I mentioned below that I was reading the Ayn Rand book, Atlas Shrugged. Finally finished it, and really enjoyed it. It has flaws, but very inspiring, nonetheless.
I sent a brief review to my friend Nicki, who suggested reading it in the first place. Below is the email, lightly edited.
Yes–I’m finished with The Book. 🙂 Yes–it’s now one of my favorites. Challenging, yes, and I don’t necessarily hold with everything she says, but… I must say that she brought me back to my early youth, and reminded me very strongly of my core values and how much I shared her “romantic” view of how man should be.
Like Rand, his main themes are competence, self-determinism, and individualism. In contrast, he often emphasizes compassion and tolerance for self and others, and tolerance for mistakes–if one learns from them. Otherwise–it’s out the airlock for the offender. B-bye…
Also in contrast to Atlas, you’d be “astonished” to find that Heinlein’s writing is sparkling, witty and dialogue is very interesting and colloquial. (Although I loved the way Rand used the silliness and illogic of her villains to create laugh-out-loud humor). 🙂
Alrighty–I’m feeling like I might have to pick up The Fountainhead pretty soon. I figure it’ll be another motivational book.
I got to thinking about whether there were other Rand/Heinlein comparisons out there on the Web, so I did a Google search. Very first hit was a good one: Altruism: Rand Vs. Heinlein
In fact, last year I had read an article about Heinlein in Reason Magazine, celebrating Robert’s 100th birthday. In it, they do mention Rand as well. Good article, and a little bit of compare/contrast there as well, and it’s also on the web, as I linked above.