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The Fountainhead, Rand's first commercial success, is the story of Howard Roark, the brilliant architect who insists on the right to pursue "my work, done my way" and dares to stand alone against the hostility of the second-hand souls who envy, hate, and try to destroy him. First published in 1943, this best-selling novel is a passionate defense of individualism.

As Rand herself said, the novel's theme is "individualism versus collectivism,not in politics, but in man's soul...." The Fountainhead presents an exalted view of personal integrity as well as man's creative potential

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