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"Hear me Roark": The Enduring Echo of Ayn Rand's Most Indelible Protagonist

Ayn Rand's most famous character remains a common literary touchpoint for entrepreneurs and businesspeople around the world.

Since its publication in 1957, millions of readers have entered the world of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The philosophical novel has developed a large cult following over the years, and the author’s ideas continue to influence thinkers, politicians and businesspeople. Yaron Brook, chair of the Ayn Rand Institute, sat down with Roundtable to discuss the reasons for the author and philosopher’s enduring legacy.

In this segment, Brook discusses the influence of The Fountainhead protagonist Howard Roark, the architect who championed Rand’s core values and principles.

“He represents the spirit of individualism,” Brook said, noting that the figure is particularly relevant today. “We're in a battle over the value of an individual versus a society, and an individual's rights and obligations and entitlement to be an individual.”

Particularly memorable, Brook notes, is Roark’s assiduous dedication to his own vision.

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“This is part of the inspiration that she had on many of these tech and, and financial and business leaders, because these are people who have principles. They want to live up to those,” Brook said. “Howard Roark represents a hero of integrity, hero of honesty, which any good businessman needs to have to be successful.“

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS:

Yaron Brook, Chair, Ayn Rand Institute

Watch the full discussion below: