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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manifesto against nihilsm and wake up call for the brain.
Let it be known that For The New Intellectual is a book dense with psychological insights and eye opening rational objectivism. This reader was awed by Ayn Rand's crisp writing, and cutting wit. Liberals will be immediately offended, but for those without philosophical bias, Rand is difficult to dismiss.
The book includes the essay, "For the New...
Published on February 15, 1997

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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of Objectivity in the Midst of all this Biased Vitriol
Given the absurdly slanted reviews I've seen here, I thought I'd try to give a bit more of an, er, objective account. And since the book is sort of a sampler of all Rand's work, a bit of broad background is in order.
What Ayn Rand's critics say about her personally is mostly on the mark. She was a hypocritical megalomaniac, tolerated independent thought only...
Published on November 9, 2000 by Mark Piske


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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manifesto against nihilsm and wake up call for the brain., February 15, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
Let it be known that For The New Intellectual is a book dense with psychological insights and eye opening rational objectivism. This reader was awed by Ayn Rand's crisp writing, and cutting wit. Liberals will be immediately offended, but for those without philosophical bias, Rand is difficult to dismiss.
The book includes the essay, "For the New Intellectual" as well as excerpts from We the Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and many speaches from Atlas Shrugged. The beginning essay is more than worth the price of admission, while the excerpts gave this first time Rand reader a good sense of where to turn next.
Ayn Rand's philosophy is truly life affirming and hard with truth. Truth hurts sometimes, and Rand is not easy answers for idle minds. Rather, her philosophy dares to look starkly at where man's moral code has come and where it has led us. Ayn Rand seperates herself from all other thinkers that I've experienced because of her perspective as a 20th Century American. While many of her ideas find their root in Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy, she stands alone-- offering a positive solution for mankind. She absolutely asserts that man is the end in himself, and that his happiness on earth is his proper goal.
For the New Intellectual is both a slap in the face and fire in one's pants. Some will answer Ayn Rand's call for a new moral code and meaning to life, and as she says of the others, "leave them to heaven."
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new perspective of dominant ideologies, March 13, 2004
By 
Eric Kassan (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
The first half of For the New Intellectual is a detailed non-fiction essay explaining past and current ideologies in terms of "mystics of muscle", aka "Attilas", and "mystics of the mind", aka "witch doctors". These basically translate into those who want to control what people *do* such as dictators, and those who want to control what people *believe* such as religious leaders. The essay goes into detail explaining their dependency on both each other and their victims. Perhaps most importantly it explains how not to be a victim.
The second half of the book illustrates many of the principles described in the first half through excerpts from Ayn Rand's fictional works We The Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. WARNING: There are plot spoilers in the excerpts.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe you are disgusted by the fact..., January 24, 2000
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
After I had read For the the Intellectual, I found myself craving to find more knowledge of her philosophy, I saw in a winderfully flowing style the actual points of Ayn Rand's philosophy. Unlike many of those who read this book(probably only the portions they needed to convince themselves of this Author's psychosis) and posted their reviews, I was not revolted by these words. I have seen these things around me all my life, and if Ayn Rand had not published her philosophy, I surely would have published something very similar eventually. It seems to me that the people who are turned away by this book are the people that take the most benefit from the current moral scheme. The people who are the fanatic crazy types about this philosophy are the one's who have been drained of their entire essence and wish to unlock their inner capabilities. If you wish to simply be able to live fully, fully for yourself, and wish to use YOUR potential to the fullest extent, then I suggest you read this stunning piece of work. And please take not that it is philosophy, and not an exact account of history
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review of 'For The New Intellectual', September 20, 2000
By 
"sam_evers" (Clayton, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
For The New Intellectual, by Ayn Rand, is one of the better philosophy books I have read. It is comprised of the title essay, and 3 chapters dealing with Rand's three best novels: We The Living, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. In the title essay, Rand makes an excellent case for the need of a new breed of intellectuals. Her objectivist philosophy ties in well with the writing, lending the power of reason and logic to her sometimes extreme statements. Of the final three chapters, I found the treatment of Atlas Shrugged to be the most impressive. Rand gives commentary on many of the great speeches and conversations from the book, ending with the amazing "This is John Galt Speaking" speech. While her comments are short, they lend insight into what she intended the different pieces to portray to the reader, and what they mean to her. On the whole, I think 'For The New Intellectual' is a pretty good book. Only the first 50-60 pages are her philosophical writings, but the rest of the book is a valuable tool for anyone who is a fan of her novels. I would recommend 'For The New Intellectual' to anyone interested in learning more about the objectivist philosophy and anyone who has read her novels.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rand: Yes, This Particular Book: No., September 20, 2004
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
I hold Ayn Rand in high esteem although I don't care for most of her fan club (and her critics). It appears to me that many of the negative reviews were made by people who are determined to convince others not to read Rand. Why? It is because they want to distort her views without being challenged, so that they may articulate some uninspiring inanities. Why don't they encourage others to read Rand even though you disagree with her? After all, no one is going to appreciate their criticisms unless they knew what Ayn Rand said in her own words. It appears that some want us to believe that Rand was wacky on faith or their assumed authority. I say read Rand and also her critics (the intelligent and principled ones).

Anyhow, I generally shy away from fiction so this particular book was not to my taste. It mostly contained recycled material with a new cover. I like the title of the book though. I would refer interested parties to her other titles.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of Objectivity in the Midst of all this Biased Vitriol, November 9, 2000
By 
Mark Piske (farmers branch, texas USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
Given the absurdly slanted reviews I've seen here, I thought I'd try to give a bit more of an, er, objective account. And since the book is sort of a sampler of all Rand's work, a bit of broad background is in order.
What Ayn Rand's critics say about her personally is mostly on the mark. She was a hypocritical megalomaniac, tolerated independent thought only insofar as it agreed with her, was far too quick to levy personal attacks rather than substantive rebuttals to opponent's arguments, and often engaged in scholarship that was less than, um, scholarly, for the sake of expediency.
Unfortunately none of this excuses Rand's critics for making the same mistake with regard to her. Too often her arguments are ignored in lieu of her personal peccadilloes, and while Rand's claim to perfection (more or less) might excuse a bit more enthusiasm in pointing out her errors, it doesn't excuse writing her off entirely. This is classic ad hominem argumentation, the sort of thing that would have us write off "In Principia" because Newton wasted forests of paper writing about alchemy and believed in biblical inerrancy.
As a result, much of what Rand's critics say about her philosophy, and those who view it with some value, is NOT on the mark. While it is true that some of Rand's followers act as if every body expulsion of hers carries philosophical significance, the vast majority of people simply see some value in Rand's writings while recognizing that she makes mistakes like everyone else. Her writings on sex are best used for kindling, but her unique and insightful views on the symbolism in the Garden of Eden myth, and the purpose and value of money (all included in FTNI), alone make her a benefactor to the history of human thought.
The claim that Rand mostly appeals to high school students is so baseless and preposterous it is difficult to take seriously. One would be hard pressed to find one high school student in a thousand that even knows who Rand is, much less having read and understood what she had to say. No, Rand appeals mostly to people who are fed up with the gooey postmodern movement in society that has us being asked to promote feelings over facts (see any liberal response to anti-gun control arguments), and pretending that changing the name of a condition changes the condition (see any PC verbiage).
The problem with most of the criticism that actually bothers to deal with Rand's arguments is that her arguments are often misunderstood, and this is partially Rand's fault. She used language very precisely and somewhat idiosyncratically, at least when viewed from the knee-jerk view of the layman. From my POV she used words as they should be used, and that such semantic battles are crucial to promoting a change in the way people think. But when one uses words in a minority way, one must expect to be misunderstood unless one is willing to put forth considerable effort to contextualize what one says, and Rand too often failed to do this. Thus when she said something like "man cannot exist sans rationality", a previous reviewer can be forgiven for thinking that she meant no person can remain alive via faith, and therefore she has been refuted. However this isn't at all what she meant. What she was getting at is that rationality is the tool via which mankind acquires what it needs to function as human beings should, a far more complex proposition, and one that requires much background to understand. But without that background, one could easily erroneously, but understandably, conclude that Rand's writings are "pseudointellectual".
The bottom line is that Rand promotes some highly intriguing ideas backed by quite a bit of thought. Where else will one see the producer placed on a higher rung than the giver? Who can totally blow off the motivation of socialism in those who simply want to gain at the loss of those they consider "rich"? Anyone who reads this or any Rand writing for the first time and claims to be unmoved intellectually is kidding himself. A prime example would be those who are religious and see no similarity between them, and their leaders, to Rand's "witch doctor" persona. They simply haven't forced themselves to think past the pious-babble that accompanies most religious thought, for it rarely takes me more than 5 minutes of questioning a believer to get them to practically quote Rand's "witch doctor" persona. It's tough to read about Attila and the Witch Doctor and NOT think of the Roman empire and the history of the papacy.
Which brings me to Rand's historical errors. Most of those I've seen fall into the true-but-irrelevant category a la Bluto's famous "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor" quote in animal house - her fact was a bit off, but the point made still holds. Some Gore fans might be able to relate to this. Just because the fact you present as evidence for your view is false doesn't make your view false. It only makes it unsupported, but too often Rand's critics stop there and dismiss her.
So, all in all, 3 stars. It is after all, only a sampler, but it is guaranteed to get you to think about issues in a way you never have. For the real meat, read Atlas Shrugged, which along with 1984 and Brave New World, will pretty much give you a complete understanding of everything that goes on in modern society and politics.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Objectivism!, April 16, 2003
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was my first formal introduction to the philosophy of Objectivism. The first essay a moving and thought-provoking introduction to the thinking of Ayn Rand, and provides a brief overview of her views on the history of philosophy, politics, and religion. For years after reading it, I would notice a detail of something I saw or read in my daily life and would suddenly find myself remembering and comprehending ideas and examples presented in the book with such clarity that it seemed that I knew them all along, and only now was able to put them into words. The rest of the book is excerpts from her fiction novels, and my recommendation would be to read the fiction books in their entirety instead, and then go over the excerpts. However if you are pressed for time or urgently wish to get into the philosophy first, this book makes a great introduction to Ayn Rand's philosophy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a Compendium, May 2, 2001
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have never been a fan of books that are excerpts from other writings. That is the primpary purpose of this book, as she includes what she considers to be the best speeches from her four fictional writings, "Anthem", "We the Living", "The Fountainhead", and "Atlas Shrugged." To her credit, I agree with her selections, but that doesn't necessarily mean that these speeches are as good when taken out of context.
That is not to say that they are not good as they are, but they are more enjoyable in their proper context.
There is an original essay by Ayn Rand before she gives us a review of her other writings. This essay is in many ways an Objectivist Manifesto, where she explains her view of most of history being dominated by the "Mystics of Muscle" and the "Mystics of Spirit". She call them "Atilla" and the "Witch Doctor" at the suggestion of Nathaniel Branden, but I would call them the Baron and the Bishop. She does criticize other philosophers, especially Kant, for various reasons, including the much debated problem of Universals. Those who say she did not solve it in "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" show that they do not understand the solution, but that is not the subject of this book.
There is a lot of impassioned vitriolic rhetoric being used against Ayn Rand, from those who's philosophy is threatened by the existence for hers, but do not let that dissuade you from what amounts to an Objectivistic Sampler.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily life-changing!, May 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
The individual from Freeport, Bahamas, (April 3) has it right. Have these other "reviewers" actually READ the subject of their "review"? I trow not. If you're hungry for principle, and you dare to declare your own independence on a daily basis, then there is no substitute for the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Time is very, very young. Rand's ability to identify essentials and integrate them into a vast, cohesive whole, is a model for future thinkers throughout the world, throughout the future. Ignore her at your peril.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judge for yourself, April 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet) (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading some of the negative comments below by some reviewers, one must question whether they have even read the book.
Rand used the term altruism, in its original meaning (as used by philosopher August Comte who coined the term): self-sacrifice.
To Rand, to sacrifice a greater value (say your beloved child), for the sake of a lessor value (some strangers you did not know) was wrong. (I agree).
To save your beloved wife from drowning would be selfish--because you loved her; to let her die to save some other stranger--when you loved your wife--would be unselfish.
Selfish, as Rand uses the term, means to act in ones own LONG-TERM rational self-interest.
It does not mean that one cannot have friends--only that "friends" who stab you in the back are not really your friends.
In fact, if you think about it: love is selfish. To paraphrase Rand, before one can say 'I love you', one must first learn to say the word 'I'.
Of course, if one actually READ the book, one would know this. If one reads the book, and still holds these distorted views of Rand's work, then one is either stupid, or dishonest.
This does not mean one may still not disagree--there are some things I disagree with Rand on; but, one should not stoop to dishonest smears, name-calling, and outright lies about her work.
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