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Extended Audio Sample Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution Audiobook, by Ayn Rand Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (300 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ayn Rand, Peter Schwartz Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781455193479
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In the 1960s and early ’70s, the most prominent, vocal cultural movement was the New Left: a movement that condemned America and everything it stood for: individualism, material wealth, science, technology, capitalism.

While the New Left achieved limited political success, it brought about vast cultural changes that remain with us to this day. The reason is that while its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition. Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. The audience of the book, she wrote, is “all those who are concerned about college students and about the state of modern education” and who are seeking “a voice of reason to turn to.”

In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause. Where most viewed the New Left and its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the “establishment,” Ayn Rand identified that these “rebels” were in fact dutiful, consistent practitioners of the ideas taught to them by their teachers.

Return of the Primitive is an expanded edition of The New Left. It features the entire contents of the original edition authorized by Ayn Rand, plus two of her other essays, “Racism” and “Global Balkanization,” which are highly relevant to today’s campuses and world. Additionally, it features three essays written by Peter Schwartz after her death, analyzing some of the ideologies that the New Left helped spawn, such as multiculturalism and environmentalism.

For those who seek to understand the state of American culture today, Return of the Primitive is required reading.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly.”

    New York Times Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/14/2013

    " The predictions she makes in here are wonderfully accurate. I think this is the best collection of her essays I've read yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce | 12/18/2012

    " I'd read Altas and Foundtainhead first. More discussion of the same ideas. Probably wouldn't bother with it if you've read the others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ | 4/4/2012

    " Powerful book describing the New Left, the left that is different from the old progressives; they just are motivated to destroy values. I particularly enjoyed the essays "The Anti-Industrial Revolution" and "The Comprachicos." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 12/14/2011

    " Though I fail to appreciate some of the things she loves... - bah this is true of anyone, its a good book so far :) And it already has some of my favorite passages of any book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Craig J. | 11/23/2011

    " The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand (1999) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elkjar | 11/5/2011

    " Some of Rand's best nonfiction work compiled into a good compilation. Kind of odd structuring but the writing is interesting. Her piece on Apollo 11 is one of the best thing's she wrote. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Olson | 9/19/2011

    " Awesome! Especially the essay on education. Very illuminating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce | 11/25/2010

    " I'd read Altas and Foundtainhead first. More discussion of the same ideas. Probably wouldn't bother with it if you've read the others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 2/26/2010

    " The predictions she makes in here are wonderfully accurate. I think this is the best collection of her essays I've read yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/31/2010

    " Though I fail to appreciate some of the things she loves... - bah this is true of anyone, its a good book so far :) And it already has some of my favorite passages of any book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Howard | 11/11/2009

    " This is a more than average tedious read for an Ayn Rand book.
    I think that it points out some interesting perspectives on how the Berkley free speech movement has shaped (disfigured may be a better word) the body of politics and popular accepted thought currently accepted today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eddie | 7/2/2009

    " Start: September 26, 2008
    Finish: November 3, 2008

    True rating: 9.5/10 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 8/13/2008

    " Awesome! Especially the essay on education. Very illuminating. "

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About the Author
Author Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was born in Russia, graduated from the University of Leningrad, and came to the United States in 1926. She published her first novel in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success, and her unique philosophy, Objectivism, gained a worldwide following.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.