Ayn Rand’s Novels and Ideas » Bibliography

Ayn Rand’s novels contain many elements that appeal to young readers. They are inspiring and exciting stories with heroic characters fighting for their ideals. The nov­els portray events of profound, timeless sig­nif­i­cance, challenging readers to decide not just what will happen to particular characters, but what their own lives and the world should be.



by Ayn Rand (1938)

Anthem Cover

This novelette depicts a world of the future, a society so collectivized that even the word “I” has vanished from the language. Anthem’s theme is: the meaning and glory of man’s ego.

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We the Living

by Ayn Rand (1936)

We the Living Cover Set in Soviet Russia, this is Ayn Rand’s first and most autobiographical novel. Its theme is: “the individual against the state; the supreme value of a human life and the evil of the totalitarian state that claims the right to sacrifice it.”

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The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand (1943)

The Fountainhead Cover The story of an innovator—architect Howard Roark—and his battle against the tradition-worshipping establishment. Its theme: “individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man’s soul; the psychological motivations and the basic premises that produce the character of an individualist or a collectivist.” Ayn Rand presented here for the first time her projection of the ideal man. Roark’s independence, self-esteem, and integrity have inspired millions of readers for more than half a century.

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Atlas Shrugged

by Ayn Rand (1957)

Atlas Shrugged Cover Ayn Rand’s masterpiece. It integrates the basic elements of an entire philosophy into a highly complex, yet dramatically compelling plot—set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists. The theme is: “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”

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Other Works

The Early Ayn Rand

By Ayn Rand, edited by Leonard Peikoff (1983)

Early Ayn Rand cover This collection includes the first fiction Ayn Rand ever sold—the synopsis of an original 1932 screenplay, Red Pawn. It also contains unpolished, but charming, short stories, which she wrote in the late 1920s and early 1930s while she was still learning English; mature works such as the stage plays Think Twice and Ideal; and scenes cut from the published edition of The Fountainhead.

Three Plays

By Ayn Rand (1983)

Three Plays cover Published together for the first time, here are Ayn Rand’s three compelling stage plays. Written in 1933, becoming a Broadway success in 1935, Night of January 16th is presented here in its definitive, final revised text—a superb dramatic objectification of Ayn Rand’s vision of human strength and weakness; a play famous for the author’s refusal to prearrange a dramatized verdict, leaving the solution to the audience. Included are two of Rand’s unproduced plays: Think Twice (1939), a philosophical murder mystery, and Ideal (1934), the author’s bitter indictment of people’s willingness to betray their highest values, symbolized by a Hollywood goddess seemingly fleeing the authorities.

Night of January 16th

By Ayn Rand (1971)

Night of January 16th cover This play is a murder trial abounding in plot twists and original devices. The play has two different endings—to reflect the actual verdict of a jury selected each performance from the audience.

For the New Intellectual

By Ayn Rand (1961)

For the New Intellectual coverA collection of the most challenging philosophical statements by the characters in her novels. The 48-page title essay sweeps over the history of thought, showing how ideas control civilization and how philosophy has served for the most part as an engine of destruction.

  • Listen to an audiobook excerpt from the Preface.

The Virtue of Selfishness

By Ayn Rand (1964)

The Virtue of Selfishness cover Ayn Rand’s revolutionary concept of egoism. Essays on the morality of rational selfishness and the political and social implications of such a moral philosophy. Essays include: “The Objectivist Ethics,” “Man’s Rights,” “The Nature of Government”, “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests,” and “Racism.”

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

By Ayn Rand (1966)

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal cover Essays on the theory and history of capitalism arguing that it is the only moral economic system, i.e., the only one consistent with individual rights and a free society. Includes: “What Is Capitalism?” “The Roots of War,” “Conservatism: An Obituary,” and “The Anatomy of Compromise.”

The Romantic Manifesto

By Ayn Rand (1969)

The Romantic Manifesto cover Ayn Rand’s philosophy of art, with a new analysis of the Romantic school of literature. Essays include: “Philosophy and Sense of Life,” “The Psycho-Epistemology of Art,” and “What is Romanticism?”

Philosophy: Who Needs It

By Ayn Rand (1984)

Philosophy: Who Needs It cover Everybody needs philosophy—that is the theme of this book. It demonstrates that philosophy is essential in each person’s life, and how those who do not think philosophically are the helpless victims of the ideas they passively accept from others. Essays include the title essay, “Philosophical Detection,” and “Causality Versus Duty.”

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology

By Ayn Rand, edited by Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff (1990)

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology cover The Objectivist theory of concepts, with Ayn Rand’s solution to “the problem of universals,” identifying the relationship of abstractions to concretes. Includes an essay by Leonard Peikoff, “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,” and, as an appendix, transcripts of Ayn Rand’s workshops containing her answers to questions about her theory raised by philosophers and other academics.

The Ayn Rand Column

By Ayn Rand (1998)

The Ayn Rand Column cover During the last half of 1962, Ayn Rand was a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. This book contains those 26 articles along with several other unanthologized and lesser-known pieces by her.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon

Edited by Harry Binswanger (1986)

The Ayn Rand Lexicon cover A mini-encyclopedia of Objectivism, covering 400 alphabetized topics in philosophy and related fields. Edited by Harry Binswanger.

Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution

By Ayn Rand, edited by Peter Schwartz (1998)

Return of the Primitive cover Return of the Primitive updates and expands Ayn Rand’s 1971 book The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, and presents her identifications of the intellectual roots and goals of the New Left, a ’60s ideology opposed to industrial society. In his essays, Peter Schwartz explains how that same philosophy—in a different guise—permeates our culture today.

The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought

by Ayn Rand, edited and with additional essays by Leonard Peikoff (1989)

The Voice of Reason Cover

Philosophy and cultural analysis, including “Who Is the Final Authority in Ethics?” Also “Religion Versus America” by Leonard Peikoff, and a critique of Libertarianism by Peter Schwartz.

Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A

Edited by Robert Mayhew (2005)

Ayn Rand Answers cover After the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1957, Ayn Rand turned to nonfiction writing and occasional lecturing. Her aim was to bring her philosophy to a wider audience and to apply it to current cultural and political issues. The taped lectures and the question-and-answer sessions that followed not only added an eloquent new dimension to Ayn Rand’s ideas and beliefs, but a fresh and spontaneous insight into Ayn Rand herself. Ayn Rand Answers is a collection of those enlightening Q & As. Topics covered include ethics, Ernest Hemingway, modern art, Vietnam, Libertarians, Jane Fonda, religious conservatives, Hollywood communists, atheism, Don Quixote, abortion, gun control, love and marriage, Ronald Reagan, pollution, the Middle East, racism and feminism, crime and punishment, capitalism, prostitution, homosexuality, reason and rationality, literature, drug use, freedom of the press, Richard Nixon, New Left militants, HUAC, chess, comedy, suicide, masculinity, Mark Twain, improper questions, and more.

The Art of Fiction

By Ayn Rand, edited by Tore Boeckmann (2000)

The Art of Fiction cover In 1958, Ayn Rand, already the world-famous author of such bestselling books as [Atlas Shrugged] and [The Fountainhead], gave a private series of extemporaneous lectures in her own living room on the art of fiction. Tore Boeckmann and Leonard Peikoff, for the first time, bring to readers the edited transcript of these exciting personal statements. The Art of Fiction offers invaluable lessons in which Rand analyzes the four essential elements of fiction: theme, plot, characterization, and style. She demonstrates her ideas by dissecting her best-known works, as well as those of other famous authors such as Thomas Wolfe, Sinclair Lewis, and Victor Hugo. An historic accomplishment, this compendium will be a unique and fascinating resource for both writers and readers of fiction.

The Art of Nonfiction

By Ayn Rand, edited by Robert Mayhew (2001)

The Art of Nonfiction cover In 1969 Ayn Rand gave a series of informal lectures on the art of nonfiction to a select group of friends and associates. Guided solely by a brief outline, the world-renowned author discussed all aspects of creating effective nonfiction, a skill she believed could be learned and mastered by any rational person. Now, for the first time, the edited transcripts of these remarkable sessions are available to readers and writers. In The Art of Nonfiction, Rand takes readers step by step through the writing process, providing insightful observations and invaluable techniques along the way. She discusses the psychological aspects of writing and the different roles played by the conscious and the subconscious mind. She talks about articles and books, explaining how to select a subject and theme (“If you have nothing new to say, no matter how brilliantly you can say it, do not do it”); how to identify your audience; and how to write the first draft. From preparing an outline to polishing a draft to mastering an individual writing style, this crucial resource introduces the ideas of one of our most enduring authors to a new generation. This book, an essential companion piece to Ayn Rand’s [The Art of Fiction], is at once a fascinating philosophical discourse on the art of creation and an invaluable guide for the aspiring writer or student. It is a treasure that will challenge and edify and illuminate the way to more powerful writing.

The Objectivist Newsletter

By Ayn Rand (1962–66)

The Objectivist Newsletter cover This 224-page volume is a penetrating, philosophical dissection of the events and ideas dominating our culture.

Among its contents: an elucidation of the two political issues with which the practical fight for freedom should begin; a moving tribute to Marilyn Monroe; illuminating reviews of books by authors as diverse as Victor Hugo and Mickey Spillane; and replies to questions about Objectivism in the “Intellectual Ammunition Dept.”

The Objectivist

By Ayn Rand (1966–71)

The Objectivist cover Here are 69 issues of a monthly journal on the theory and application of Objectivism. This 1,120-page volume covers a fascinating range of issues from a radical analysis of the nature of concepts to a piercing description of life for dissidents in Soviet Russia, from an examination of the requirements of mental health to an intriguing explanation of why Calumet “K” was Ayn Rand’s favorite novel.

The Ayn Rand Letter

By Ayn Rand (1971–76)

The Ayn Rand Letter cover Why did Ayn Rand say that “the pre-condition of inflation is psycho-epistemological”? What philosophical lessons did she draw from America’s disastrous involvement in Vietnam? Her superlative ability to untangle the intellectual significance of world events is displayed in full force in this 400-page volume.

Journals of Ayn Rand

Edited by David Harriman (1997)

Journals of Ayn Rand cover An extensive collection of Ayn Rand’s thoughts—spanning forty years—on literature and philosophy, including notes on her major novels and on the development of the political philosophy of individualism. Features Ayn Rand’s 1947 HUAC testimony and her notes about Communism in Hollywood.

Letters of Ayn Rand

Edited by Michael S. Berliner (1995)

Letters of Ayn Rand cover This collection of more than 500 letters written by Ayn Rand offers much new information on her life as philosopher, novelist, political activist, and Hollywood screenwriter. Includes letters to fans, friends, Hollywood celebrities, business leaders, and philosophers. Edited by Michael S. Berliner.

Ayn Rand’s Marginalia

Edited by Robert Mayhew (1995)

Ayn Rand's Marginalia cover Notes Ayn Rand made in the margins of the works of more than twenty authors, including Barry Goldwater, C. S. Lewis, and Ludwig von Mises.

Russian Writings on Hollywood

By Ayn Rand (1998)

Russian Writings on Hollywood cover Ten years before her first novel, We the Living, was published in the West, a teenaged Ayn Rand wrote two booklets in the USSR about the American film industry, Pola Negri and Hollywood: American City of Movies. These recently discovered works are published here in English for the first time.

The Ayn Rand Reader

Edited by Gary Hull and Leonard Peikoff (1998)

The Ayn Rand Reader cover The Ayn Rand Reader combines, for the first time in one volume, extensive excerpts from all of Ayn Rand’s novels (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, We the Living, and Anthem) and her nonfiction work. The fiction excerpts present her dramatic, man-glorifying universe. The nonfiction excerpts explain Objectivism’s fundamental ideas, such as reason, rational selfishness, and laissez-faire capitalism. For example, Ayn Rand’s essay “Man’s Rights” is used to explain the foundations of individual rights and capitalism.

The Ayn Rand Reader is recommended both to readers new to Ayn Rand and to those already familiar with her work.

Objectively Speaking

Edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz (2009)

Objectively Speaking cover Half a century of print and broadcast interviews of Ayn Rand are included in Objectively Speaking. This collection includes print interviews from the 1930s and 1940s, and edited transcripts of radio and television interviews from the 1950s through 1981. Ayn Rand’s unusual and strikingly original insights on a vast range of topics are captured by prominent interviewers in American broadcasting, such as Johnny Carson, Edwin Newman, Mike Wallace and Louis Rukeyser. A remarkable series of radio interviews over a four-year period at Columbia University are also included. An appendix provides a transcript of a radio program of Leonard Peikoff discussing Ayn Rand’s unique intellectual and literary achievements.