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Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Attracted by the United States' ideals of freedom and individualism, Rand fled from the Communist U.S.S.R. in 1926. Shocked to find much of the American public unappreciative of their freedom and their country's founding values, Rand set about writing philosophical novels intended to inform and inspire a broad readership about the wonders of individualism and capitalism and the dangers of collectivism and central planning.

Her early Broadway play Night of January 16th and her two earlier novels We the Living and Anthem paved the way for Rand's two enormously influential works of fiction. The Fountainhead recounts innovative architect Howard Roark's struggle and ultimate success maintaining his individualism and integrity in a world predominantly peopled by ...

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