence] to stay with d'Anconia's speech about moeny, as spot on as it was. Most of them would have turned back to their martinis after about 90 seconds, I wager.

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This is a hypothetical question... What books/essays would a complete newbie, who has only read Ayn Rand's fiction, read first if his goal was at the end of 2 years to try to get a job at ARI as a general speaker/writer like Yaron Brook and Don Watkins?

 

Pretend he can only read 2 pages a day... What could he do to give him his BEST shot at accomplishing his goal?  What would bring him closest to his goal?

 

Edited by dadmonson

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7 hours ago, dadmonson said:

This is a hypothetical question... What books/essays would a complete newbie, who has only read Ayn Rand's fiction, read first if his goal was at the end of 2 years to try to get a job at ARI as a general speaker/writer like Yaron Brook and Don Watkins?

Pretend he can only read 2 pages a day... What could he do to give him his BEST shot at accomplishing his goal?  What would bring him closest to his goal?

That's a pretty tall order. I don't know what criteria they use, but if I were in their place I would want someone who has read almost all Rand's non-fiction anthologies, and other essays. Some -- like Romantic Manifesto and related works -- would probably be okay to ignore since assignments are more likely to be on politics. In addition, I'd want someone who has studied some particular area outside of Rand. If the person is going to speak on economics, he should have read some Keynesian texts, as well as some monetarist texts. In any other area, he should have read the standard texts that establishment non-Objectivists would read.

Beyond reading, the person should have understood and integrated the material enough to be able to make strong arguments for their position. For this, they should be familiar with key ARI position papers on the narrower area where they want to focus. They should be the type of person who can hold their own on a forum, for instance. 

Even this would not qualify a person as a speaker, but would as someone who could help do prep work, write op-eds etc. ... things that someone more experienced would review. That would be the first step to more challenging assignments in the future.

But, with all that said... maybe the way to go is to ask someone at ARI what they would look for, and how you can work yourself to that. They might tell you -- for instance -- that you should attend the OAC, or some type of writing seminar. Or, they may suggest that you first apply to be an intern at ARI, and see what you want to do next.

Edited by softwareNerd
JASKN likes this

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