Ayn Rand's philosophical heritage is spread over several novels, non-fiction books and dozens of articles. Leonard Peikoff is Rand's designated heir, and a lecture course he gave 30 years ago was described as:
Until or unless I write a comprehensive treatise on my philosophy, Dr. Peikoff's course is the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism, i.e. the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate.

In this book, Dr. Peikoff collects the material from his course, from Rand's books and articles, and from numerous private conversations with Rand which were never published, to cover every philosophic topic she found important: reality, perceptions, concepts, reason, government, capitalism, sex, art and much more.

It reads like a textbook, with detailed (and mostly monotonous) analysis of every small detail, providing numerous references from the printed works of Ayn Rand. While I enjoyed the first couple of chapters in the book where the author lays out the foundation of Objectivism based on basic axioms (existence, consciousness, identity), I found the rest of the book mostly boring, very repetitive and hard to follow. I had a very difficult time keeping my attention from wandering even when reading it for 5 minutes.

I guess I'm just not the academic type when it comes to reading philosophy. I enjoyed the way Ayn Rand expressed her ideas through her novels much more. In fact, if this book had a good effect on me, is the conviction that I should reread both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I'll do it as soon as we come back from the vacation.


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