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Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion & Reason, Inspired by the Ideas of Ayn Rand Paperback – February 14, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


From ForeWord Reviews

"The Selfish Path to Romance has arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day. Based on the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand, this manual instructs the reader on how to build and preserve a mutually fulfilling sexual relationship with the romance equation boiled down to a point-by-point, easy-to-understand workbook, complete with intellectual exercises at the end of each chapter. The authors explore the importance of self-love in this concise text that breaks down the method of seeking a 'soul mate.' They believe that achieving romance involves negotiation, as well as nurturing, between respectful individuals exhibiting self-esteem and common sense.

"Divided into six parts, this intriguing book begins by defining romantic love as a positive experience built on egoism (i.e., there must be something in it for both parties or it won’t work), but eliminates altruism and narcissism as stereotypically bad courses of action. Making yourself appealing to a potential mate is addressed at length, along with choosing an appropriate partner and making the correlation thrive. A section devoted exclusively to sex precedes the final segment on resolving conflict. Included is an appendix on the termination of a relationship in the event of irreconcilable differences.... True love, according to these experts, is not an accident, nor is it mystical. It is a rational interaction between two people that can be learned."

Though Locke (Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior) and Kenner base their latest on controversial Objectivist Ayn Rand, their text actually adheres to a simple self-help premise: honest introspection, truly knowing oneself, will lead to rewarding romantic relationships. The authors use countless case studies of challenged relationships to illustrate healthy approaches to problem solving and boundary setting. Maintaining that "the principle of self-sacrifice destroys relationships," they invoke their own clinical experience to offer guidelines for developing self-esteem. Despite the Randian platform, this effort is actually a compendium of oft-repeated advice ranging from "Replace Anger with Positives" to finding the right partner. Acknowledging that relationships need work to thrive, the authors offer tips on resolving the inevitable conflicts of any relationship. Though Locke and Kenner offer little new in their first collaboration, their breezy style and comprehensive approach will likely draw new readers. (Feb.)

Cevin Bryerman, Publishers Weekly, April 18, 2011

About the Author

Ellen Kenner, a clinical psychologist in private practice, is the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show, The Rational Basis of Happiness® (ranked in the top 250 national shows by Talkers magazine). Her show, heard on over sixty stations coast to coast, is in its fourteenth year. It features listeners who call her with questions related to romance and other personal problems. She has appeared as a guest on radio and television. Dr. Kenner has studied Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism for over thirty years. Edwin A. Locke is Dean's Professor of Leadership and Motivation Emeritus at the R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. He has published over 280 books, chapters, articles, reviews, and notes and is internationally known for his research on motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, and other topics. For many years he has promoted the application Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism in the social sciences.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Platform Press (February 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982411758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982411759
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A Full biography, professional history, and publications are at Dr. Kenner's website
A full description of The Selfish Path to Romance, with excerpts and table of contents is at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kirstein Howell VINE VOICE on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very challenging in the sense that it not only challenges the concepts of love and marriage many of us have been taught, but it also challenges one to be a better person as well in order to build a new idea of a healthy relationship. I personally love self-help books with exercises, and this book did not disappoint. I like the practical application that the questions at the end of each chapter provided. So thought provoking, I felt the book would be applicable to a wide audience. Married people, happily or not, can obviously benefit. At the same time, I wished I would have had this book long before that special person came along. I believe it would prove invaluable for the single person to learn of themselves and of love before it comes along. Even as a romance writer, the book gave me new ways to contemplate the fictional relationships I create.

I was impressed by the amount of research apparent in this book. It made the knowledge shared sound. At the same time, it was easy to understand with a wealth of new information, not a recap of the old by a long shot! But, don't get me wrong, while the book is easy to understand, it is not a light read. The ideas presented are in depth and make you analyze yourself in new ways. The easy to identify with couple examples given throughout the book further each point too. There is really just so much in this book, I wouldn't know where to begin to summarize it! And, I won't try. What I will do is encourage you to buy it!

The concepts are wonderful like finding a passion for life and finding harmony between reason and emotion. What stands out to me, having read it and looking back? Let me give you one example from early in the book, as I hate to give too much away.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Krystal on February 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Selfish Path to Romance is a relationship guide inspired by Objectivism, the philosophy founded by Ayn Rand. It is written by Psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner, The host of "The Rational Basis of Happiness" national radio show, and by Psychologist Dr. Edwin A. Locke, a prolific author on human behavior and an Ayn Rand Center speaker.

The word "selfish" isn't usually used when describing love, and I hope this word doesn't steer people away from giving this book a chance. "Selfish" only means to not be self-sacrificing, it is good to make yourself a priority, but this does not mean to be a narcissict or irrationally selfish. If you believe that you should always put your partner and others ahead of yourself, then you might change your mind after reading this book, because they give you plenty of examples where altruism simply does not work in a relationship.

I found this book to be very helpful in my own relationship and when reading it I couldn't help but to look back on my past relationships and think, "I wish I had this book then". Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, divorcing, and anywhere in between, this book covers the issues you might be facing. Even if you think your relationship is pretty good, and you do not need a self-help book, you might want to think again. Before reading, I actually thought there were no issues in the relationship i'm in, because we get along (i.e. hardly ever argue). I quickly realized while reading that there were some important issues that I wasn't even aware of, that were keeping us from being as happy of a couple that we should be.

One of my favorite things about The Selfish Path to Romance is how interactive it is.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aline on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
After you read this book you will see that love does make sense and that having a successful relationship is under your control!

In the Selfish Path to Romance, Ed Locke and Ellen Kenner, challenge old beliefs with new insights. They teach what romantic love is and what it is not. For example, romantic love is not based on narcissistic (i.e. "me only"), or sacrificial behaviors (i.e. "you only"), but rather rooted on mutual egoism, mutual self valuing. The authors explain that real love is not based on the need for approval but rather on the need to feel visible in the eyes of the partner. The authors also explain the importance of making oneself lovable. They quote Ayn Rand "to say I love you one must first know how to say "I". The authors show how to develop genuine self esteem. Without it, a person is not able to love or to be loved. This part is very practical and I found the exercises at the end of the chapter quite useful. The authors also explain how to find a "soul mate". In this session the authors explain the importance of integrating reason and passion. I found the list of ten factors to consider when finding the right partner to be particularly useful. The authors also teach us that passion can last if you consciously work towards building and strengthening the relationship. I found this part encouraging and optimistic; it challenges old beliefs such as that "passion will fade with time and there is nothing you can do about it". The information provided in this book may even help those who have a skeptical view of love to develop passionate and long lasting relationships. I just wish I had read this list book earlier in my life.
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