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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged (1957)

by Ayn Rand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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17,353298100 (3.82)480
Recently added bySpokaneB2P, Crontab_e, devbeforedecaf, calebjrobinson, ColletteBates, trinhjt, Rena37, private library
Legacy LibrariesGillian Rose
  1. 144
    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (PghDragonMan, bigtent21, thebookpile)
    PghDragonMan: This earlier work is more lyrical and is a milder, and more condensed, version of the philosophy expressed by this work.
    bigtent21: "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are becoming more relevant as we head into 2009. Large Government Buyouts and Regulation are the scourge of Atlas Shrugged and the outright sponsoring of mediocrity predominates The Fountainhead. Rand can be long-winded, but these two books are must reads regardless of your own personal beliefs.… (more)
  2. 72
    An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (thebookpile)
  3. 73
    Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Rand's magnum opus through this unique collection of scholarly criticism. See why after 50+ years in print it's selling better than when it was first published.
  4. 63
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (lauranav)
  5. 74
    The Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker (bertilak)
  6. 31
    The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek (ljessen)
  7. 00
    Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (kswolff)
    kswolff: Henry Hill, like Dagny Taggart, uses ingenuity and skill to avoid his income getting taxed by repressive moocher FBI agents and Narcs.
  8. 11
    Progress by Charles Stampul (PeerlessPress)
  9. 00
    The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith (fulner)
    fulner: The probably broach is like Atlas Shrugged meets inter-dimensional time travel.
  10. 00
    Blood Republic: A Political Thriller by James Duncan (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: If you love books that try to push the envelope of philosophical thought, but do it within a rapid-fire plot, this is the book for you.
  11. 11
    The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson (bertilak)
  12. 01
    Ten Rallies by Pasquin (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Do the needs of the many outweigh the value of the individual?
  13. 12
    Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Fans of both Ayn Rand and the fantasy genre will find affirmation in Goodkind's series, notably beginning with this entry.
  14. 23
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (rratzlaff)
  15. 23
    Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns (szarka)
  16. 23
    Metaphysics by Aristotle (thebookpile)
  17. 02
    Juliette by Marquis de Sade (kswolff)
    kswolff: Like "Atlas Shrugged," it is an aspirational epic about a strong-minded, pleasure-seeking woman triumphing over adversity and the herd mentality of her fellow humans. Sade, like Rand, was also a strident atheist given to writing characters give long speeches.
  18. 29
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Epic struggles of good vs. evil

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» See also 480 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
Garbage, but had to see what the hoopla was about. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
A story about those who "produce" and those who "loot". You have Dagny Taggert, Hank Rearden and their fellow "producers" on one side working and finding ways to improve their respective companies, Taggert Transcontinental and Rearden Steel, and on the opposite side you have James Taggert and his boys' club of politicians and businessmen, the looters who feel this sense of entitlement to other people's success. Of course they don't call it looting, rather they insist what they are doing is for the "public good". The looters try everything in their power to thwart the success and expansion of the producers, in turn causing a power-play between the producers and looters.

Then the producers start disappearing and the line "Who is John Galt?" becomes a phrase utter in despair and fear. The public and looters start to wonder what is happening to cause these productive individuals to close up shop, pack their things and disappear? While the remaining producers begin to wonder which of their fellow producing cohorts are next to disappear or when He, the "Destroyer", will come for them and will they too fall prey?


Well, John Galt, the "Destroyer", promised to "stop the motor of the world" and that is precisely what he is doing, taking away the producers and leaving the looters to their own moral design. John Galt believes the only way to accomplish this is to get the producers of the world to go on strike by withdrawing their intellect and ability from the world. Believing that if enough producers go on strike then the looters would have no one to mooch off of and hopefully, then, this philosophical notion that we must never think of producing for ourselves and only think of doing what's good for others at our own expense can be unraveled. Then, when the world of looters and moochers have collapsed, the producer will be able to return to the world and recreate it in an image that reflects their philosophical view of the Ego.

I decided to read the book because I love "Anthem" and "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, and though I enjoyed "Atlas Shrugged" I definitely did not love it. I enjoy the book overall, but did feel that the author's infusion of multiple long-winded speeches affected the flow of the novel. I understand that it is a philosophical novel, however, when a speech takes up 100 pages and essentially repeats everything that has been alluded to with previous speeches and other character's reflection it becomes tedious and ineffective. Out of the 1200 pages, I think about 30% of it could have been left on the cutting room floor if not more. Despite that, the book is interesting and its themes are relevant in today's current political and social climate. Funny that a book written over 60 years ago should still be relevant but it is. Considering the abundance of social programs, our society has progressively been shifting since FDR to a worldview that expect government handouts and redistribution of wealth. (Not saying that all social programs are bad or unnecessary, but the expectation for our government to take care of us is repugnant, in my humble opinion.)

I don't necessarily agree with all of Ayn Rand's concept of Objectivism, but I do see truths in parts of it. I think often times we view ego as a bad thing but in the context that Rand is referring to, it is sensible. Ego, isn't referred to the self-involved definition that we often attach to the term but rather it is a reference to one's own pride in one's work, morality, being and in order to achieve that pride the person has to produce/function at the highest level of their ability and take responsibility for their own welfare. Ego, in this context, has to do with self-reliance and never compromising your morality. I agree with that concept, people no longer want to take personal responsibility for their action or their own life instead they rely on and expect the government to do that for them, which I believe will be the downfall of our country if things do not change. I am not inferring that I don't think we should help those in need or should not seek help when necessary, I just think people need to be more proactive with their life. I strongly feel that you have to take care of yourself before you can give back or take care of others, which is similar to the quote: "In order for you to love someone else, you must learn to love yourself first." There are other concept with Rand's Objectivism philosophy that I agree and parts that I don't necessarily agree with, but I won't go into a long winded detail about that. In philosophy there will always be parts that we agree with and parts we don't.

I would suggest reading the book if you don't mind long-winded speeches or have a desire to learn about Rand's Objectivism philosophy, otherwise I would say stick to "Anthem" and "The Fountainhead". ( )
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
I bought this from a charity shop because I recognised the author's name from a list of books your should read. I then left it on my shelf as it was rather big! Dusting it off this week and getting going while travelling back home allowed me to get stuck in, despite the fact I had forgotten that every English football fan in the country would be travelling back from Easter games en masse and my concentration would be put under pressure by the singing of stadium anthems.
You could see the book as having more than one protagonist - the main character is a woman - Dagny Taggart - part of a railroading family, but there is also the railway itself, or industry or even John Galt. Despite her gender, she has the vision needed to maintain and extend the railway, but her main opponent is her less than visionary brother. It is set in America, a dystopian one where shady government intervention is dragging down ideas and advances using sinister cloak and dagger methods. Those pioneers at the top of their industrial game are bringing advances on, but Dagny and her ally Reardon are seeing their work being stifled by other's need for power. This power struggle needs talented men and women controlled so their work is controlled. Luckily there is a movement fighting back, with its figurehead a shadowy figure, a name whispered at strikes and cursed by the elite, John Galt.
Lots to think about here, with ideas of free markets and how far governments can and should control industry and ideas. I highly recommend it. ( )
  soffitta1 | Apr 20, 2017 |
Perhaps the most significant book in post-war American literature, one which has regained popularity since the start of the economic crisis, Altas Shrugged is the embodiment of an ideal society, the ultimate vehicle for Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism. Weighing in at over 1,000 pages of tightly-packed print, it's also one of the longest novels in English literature. Is it any good?

Well, as a novel, Atlas Shrugged unfortunately falls flat, in ways that Rand's first novel, We the Living, didn't. There is foremost no humanity in the novel, the characters are dismembered, dessicated mouthpieces to Rand's philosophical diatribes, with everyone fitting neatly into 'good' and 'bad' camps. Rand herself claimed that using characters as symbols was never her intention: "My characters are persons in whom certain human attributes are focused more sharply and consistently than in average human beings." But what we are left with are flimsy apparitions, lobotomised automatons fulfilling the roles required of them to extol the virtues of her philosophy. Even this is taken to extremes, with one of the proponents delivering a 60-page long theoretical speech around which the rest of the novel might well be seen as scaffolding.

To complement this set of lifeless characters is a plot which similarly confounds understanding. In an America which technologically resembles the period in which Rand was writing, yet industrially feels set in an earlier period, and borrows heavily from the Great Depression, the main events and the decisions of the characters jar heavily with what the reader knows and expects from society. As another reviewer pointed out, what's missing is the overt understanding that the story takes place in a parallel world or a different timeframe, to create a genuine sense of credibility. True, there are some hints that push this novel into the realms of science fiction – a super metal alloy, power derived from static electricity, weapons based on sound waves etc. – but the world is definitely our own, even if the people and their decisions are alien. Key to the story is the gradual collapse of the economic system, and the disappearance of the champions of industry. What happens in Rand's universe when the creative minds of the world go on strike? Apparently, they settle down on the frontier and, working one month a year, create a fully-fledged miniature utopia. Personally, I imagine they'd starve.

A bad book can still be a good delivery vehicle for an interesting message. Yet this unwieldy book fails even to achieve the latter. For its mammoth length, Rand's message could have been relatively concise, but for the plot's repetitiveness. If you are interested in Rand's philosophy, there are plenty of other places to turn which will provide a far more succinct and detailed explanation, without the repetition or padding necessary for its delivery in novel form. Whether you find place for Rand's philosophy in your own, or like Gore Vidal consider it "nearly perfect in its immorality", there are simply better summaries available. For the converted, this is probably a wonderful book, but for anyone else it simply isn't worth risking the investment of time and energy.

No one can deny this book's enduring popularity. That alone gives rise to curiosity strong enough to keep it fresh in the public consciousness. But it is a far cry from a great piece of literature, and as an allegory, a philosophical harbinger, its ponderous and verbose nature should have the curious turn elsewhere. The novel opens with the question: "Who is John Galt?" A thousand pages of largely disappointing text will reveal the answer, but you'd be better served just reading the appendix. ( )
  Fips | Oct 30, 2016 |
I'm so thrilled that I finally read this! I have sort of a love-hate relationship with this book. There were momentns when I thought I was crazy for reading it and other times when I loved it. It's very heavy reading. She could have chopped 400 pages off and it would have been a better novel, but I think the narcissist in her just wouldn't shut up. Perfect title and I loved discovering the meaning behind it. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
"Despite laborious monologues, the reader will stay with this strange world, borne along by its story and eloquent flow of ideas."
added by GYKM | editNewsweek
"to warn contemporary America against abandoning its factories, neglecting technological progress and abolishing the profit motive seems a little like admonishing water against running uphill."
"inspired" and "monumental" but "(t)o the Christian, everyone is redeemable. But Ayn Rand’s ethical hardness may repel those who most need her message: that charity should be voluntary…. She should not have tried to rewrite the Sermon on the Mount."
Atlas Shrugged represents a watershed in the history of world literature.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article...

"We struggle to be just. For we cannot help feeling at least a sympathetic pain before the sheer labor, discipline, and patient craftsmanship that went to making this mountain of words. But the words keep shouting us down. In the end that tone dominates. But it should be its own antidote, warning us that anything it shouts is best taken with the usual reservations with which we might sip a patent medicine. Some may like the flavor. In any case, the brew is probably without lasting ill effects. But it is not a cure for anything. Nor would we, ordinarily, place much confidence in the diagnosis of a doctor who supposes that the Hippocratic Oath is a kind of curse."

"remarkably silly" and "can be called a novel only by devaluing the term" ... "From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: 'To the gas chambers — go!'"

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rand, Aynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Frank O'Connor and Nathaniel Branden
To Frank O'Connor
First words
"Who is John Galt?"
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned.
Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.
Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other.
It wasn’t real, was it?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452011876, Paperback)

At last, Ayn Rand's masterpiece is available to her millions of loyal readers in trade paperback.

With this acclaimed work and its immortal query, "Who is John Galt?", Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.

Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder--and rebirth--of man's spirit.

Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:10 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The decisions of a few industrial leaders shake the roots of capitalism and reawaken man's awareness of himself as an heroic being.

» see all 15 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ayn Rand

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451191145, 0141188936

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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