• • • This Day, December 31, In Jewish History
Mitchell A. Levin, Cleveland Jewish News Altruism |Atlas Shrugged |The Fountainhead |Capitalism |Egoism |Individualism |Personal life |The Fountainhead movie | 1942: Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead was delivered to her publisher. Although it was not her first novel, it was the first to win a wide following for the philosophy she called Objectivism. She explained that: “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” The Fountainhead illustrated this philosophy for the public through the tale of an architect who sticks to his artistic convictions against massive social opposition. Though critics failed to praise the book, it eventually became a best-seller, and was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper in 1949. [....] Although her idea that altruism is bad and selfishness good contradicts traditional Jewish values, Rand’s promotion of individual ambition was typical of Russian Jewish emigrants of her generation.