If you separate the government from economics, if you do not regulate production and trade, you will have peaceful cooperation, harmony, and justice among men.

Ayn Rand
Interview with Mike Wallace on CBS

What’s the perfect audience for The Soul of Atlas?

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The Soul of Atlas is addressed to three distinct audiences: two explicit and one implicit. The explicit audiences are Objectivists and Christians; the implicit is the listener, the “fly on the wall.” (Not that I think of any reader as a fly; it’s a metaphor.) There is also a sense of wanting both Objectivist and […]

Mere-Christianity-Cover

Mere Christianity (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1952)

C-S-Lewis-GoodreadsMere Christianity is C. S. Lewis‘s forceful and accessible doctrine of Christian belief. First heard as informal radio broadcasts and then published as three separate books – The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond PersonalityMere Christianity brings together what Lewis saw as the fundamental truths of the religion. Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, C. S. Lewis finds a common ground on which all those who have Christian faith can stand together, proving that “at the centre of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks the same voice.”

It has become a classic for good reason. C. S. Lewis takes common questions, misunderstandings, and his own objections to Christianity, and answers them using the same rational approach that resonated with him as he crossed the line from unbelief many years prior. Be persistent. When I picked up Mere Christianity the first time, it was like pulling teeth. I put it down after two chapters. A year later, a friend of mine (for whom I have tremendous respect) confided that he reads the book straight through once a year to keep perspective. I thought, “Perhaps I should give this another try.” I did, and I couldn’t put it down! What a difference. It was easy reading, compelling, winsome. Of course, the book hadn’t changed; I had. And then, it when on to radically change the way I approach all other books.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1943 Great Britain, when hope and the moral fabric of society were threatened by the relentless inhumanity of global war, an Oxford don was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. Over half a century after the original lectures, the topic retains it urgency. Expanded into book form, Mere Christianity never flinches as it sets out a rational basis for Christianity and builds an edifice of compassionate morality atop this foundation. As Mr. Lewis clearly demonstrates, Christianity is not a religion of flitting angels and blind faith, but of free will, an innate sense of justice and the grace of God. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The late Lewis, Oxford professor, scholar, author, and Christian apologist, presents the listener with a case for orthodox Christianity. This is definitely not the shouting, stomping, sweating, spitting televangelist fare so often parodied; Lewis employs logical arguments that are eloquently expressed. He describes those doctrines that the four major denominations in Britain (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic) would have in common, e.g., original sin, the transcendent Creator God, and the divinity of Jesus as well as his atonement and bodily resurrection. Geoffrey Howard reads both works, and his performance is superb; he is clear and unhurried, giving just the right emphasis and/or inflection. The volume on the Blackstone edition is recorded at a higher level than HarperAudio’s. Otherwise there were no perceived differences in the recordings. If your institution can afford it, the Blackstone production would be preferred because of its sturdy case and the announcement of side changes. Whether or not one agrees with Lewis’s arguments, it is a pleasure to hear such a skillful reading of an eloquent work. Public libraries as well as institutions that teach religion/theology or speech should consider. –Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over one hundred million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Fleuron

On Goodreads.com


Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I highly recommend  Mere Christianity. It has become a classic for good reason. C. S. Lewis takes common questions, misunderstandings, and his own objections to Christianity, and answers them using the same rational approach that resonated with him as he crossed the line from unbelief many years prior. Be persistent. When I picked up Mere Christianity the first time, it was like pulling teeth. I put it down after two chapters. A year later, a friend of mine (for whom I have tremendous respect) confided that he reads the book straight through once a year to keep perspective. I thought, “Perhaps I should give this another try.” I did, and I couldn’t put it down! What a difference. It was easy reading, compelling, winsome. Of course, the book hadn’t changed; I had. And then, it when on to radically change the way I approach all other books.

Flat-Fleuron

You can find more revieTSOA Front Cover 150 x 150ws and discussions of this and many other books on Goodreads.com (including my own reviews and comments about this and other books). It’s one of my favorite sites to help me organize my own reading and keep up with others. When you’re on Goodreads, please visit my author page and “Like” The Soul of Atlas. Consider writing a review and sharing it with your friends on Goodreads and Facebook.com.

 

Fleuron

Who is the ideal audience for The Soul of Atlas?

Nouveau-Seminaire-Jeune-Public-a-Sofia

The Soul of Atlas is addressed to three distinct audiences: two explicit and one implicit. The explicit audiences are Objectivists and Christians; the implicit is the listener, the “fly on the wall.” (Not that I think of any reader as a fly; it’s a metaphor.) There is also a sense of wanting both Objectivist and […]

When do I need to listen to the audience?

good-audience

Sometimes, my audience is hostile. (Not all atheist groups, but some ardent Ayn Rand followers fit that description.) At least the audience doesn’t agree with what it thinks I am going to say, and that creates a barrier. Other times, the audience is happy, enthusiastic, and supportive. In either case, I need to listen. As […]

FTNI-cover

For the New Intellectual (New York: Signet, 1963)

This is one of my favorite Ayn Rand books to recommend to people unfamiliar with her writing. It’s short and it contains her hand-picked excerpts from her fiction that illustrate aspects of her philosophy, Objectivism. Her introductory essay is equally representative.

Description

This is Ayn Rand‘s challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the “atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion” that they create. One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was the proponent of a moral philosophy–and ethic of rational self-interest–that stands in sharp opposition to the ethics of altruism and self-sacrifice. The fundamentals of this morality–”a philosophy for living on Earth”–are here vibrantly set forth by the spokesman for a new class, For the New Intellectual.

 

From AynRand.org

Following the publication of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand transitioned to writing nonfiction philosophical works. The first book she published was For the New Intellectual, a collection of the philosophic speeches from her novels. The book begins with a lengthy essay in which Rand argues that America and Western civilization are in desperate need of a new philosophy and new intellectuals.

Rand viewed the book as a “cultural commercial” for her novels, which would stimulate sales of the newly released paperback editions of Atlas Shrugged and her first novel, We the Living. For the New Intellectual has sold over 1 million copies.

Random Amazon Reviewer

After I had read For the the Intellectual, I found myself craving to find more knowledge of her philosophy, I saw in a wonderfully 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

Fleuron

On Goodreads.com

For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Ayn Rand
My rating: 5 of 5 starsFor the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Rand has carefully chosen passages in her fiction which illustrate key concepts in her philosophy. In this short collection, Rand introduces passages from We The Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. The opening chapter is a compelling essay outlining the philosophical struggle between those who support her philosophical conclusions and forces in our culture which contradict the truths she resolutely defends.
I recommend this work for readers who are unfamiliar with Rand’s writing and would like to understand her better before committing to her larger works.

TSOA Front Cover 150 x 150You can find more reviews and discussions of this and many other books on Goodreads.com (including my own reviews and comments about this and other books). It’s one of my favorite sites to help me organize my own reading and keep up with others. When you’re on Goodreads, please visit my author page and “Like” The Soul of Atlas. Consider writing a review and sharing it with your friends on Goodreads and Facebook.com.

Fleuron

What Christian did Ayn Rand Admire?

Atlas-Aquinas-Church

Thomas Aquinas believed truth is to be accepted no matter where it is found.  Many philosophical “bad guys” have come from the Christian tradition—on this, all can agree. But, unique among philosophers, St. Thomas Aquinas won the admiration of both Ayn Rand and the church. Aquinas helped reintroduce the teachings of Aristotle (“The Philosopher”) into […]

GreatFinancialDeformation

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America (Washington, DC: PublicAffairs, 2013)

The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington’s craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America’s private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.

Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.

DavidStockmanStockman’s analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed’s massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.

Selflessness and Pride

Algot Henge is the former director of coordinated strategy at WeDesign Marketing and is now an independent educational consultant and speaker on coordinating design. She contributes thought-provoking insights across the blogosphere. She loves reading, debating, and witty rapartee. You can also follow her on Twitter.

beauty-and-modesty

This letter came in… I felt compelled to share some of her insights about selfishness and pride, as it relates to Ayn Rand and Jesus. Insights from Skye: I’m at college, so when I am home I still go to church. At the last Wesleyan service we went to the message was about selfishness and […]