A series of handy short summaries of the main arguments of ARCHN for those unfamiliar with the book. For more detail, you can read ARCHN online here:
Despite Ayn Rand’s obvious importance both as a controversial polemicist and as an American cultural figure, her philosophy of Objectivism has largely escaped the scrutiny of a genuinely intelligent and penetrating criticism. While Objectivists ascribe this to the soundness and irrefutability of Rand’s ideas, in fact Rand was a surprisingly sloppy and maladroit thinker, some of whose most important doctrines are based on little more than a play on words. Even when her conclusions are correct, she is often right for the wrong reasons.
As a result, there is quite a bit of truth to Objectivism, but it is so inextricably mixed with falsehoods and errors that it is in many respects a compendium of half-truths. Nonetheless, despite her non sequiturs, over-generalisations, incompetent formulations, pseudo-empirical references, and other bunglings, she should still be regarded as an important, and even great thinker. Many far more famous philosophers made equally egregious errors.
Rand was a brilliant polemicist and ingenious sophist; hence while her takes on issues from the problem of abortion to the problem of universals often sounded persuasive, they often concealed numerous logical and empirical shortcomings. I believe that Rand is either wrong or confused about many of the central issues of philosophy. She is wrong about the nature of man, the role of philosophy in history, about the validity of induction, about the absolute objectivity of values, about the feasibility of laissez-faire capitalism, and about the nature of romanticism; and she is confused about philosophical idealism, consciousness, the relation between ideas and things, the psychology of altruism.
ARCHN sets out to criticize Rand from both an empirical and a logical point of view. While Objectivism officially adopts the view that all knowledge comes from experience, I will argue that in fact it operates in a highly rationalistic fashion, deliberately avoiding empirical reality and seeking to reduce the universe to a handful of rhetorical constructions.
(Summary of "Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature" by Greg Nyquist, Introduction)