The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature

Blackstone Audio Inc.

Narrated by Bernadette Dunne

7 hr 21 min

In this beautifully written and brilliantly reasoned collection of essays, Ayn Rand throws new light on the nature of art and its purpose in human life. Once again, Rand demonstrates her bold originality and her refusal to let conventional ideas define her sense of the truth.

Rand eloquently asserts that one cannot create art without infusing it with one’s own value judgments and personal philosophy—even an attempt to withhold moral overtones only results in a deterministic or naturalistic message. Because the moral influence of art is inescapable, she argues, art should always strive to elevate the human spirit.

The Romantic Manifesto takes its place beside The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as one of the most important achievements of our time.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Published on
Jul 1, 2008
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Duration
7h 21m 30s
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ISBN
9781481568197
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Semiotics & Theory
Philosophy / General
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Eligible for Family Library

Listening information

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In the 1960s and early ’70s, the most prominent, vocal cultural movement was the New Left: a movement that condemned America and everything it stood for: individualism, material wealth, science, technology, capitalism.

While the New Left achieved limited political success, it brought about vast cultural changes that remain with us to this day. The reason is that while its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition. Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. The audience of the book, she wrote, is “all those who are concerned about college students and about the state of modern education” and who are seeking “a voice of reason to turn to.”

In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause. Where most viewed the New Left and its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the “establishment,” Ayn Rand identified that these “rebels” were in fact dutiful, consistent practitioners of the ideas taught to them by their teachers.

Return of the Primitive is an expanded edition of The New Left. It features the entire contents of the original edition authorized by Ayn Rand, plus two of her other essays, “Racism” and “Global Balkanization,” which are highly relevant to today’s campuses and world. Additionally, it features three essays written by Peter Schwartz after her death, analyzing some of the ideologies that the New Left helped spawn, such as multiculturalism and environmentalism.

For those who seek to understand the state of American culture today, Return of the Primitive is required reading.

1936 was a great year for the movie industry-the financial setbacks of the Great Depression were subsiding, so theater attendance was up. Americans everywhere were watching the stars, and few stars shined as brightly as one of America's most enduring screen favorites, Mary Astor.But Astor's personal story wasn't a happy one. Born poor and widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor had spent years looking for stability when she met and wed Dr. Franklyn Thorpe.The marriage had been rocky from the start and both were unfaithful, but they did not divorce before Mary Astor gave birth to little Marylyn Thorpe.What followed was a custody battle that pushed the Spanish Civil War and Hitler's 1936 Olympics off the front page all over America. Although Astor and Thorpe were both ruthless fighters, Thorpe held a trump card: the two diaries Mary Astor had been keeping for years. In these diaries, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood's biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep such juicy details from leaking. At risk from the information in those diaries was an entire fledgling industry. With the support of the Astor family, including unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor's estate, Joseph Egan presents a portrait of a great film actress in her most challenging role-a determined mother battling for her daughter regardless of the harm that her affairs and her most intimate secrets could do to her career, the careers of her friends, or even Hollywood itself.
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