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Extended Audio Sample The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism Audiobook, by Ayn Rand Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 5 3.19 (21 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden Narrator: C. M. Hébert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455177462
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The provocative title of Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness introduces an equally provocative thesis about ethics. Traditional ethics has always been suspicious of self-interest, praising acts that are selfless in intent and calling acts that are motivated by self-interest amoral or immoral. Ayn Rand’s view is exactly the opposite.

This collection of nineteen essays is an effective summary of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, which holds the value of the individual over and above that of the state or any other collective. The thread running through all of the essays is Rand’s definition of selfishness as “rational self-interest,” with the idea that one has the right to assure one’s own survival, to pursue happiness, and to own the fruits of one’s labor without having to sacrifice any of these to others against one’s will.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ayn Rand was the single most important novelist and philosopher of the 20th century. Or so she admitted with all due modesty, whenever the subject came up.”

    Scott McLemee

  • “C. M. Hébert reads with a passion and confidence that seems to personify Rand. One especially well-read passage depicts a hypothetical conversation in which she defends her views to a critic.”

    AudioFile

  • “C. M. Hébert’s voice is efficient and cold, making it a perfect choice for the narration of this author’s work.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clarissa | 2/16/2014

    " I base my success on the lessons in this book. Although sometimes she is a bit far-fetched in her ideas, Rand's explanations on the virtue of selfishness will help you realize you're the most important person in your life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sequoia | 2/4/2014

    " The double standard of selfishness is at the core of capitalist thought. Selfish whims are not compatible to what Rand means in her application of rational objectivism. However,it seems that should one misinterpret the axioms of objectivism, the ego may be driven to trap the masses in a never ending cycle of fear and consumption while a small few gather the spoils. Objectivism works for capitalism because it seems to justify injustice. I reread this book to keep track of our nation's neo robber barons. Although I appreciate the struggles of being a female intellectual in a male driven field, I am NOT a fan of Rand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/14/2014

    " Ayn Rand irritates me. She has a way of postulating extremes that really hacks me off. Thoughtful making. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lily | 1/14/2014

    " The book that in the Sixties turned me off on Ayn Rand, along with her relationship with Nathaniel Branden. See also [book: My Years with Ayn Rand}. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bernadette | 1/8/2014

    " I like Ayn Rand better when she sticks to essays rather than fiction. I gave this two stars because it was thought provoking, though I don't agree with her philosophy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zöe Zhai | 12/21/2013

    " I read it after Greenspain...Yes,make sense..Thanks Mr.Zhao in the old bookstore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Justiniano | 12/6/2013

    " Fantastic book. This book really broke down Objectivism in lay term for people like me who take a little more explaining to really get the jist. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chelsea | 12/6/2013

    " I was an Ayn Rand fan in college, and...well I grew up. Rand is extremely close-minded and lives in a vacuum, so it is hard for me to read her work now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 8/5/2013

    " I found myself either completely agreeing or completely disagreeing with almost all Rand and Braden said. An interesting read that challenged my system of ethics and forced me to explain why I think how I do. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shane Anderson | 9/18/2012

    " Interesting overview of Ayn's philosophy. This was a long read. When I look at Atlas Shrugged it scares me. I know now that I don't like the extreme Libertarian view due to her insistence on Tabula Rasa, a philosophy I don't agree with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrej Drapal | 6/24/2012

    " If you want to understand perrils of collectivism: go here. If you are not able to detatch from selfevidences: do not go here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa | 5/29/2012

    " This was the last book by Rand I read. I got fed up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johnathan | 3/12/2012

    " Her straightly theoretical texts are just not as cogent or compelling as her fiction. You'd do better to read the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged and leave it at that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 nat | 1/22/2012

    " GOD THIS BOOK. it makes me think, it really does. you should read it if you are into cool shit like thinking, and also, reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 10/24/2011

    " Occasionally amusing. Good bathroom material. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Winter | 9/27/2011

    " One of the most concise and helpful readings on "self esteem." The chapter on mysticism was especially illuminating. Rand isn't the only contributor to the book, but her contributions are the high points. This little gem is one of my all-time favorites. Learn to love yourself! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 W. | 7/9/2011

    " This is a hardcore non fiction Randesque book which is bound to leave collectivists/socialist thinking "WHAT THE HELL IS SHE TRYING TO SAY?" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debora | 7/7/2011

    " I am a very selfish woman, and it was nice to find a philosopher who agrees that it is a good thing to be so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 5/13/2011

    " No matter how much you hate what Rand has to say, you can never accuse her of not saying it with flair. Definitely an interesting read, for those who like to challenge their philosophic beliefs. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lily | 4/6/2011

    " The book that in the Sixties turned me off on Ayn Rand, along with her relationship with Nathaniel Branden. See also [book: My Years with Ayn Rand}. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nickolette | 11/24/2010

    " I just love it how she only cites herself and quotes lines of her own fictional characters. "

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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

C. M. Hébert is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award nominee. She is the recording studio director for the Talking Books Program at the Library of Congress’ National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, daughter, cat, and assorted fish.