The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand.
The protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who
designs modernist buildings and refuses to compromise with an
architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. Roark
embodies what Rand believed to be the ideal man, and his struggle
reflects Rand’s belief that individualism is superior to collectivism.
Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript before an editor at the Bobbs-
Merrill Company risked his job to get it published. Contemporary
reviewers’ opinions were mixed. Some praised the novel as a powerful
paean to individualism, while others thought it overlong and lacking
sympathetic characters. Initial sales were slow, but the book gained a
following by word of mouth. It became a bestseller, and more than
6.5 million copies have been sold worldwide. The novel was Rand’s first
major literary success and has had a lasting influence, especially among
architects and right-libertarians.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Stockholm’s royal castle, dating back to the 13th century, was
destroyed in a huge fire; the blueprint for the current royal palace was
presented within a year.
Alexander Stepanovich Popov presented his radio receiver,
refined as a lightning detector, to the Russian Physical and Chemical
New York City Police engaged in a two-hour-long shootout with
Francis Crowley that was witnessed by 15,000 bystanders before he
Cold War: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced that his
country was holding American pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose spy plane
was shot down over the Soviet Union six days earlier.
A team of researchers presented a complete draft sequence of
the Neanderthal genome, demonstrating that today’s modern humans have
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (pathology, dated) Of, related to, or suffering from scrofula (form of
tuberculosis tending to cause enlarged lymph nodes and skin
2. (figuratively) Having an unkempt, unhealthy appearance.
3. (figuratively) Morally degenerate; corrupt.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
There’s a tremendous popular fallacy which holds that significant
research can be carried out by trying things. Actually it is easy to
show that in general no significant problem can be solved empirically,
except for accidents so rare as to be statistically unimportant. One of
my jests is to say that we work empirically — we use bull’s eye
empiricism. We try everything, but we try the right thing first!
–Edwin H. Land
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