North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › A Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged Discussion Group

A Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged Discussion Group

A former member
Post #: 90
There was some discussion at the last NTOS meeting (4-15-06) about things people could do to increase interest in and awareness of Objectivism, and also increase local interest in and participation with Objectivist-oriented social groups and organizations. I think that a Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged literary reading group might serve a useful function in helping to achieve this goal.

A Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged group (“F/AS group” for short) would probably have enough general interest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to attract quite a few people. Ayn Rand’s novels are popular with many people that may not be that interested in a more technical study of philosophy. Also, some of the participants from this group might become interested enough in the philosophy behind the novels to later participate in more sophisticated Objectivism discussion groups, such an OPAR discussion group. An F/AS group would also raise local awareness of Ayn Rand and her ideas.

Organization of an F/AS group would not be that difficult. Its organization could be very similar to my OPAR group that meets bi-weekly in Plano. Basically, one person serves as an event-scheduler and discussion moderator at the meetings, which would be every one to two weeks. Participants in the group can be notified via e-mail by the moderator of time, location, and chapter details. There appear to be a lot of study guides to choose from for the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (try googling “Fountainhead study guide” online). Such study guides can be used to help moderate the discussion by the organizer. A meeting would basically consist of discussing the next chapter in the book, which everyone would be expected to have read up to beforehand. There are a lot of places such a group could meet that wouldn’t cost any money for the organizer. Examples of such meeting places include: Bookstores such as Barnes and Noble or Borders, Coffee Shops, and Local Public Libraries, many of which now have meeting rooms that can be used for such non-profit purposes. (Meeting at a public place such as a coffee shop, bookstore, or library is better than someone’s home because many potential participants might be intimidated by the idea of going to the home of someone they hardly know.)

The primary thing that is needed to get an F/AS group “off the ground”, so to speak, is an organizer/moderator. This person would need to be willing to devote the time to finding a suitable meeting location, promoting the group, and organizing periodic meetings. They would also have to have sufficient self-discipline to see it all the way through once they started. (I currently organize and moderate the OPAR Study Group in Plano, which meets on a bi-weekly basis, otherwise I would organize this myself.) Since this is just a discussion of the novels, your actual knowledge of Objectivism doesn’t need to be great to organize such a group. In fact, what is more important is that you have good organizational and social skills, and are capable of finishing what you start. If you’ve ever complained about the crummy state of the culture, then this is a way to do something about it. You change the state of our culture one mind at a time, and this is an easy and cheap way to reach some of those minds. (“Think globally, act locally.”)
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 71
Dean, great idea!

ARI has free study guides for both books here. I have never been to a book club, so I don't know if the ARI study guides would be too rigid for this purpose or not, since these are really teaching guides for high school or college. However, perhaps if the person moderating didn't find a guide they liked, they could use the ARI lesson plans as a basis. I saw a free study guide online tonight, and even though I am still new to Objectivism, I didn't think the guide portrayed what Rand was trying to convey correctly in a few cases.

I found a very interesting site that talks about forming Book Clubs.

I would be happy to help organize or assist with a book club, but I wouldn't be able to commit to it until I am done with OPAR.
A former member
Post #: 92
Dean, great idea!

ARI has free study guides for both books here. .

This is an excellent link! These would be great for such a group. I looked at the "Cliff Notes" version for the Fountainhead, and it is more of a short synopsis of the novel, rather than a study guide, so I don't think it would work that well, but these lesson plans would probably work pretty well.
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