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The Fountainhead

On this page: Background  Summary  Contents  Related Links  Reviews, Criticism and Analysis


The Fountainhead was Rand's "breakthrough" novel: her first book to top the best-seller charts. Many fans of Rand's novels consider it her best. Rand initially signed to have the book published by Knopf, but was unable to finish the book quickly enough to meet their deadlines. Subsequently, it was rejected by 12 publishers before Bobbs-Merrill editor Archibald Ogden risked his job to get them to accept the novel. It was a risk he would not regret when the novel went on to sell over 400,000 hardback copies in its first five years. Ongoing sales have also been strong, with various publishers (of hardback and paperback editions) selling over six million copies to date.


The story follows the life of Howard Roark, an architect, and several people he interacts with, including his lover, a fellow architect, an architectural critic and a newspaper publisher.


The Fountainhead is divided into four major sections, named after four of the major characters from the novel. The sections contain unnamed, numbered chapters, with the chapter numbers starting over for each section.

Related Links

PDF Links followed by this symbol are for documents in Adobe PDF (Acrobat) format, which requires Adobe Reader for viewing.

Reviews, Criticism and Analysis

The following perspectives on this book are available online:

In addition to the essays above, winning essays for the Fountainhead essay contests operated by the Ayn Rand Institute and the Liberty Institute are sometimes published on the websites of those organizations. Essays published on the sponsor websites are not listed separately above, but some of the materials listed above are essays written for the contest and published by their authors.

The following are parodies or humorous treatments of this book:

In 1949, a movie version of the novel (with a screenplay written by Rand herself) was released. The following perspectives on that movie are available online:

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand, The Fountainhead by Ann Rand, Fountain Head, Foutainhead, Fountanhead, Fountinhead, critical analysis, critical reviews, commentary, Howard Rourke

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