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Why Businessmen Need Philosophy: The Capitalist's Guide to the Ideas Behind Ayn Rand's AtlasShrugged Paperback – April 5, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Allison is a former Waldorf teacher, now active in management consultancy and lecturing. He is also a musician, playing the renaissance lute and cittern, and an established poet with three published collections and many poems printed in journals worldwide. Born in New Zealand, he now lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne with his wife Bettye. His children, all musicians, live in Cologne, London and San Francisco respectively.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; Revised, Expanded ed. edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451232690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451232694
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Bucko on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" was a moral revolution, illustrating "a philosophy for living on earth." If human life is important, then we should glorify those who make life possible--the Thomas Edisons, Henry Fords and other creators, the businessmen who CREATE wealth (rather than seize it).

Yet today most intellectuals attack the very men and women who keep us alive.

This book explains WHY. It explodes the false ideas that underlie today's worship of omnipotent government: altruism, and the Marxist dogma that the source of wealth is men's muscles rather than their minds. And it gives businessmen an invaluable self-defense kit!

The contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Preface by Debi Ghate and Richard E. Ralston
Acknowledgments
Introduction by John Allison

Part 1: Do Businessmen Really Need Philosophy?

"Why Businessmen Need Philosophy," by Leonard Peikoff
"Philosophy: The Ultimate CEO," by Harry Binswanger
"Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think," by Ayn Rand (from Atlas Shrugged)
"The Businessmen's Crucial Role: Material Men of the Mind," by Debi Ghate
"The Money-Making Personality," by Ayn Rand

Part 2: Why is Business "Public Enemy #1"?
Read more ›
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Its intended audience might find much of value in this book, if they can get past the first few chapters, which are of somewhat mixed quality (as is John Allison's introduction). And for some reason, the editors left out some of the best essays from the original edition (such as Binswanger's "'Buy American' is Un-American") and retained some of the weaker ones (such as Leonard Peikoff's, which is not his best work, though it is the title essay). To give credit where credit is due, however, the essays by Yaron Brook on the history and morality of money-lending and by Onkar Ghate on Atlas Shrugged as "America's Second Declaration of Independence" are excellent, as are those by Harry Binswanger, Keith Lockitch, and of course Ayn Rand. John Ridpath's and Peter Schwartz's contributions are also good.
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Most of the problems in business result from people not having a philosophical foundation for their decisions, actions, and lives. People who distain capitalism and business in general need to read this book too to understand why capitalism is good. This book will give you a new outlook on the mechanism that keep our country buzzing.
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This is an excellent book for businessmen and women who are almost always under attack for being evil in some way. It provides a moral sanction for the activities of traders: the buying and selling of goods and services by voluntary exchange for mutual benefit and why this is such a morally good activity.

It also helps the businessman defend himself against the false morality of altruism: the morality of human sacrifice. It shows how the morality of sacrifice is opposed to the trader principle and how to defend oneself from the guilt producing effects of sacrifice.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in or contemplating going into business.
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this book is the perfect companion to Atlas Shrugged! so compatible, one should not consider himself a student of Atlas Shrugged without reading this.
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If Ayn Rand's novels (and writings as well as general philosophy) not only energized you but also got you thinking, leaving you with metaphors for your own existence or business to think about, this book makes it plainly clear how her philosophy directly impacts entrepreneurs, and with direct relevance to the issues of the modern day.

It is like reading something Ayn Rand would have written if she were alive today. It is a pithy book (it isn't small, but packed with meat and conviction) that drives home the clarity of the unapologetic principles that include things that are much maligned today but what every businessperson knows are true and correct, of the real benefits of capitalism and the philosophy as well as moral compass that should serve every person in business.
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