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Old 08-24-2005, 10:01 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBullz
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...56908?v=glance


Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club--This text refers to the Paperback edition.



Uh huh

I think I've read almost every book people have mentioned here as being the great ones.

Jughead and Archie aren't my idea of great characters...

Um, yeah, that is achieved by Rand groupies stuffing the votes. Look at what happened to a reader list of the 100 greatest English language novels of the 20th century: http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlib...estnovels.html

Ayn Rand and Hubbard (someone who actually makes Rand look like a great writer) monopolize the top 10.

Notice that the expert list (which I am by no means claiming to be perfect) makes no mention of her work.

I am not saying it is a bad book, although it is not one I liked, but to act as if its greatness is some immutable law of the universe is ridiculous.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:11 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

http://www.online-literature.com/

You can find many of the great books (Les Miserables, Huckleberry Finn, 1984, etc) in full at the URL above.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:30 PM   #138 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyAC
Um, yeah, that is achieved by Rand groupies stuffing the votes. Look at what happened to a reader list of the 100 greatest English language novels of the 20th century: http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlib...estnovels.html

Ayn Rand and Hubbard (someone who actually makes Rand look like a great writer) monopolize the top 10.

Notice that the expert list (which I am by no means claiming to be perfect) makes no mention of her work.

I am not saying it is a bad book, although it is not one I liked, but to act as if its greatness is some immutable law of the universe is ridiculous.
I happen to think the readers' opinions are the ones that count. Especially when the question is "what's the most influential book" which is different than "greatest book."

FWIW, I've read the first 16 on the reader's list, and the first 15 on the board's list. I do love to read.

I agree with your assessment of Hubbard vs. Rand, but his novels are still very good. It isn't a fair comparison, IMO, because she is a first rate mind and he's ... well, not. Rand is taught in virutally any philosophy course in colleges, and I don't think Hubbard ever will.

I'd also point out that the Fountainhead was a terrific film (I happen to like Gary Cooper in anything). (7.0/10.0 1,178 votes on IMDB). Seems those who read didn't stuff the ballot box for the film

Of all the books people have mentioned here, Stephen King's "On Writing" is entertaining, enlightening, and full of great advice on how to write.
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:20 PM   #139 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

I've also read a great deal of the books mentioned so far, although, in the past couple years, I've slowed down considerably.

Regarding Rand, I don't particularly feel like commiting the time necessary to debating the merits of her works, so I'll just say I tend to side with Whittaker Chambers and W.F Buckley.

Anyone here read Witkiewicz's "Insatiability: A Novel"? (Iribarne's translation)
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Old 08-25-2005, 12:21 AM   #140 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

The Power of One


...awesome book.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:05 AM   #141 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Legend
I just thought it was too boring. The trial was way too long (that's my big problem with the book). I can say that the whole thing about Boo Radley was alright, and Scout was pretty interesting.

Part of the reason I didn't like it was the time frame we had to read it in; my teacher made us read like 90 pages a night, so I had to rush through a book that's slow (for me) to read. I'm sure if I read it a couple years from now I'll appreciate/ like it more.
Most likely. I didn't notice that you're 14. It's a book that every kid reads at some point and enjoys.


And I think Ayn Rand was a bit nuts. Though I did enjoy The Fountainhead.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:11 AM   #142 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBullz
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...56908?v=glance


Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club[i]--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club"

So one survey says that it is the second most influential book...that HARDLY makes it fact.

That survey was probably given to high school girls.



Quote:
I think I've read almost every book people have mentioned here as being the great ones.
Yeah, okay, I guess I'll just have to take your word for that one.
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:37 AM   #143 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

Wait, maybe I'm wrong...Maybe Atlas Shrugged is the 2nd most influential book...

I mean, it did inspire this site:
http://www.theatlasphere.com/

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Old 08-25-2005, 04:45 AM   #144 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

Interesting thoughts on the Rand cult:

Quote:
If the glaring inner contradictions of the Leninist cults make them intriguing objects of study, still more so is the Ayn Rand cult, which, while in some sense is still faintly alive, flourished for just ten years in the 1960s; more specifically, from the founding of the Nathaniel Branden lecture series in early 1958 to the Rand-Branden split ten years later. For not only was the Rand cult explicitly atheist, anti-religious, and an extoller of Reason; it also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person’s individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason.

Virtually every one of its members entered the cult through reading Rand’s lengthy novel Atlas Shrugged, which appeared in late 1957, a few months before the organized cult came into being. Entering the movement through a novel meant that despite repeated obeisances to Reason, febrile emotion was the driving force behind the acolyte’s conversion. Soon, he found that the Randian ideology sketched out in Atlas was supplemented by a few non-fiction essays, and, in particular, by a regular monthly magazine, The Objectivist Newsletter (later, The Objectivist).

The Index of Permitted Books

Since every cult is grounded on a faith in the infallibility of the guru, it becomes necessary to keep its disciples in ignorance of contradictory infidel writings which may wean cult members away from the fold. The Catholic Church maintained an Index of Prohibited Books; more sweeping was the ancient Muslim cry: "Burn all books, for all truth is in the Koran!" But cults, which attempt to mold every member into a rigidly integrated world view, must go further. Just as Communists are often instructed not to read anti-Communist literature, the Rand cult went further to disseminate what was virtually an Index of Permitted Books. Since most neophyte Randians were both young and relatively ignorant, a careful channeling of their reading insured that they would remain ignorant of non- or anti-Randian ideas or arguments permanently (except as they were taken up briefly, brusquely, and in a highly distorted and hectoring fashion in Randian publications).

The philosophical rationale for keeping Rand cultists in blissful ignorance was the Randian theory of "not giving your sanction to the Enemy." Reading the Enemy (which, with a few carefully selected exceptions, meant all non- or anti-Randians) meant "giving him your moral sanction," which was strictly forbidden as irrational. In a few selected cases, limited exceptions were made for leading cult members who could prove that they had to read certain Enemy works in order to refute them. This book-banning reached its apogee after the titanic Rand-Branden split in late 1968, a split which was the moral equivalent in miniature of, say, a split between Marx and Lenin, or between Jesus and St. Paul. In a development eerily reminiscent of the organized hatred directed against the arch-heretic Emanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, Rand cultists were required to sign a loyalty oath to Rand; essential to the loyalty oath was a declaration that the signer would henceforth never read any future works of the apostate and arch-heretic Branden. After the split, any Rand cultist seen carrying a book or writing by Branden was promptly excommunicated. Close relatives of Branden were expected to – and did – break with him completely.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

Rand was a selfish egomaniac.
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:51 AM   #145 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Lynx
Next book? The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
Just finished reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr.

A few days back I bought a few books and when I started reading it, I remembered how much I had loved this novel. I'll read it again after a year or so.

The novel is about an Alienist and a group of his close friends, and how they go about investigating a series of murders. It's based in New York City, 1896, so all the current profiling techniques are either in infancy or have not yet been introduced. So if you like murder/mysteries/thrillers, I am positive you would love this one.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:38 AM   #146 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Truth
Interesting thoughts on the Rand cult:



http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

Rand was a selfish egomaniac.
Welcome to Rand Revisionism. You might find, if you dug just a little bit, that it might be Rothbard who's the selfish (and jealous) egomanic - he was a contemporary of Rand and far less successful in his writing and in influencing people.

I do not worship Rand. I do think she was a brilliant woman and a terrific writer. She was one of the more powerful and independent women in a time before feminism was popular. You commented that she must be popular with young women...

Quote:
That survey was probably given to high school girls.
Any "rand cult" there was died in 1982 with Rand. There was a tiny group of people close to her, and SHE didn't want her philosophy to be exploited. She was extremely hostile to academics, and the last thing she wanted was to be taught about in philosophy classes in school.

There was ONE author that she didn't want people to read, but only because she felt he had betrayed her, and she didn't want to see him profit on his books. The betrayal included embezzlement and plagarism - he published one of her works under his name.

If you can find a list of these so-called banned books, feel free to post it. Or maybe that would be too objectivist a thing to do (the irony!).

There was no oath of loyalty to her - that's absurd; though to be in her inner circle of friends, one surely would have to agree not to exploit her philosophy.

Selfishness is and was a part of her philosophy, to be sure. If one was selfish enough to look out for himself (or herself), they simply wouldn't be a burden on anyone else.

The funniest thing I've read in a long time is that there is some Rand cult. That's like saying there's a socialism cult.

FWIW, I do enjoy reading Rothbard, too.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:02 AM   #147 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsimo12

The Long Walk - Slavomir Rawicz
I was gonig to say that, but I've never met anyone else who's ever heard of it!

It's absolutely fantastic. So much better than Bravo Two Zero and modern stuff. What they achieved is almost unbelievable. I cried the first time I read it.

HIghly, highly recommended if you can track down a copy.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:47 AM   #148 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBullz
Welcome to Rand Revisionism. You might find, if you dug just a little bit, that it might be Rothbard who's the selfish (and jealous) egomanic - he was a contemporary of Rand and far less successful in his writing and in influencing people.
Please don't try telling me that Rothbard wasn't influential...maybe not as influential as the woman who wrote the second most influential book ever , but he was very influential in his own right. But he must not be allowed to criticize Rand because his critique can only be rooted in jealousy, right? I guess you are proposing that the only person qualified to criticize Rand is God, since he/she is responsible for the most influential book of all time. :more sarcasm:

Quote:
I do not worship Rand. I do think she was a brilliant woman and a terrific writer. She was one of the more powerful and independent women in a time before feminism was popular. You commented that she must be popular with young women...
I really don't care about whether or not you worship Rand, and I never accused you of it...maybe you just feel the need to make that known.


Quote:
Any "rand cult" there was died in 1982 with Rand. There was a tiny group of people close to her, and SHE didn't want her philosophy to be exploited. She was extremely hostile to academics, and the last thing she wanted was to be taught about in philosophy classes in school.
Well her wish has been granted...she's not being taught in philosophy courses. Maybe that comment was motivated by her foresight that she would be completely disregarded by the philosophical community (whatever that may be).

Quote:
There was ONE author that she didn't want people to read, but only because she felt he had betrayed her, and she didn't want to see him profit on his books. The betrayal included embezzlement and plagarism - he published one of her works under his name.
betrayal was an interesting concept for Rand

Quote:
There was no oath of loyalty to her - that's absurd; though to be in her inner circle of friends, one surely would have to agree not to exploit her philosophy.
believe what you will



Quote:
The funniest thing I've read in a long time is that there is some Rand cult. That's like saying there's a socialism cult.
I think it's pretty much widely accepted that there was a Rand cult.

Quote:
FWIW, I do enjoy reading Rothbard, too.
I figured you would.

Oh yeah, you dodged the fact that you misrepresented the results of a limited poll as fact.
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:36 AM   #149 (permalink)
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Re: Book(s) Recommendations

Sorry, but I don't see a whole lot of anything interesting in your last post to respond to.

Your sarcasm is noted.

Your opinions are noted.

Your facts are .... lacking.

Case in point ( I guess there is one thing to respond directly to) :

Quote:
Well her wish has been granted...she's not being taught in philosophy courses.
Quote:
http://www.ils.unc.edu/disted/cmi/final2.html
Theory Wars: Objectivism(Behavioral Psychology) versus
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Deperatment of Philosophy

300/19360 Ethics (core)

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Through contemporary readings, this class will focus on some of the core issues in philosophical ethics. Potential topics for discussion include the following: the Amoralist, Internal v. External Reasons, Cognitivism v. Noncognitivism, Objectivism v. Subjectivism, the Ethics of Virtue v. the Ethics of Duty, Consequentialism and the Demands of Morality, Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Prerequisite(s): For philosophy department graduate students only.

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PHIL2103 Introduction to Ethics Basic concepts of moral philosophy, including historical and contemporary literature concerned with such issues as ethical relativism vs. objectivism, duty, happiness, freedom of the will and responsibility, facts and values, individual liberty and society. Application of theories to substantive questions. UNIVERSITY CORE COURSE
Just so it's clear:

Quote:
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Objectivist philosophy

Objectivism is the philosophy of Russian-born American philosopher and author Ayn Rand. In short, Objectivism holds that there is an independent reality, that human beings are conscious of through their senses, in which reason is the only way of gathering knowledge and only the individual rational mind can process these data; in which the proper moral purpose of one's life is to pursue one's own rational self-interest; and in which the only moral social system is full laissez-faire capitalism with a government strictly limited to courts, police, and a military, because it is the only system where humans are barred from initiating the use of physical force upon each other (either within or outside the structure of said government).
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:36 AM   #150 (permalink)
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Re: Best book you've ever read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyAC
Um, yeah, that is achieved by Rand groupies stuffing the votes.
For the record they're called randroids or just roids for short. :biggrin:
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