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Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged (original 1957; edition 1992)

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15,990274111 (3.84)452
Title:Atlas Shrugged
Info:Plume (1992), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

  1. 134
    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)
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    An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (thebookpile)
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    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (lauranav)
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    The Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker (bertilak)
  5. 63
    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.
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    The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek (ljessen)
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    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.
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    Metaphysics (Metaphysica) by Aristotle (thebookpile)
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    The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson (bertilak)
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    Ten Rallies by Pasquin (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Do the needs of the many outweigh the value of the individual?
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    Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns (szarka)
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    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.
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    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (rratzlaff)
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    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.
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    Cecrow: Intriguing premise: the fictional rise and fall of an Ayn Rand utopia (sf/horror)
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    missmaddie: Epic struggles of good vs. evil

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» See also 452 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
this was a tough one for me. besides the fact that i disagree with so much of what she has to say, i just had a real problem moving through this book. there is very little plot and almost all theory, repeated over and over again throughout. i'm ok with some repetition of this nature, as what she has to say requires some repeating to convince the readers and the characters, but this was ridiculous. almost at the (utterly ludicrous) end of the book there is a 70 page monologue, revisiting only old material. and it read like a textbook; i had to force myself to get through it over 2 days. i actually admire her use of her platform to make a social point that she believes in, but the number of dialectic speeches made in this book is borderline obscene. it made this book such a slog for me. i feel like i've been reading it for months. The numerous speeches made this book hard for me, but i was also unimpressed with the writing. i consider her writing in the fountainhead to be quite good, if businesslike, but this is sloppy and imprecise and repetitive in all the wrong ways.

when i read this for the first time (just about 14 years ago, i think) i took away her lesson of living for myself and not for someone else, and i felt then, and still feel now, that this is a worthy lesson. but it's buried in so much other stuff, and it's a lesson that can be taken from the fountainhead that i'm not finding this book all that valuable this time around.

it's not without it's strengths, but her main points about politics and economics are problematic. i understand she was hyperbolic to make her points, but it just didn't work for me. she paints a picture that is all either/or, and the poles are so extreme. i don't think that people should be valued only on what they can produce, as if we are machines and all are given the same tools with which to operate. her love of "the producers" of society made me question why this book isn't the darling of the republicans, until i got to the part where she explains why you shouldn't believe in god; i guess that's what holds them back. because otherwise, this is a treatise for them - she wants to eliminate income taxes and regulation on business, and finds value only in people who run companies, calling the general workers dirty, lazy, stupid, etc.

i surprised myself by actually not disagreeing outright with everything she said, but thought she twisted and stretched any good thoughts she had into dangerously bad social and economic policy.

and, as i've said before, she has a truly fucked up view of sex.

"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

i had a mini-ephipany at one point. rand's idea is that you don't give people anything - good or bad - that they don't deserve, that they don't earn. so that's her problem with organizations that help the underprivileged, that they're getting handouts that they haven't somehow earned. so at first i was surprised to read this: "I feel terribly sorry for you, Cherryl, and I'd like to help you - not because you suffer, but because you haven't deserved to suffer." that's my feeling for wanting to help or contribute to so many aid organizations and social justice agencies that ayn rand would be opposed to, and i questioned how we could agree about this. then i understood that she thinks that people in our society who find themselves needing help, do deserve to suffer. because they haven't applied themselves or tried to work or are taking advantage of a system that "rewards the moochers" instead of the producers. and that is where my fundamental disagreement with her lies, and why, in the end, i don't like this book, even as there are some good things to learn in it and take from it. (and, frankly, even though it literally made my life easier to understand that it was my life to lead when i read this 14 years ago; it had a profound effect on my life. right book, right time kind of thing, i'm inclined to think now.) i could go on and on about this discrepancy (mostly because of issues of oppression and privilege), but will leave it just at that she and i disagree about who deserves a helping hand. and that is a big, big difference in outlook, and makes this book hard for me to get behind. it makes me think, though, which is always a good thing, and would get a higher rating for that, if it wasn't such a chore to read.

it's possible that reading this almost directly after reading the fountainhead was just too much at once, but i don't plan on rereading it again on its own later to find out. ( )
1 vote elisa.saphier | Sep 21, 2015 |
Hands down favorite book. I first read it when I was 15, so naturally I bought it lock stock and barrel. It's quite a life-changer. After re-reading it as an adult, there's a few things about both the book and the author I take issue with. For example: smoking, open marriage, McCarthyism, the gold standard. There's also a decided lack of diversity in her books: all her characters are affluent white, leaving out a huge representative chunk of the country. Overall, though, this book has shaped the voice in the back of my head more than any other. ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
Wow.. it's just such an outstanding novel.. I loved every word of it and every second that I read it!
I wish there was more. Now that I've read the Fountainhead also..
I love how it's not just plain, old, simple happy ending.. but a VICTORIOUS ending.. ( )
  smiley0905 | Sep 3, 2015 |
I read this for a read along so this is a summary of the experience, not really a review but click through the link at the bottom to see all posts related to the read along.


It’s the summer of the chunkster! A group of us decided to read Atlas Shrugged (#AtlasRAL) this summer and we have hit our last milestone which was to complete the book by August 15th. I am happy to say that I finished it a week before the deadline. Yes!

“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
— Dagny Taggart

First, a few thoughts:

Of the three parts, this last part was my least favorite. Much of it seemed a little far-fetched and the romantic undertones were overly dramatic, in my opinion.

In the previous parts, we have the build-up of what’s about to go down to look forward to, but in this part, we see it happen and was it just me, or was it a bit anticlimactic? Maybe because we all knew what was coming?

THE BIG SPEECH, which is super long and everyone warned me about, was not all that long or maybe I was more into it than I thought. I had no problems with it and didn’t even skim.

There is one character in the book, a much liked character who doesn’t fare all that well by the end of the story. This made me sad and was a little surprising.
Atlas Shrugged RAL

It’s really hard for me to sum this book up because it’s so many things. While reading, your mind can’t help but ponder the ideas presented. That no one should live or produce for the good of others alone. That art, be it science, music or industry should continue on with a focus on creation, not so much what it can do for another person. Facts are facts, no matter what one hopes or desires. It all makes sense, but it’s still hard to wrap the brain around. You know?

In the end, it was a remarkable book. Much easier to read than I thought it would be. It gave me lots to think about but that romantic thread! I really could have done without it.

For those who took a leap and read it with me… Guess what guys? We are done!

For all of the posts, visit my blog, Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Aug 18, 2015 |
I'm half way through it now, after six weeks. For a while i though this would be the one book this decade i didn't finish. but it's going ok, now that i've stopped reading it as a utopian novel about the way people should be (great, strong, self-assured), and started reading it as a very long version Kafka's Trial.
And skimming through the endless internal dialogues and descriptions of the minute facial expressions which mean everything, even though they are usually cold and withdrawn. ( )
  andrewlorien | Aug 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 269 (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.
"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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ayn Randprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Frank O'Connor and Nathaniel Branden
To Frank O'Connor
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"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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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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