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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged (original 1957; edition 1999)

by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)

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15,597259116 (3.86)442
Title:Atlas Shrugged
Authors:Ayn Rand
Other authors:Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)
Info:Plume (1999), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 1200 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction/Literature/Plays/Essays, Read (Personal Collection)

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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

  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)
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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.
  6. 31
    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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    PghDragonMan: Do the needs of the many outweigh the value of the individual?
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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)
  14. 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.
  15. 14
    BioShock: Rapture by John Shirley (Cecrow)
    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 442 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
Awesome book. Should be required reading for everyone in America.

That's not to say that I agreed with everything, but it provides a good look at why capitalism works, and progressivism fails. It explains why capitalism is moral, and progressivism is immoral. It explains why self is more important that the collective, regulation is bad, and religion is bad.

The last is the only part I disagree with. Rand presents religion as a summary of it's worst points in history. I don't blame Rand completely for this, as Christians haven't exactly been stellar examples of true Christianity.

That aside, there's a lot of good, thought-provoking, information wrapped up between the covers, and on top of that, it's a good story. There are a couple of points where Rand's descriptions get a little winded, but still highly recommended. ( )
  jalandoak | Jan 26, 2015 |
Atlas shrugged is not populated by characters, but by puppets that exist only to push Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism by any means necessary- even at the expense of realism, or a compelling plot. If you're expecting either of those things, look elsewhere. In the world of Atlas Shrugged you're either a protagonist, a flawless übermenschen pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps despite the parasites trying to hold you back, or you're an antagonist, one of those leeches that exists only to suck blood from the few hardworking capitalists that hold up the world. These leeches would rather pull down the hardworking protagonists and destroy them than do any work themselves, rendering them all but suicidal in their behavior. This is evident by the time you hit the 200 page mark (if not long before), and yet this conclusion is hammered home by Rand six or seven hundred pages later in case you missed it. This is a recurring thing throughout Atlas Shrugged: Rand shows no subtlety but instead forces her philosophy down your throat, whether through the actions of the characters or through segments laying out all of the conclusions you were supposed to have drawn from the text thus far in as simplistic a matter as possible. There is no moral complexity here, no room for interpretation, as Rand's characters and plot are all structured so that her ideas are inevitably correct. The cost of this is that none of the characters ring true at all. In Candide, Voltaire gives us caricatures as well, but he does that in order to satirize a philosophy, while Rand uses caricatures to push her own ideas. One approach works better than the other (hint: it's been over 250 years and Candide is still worth reading). Not only does Rand's approach to writing render the characters as straw men, but it also robs the plot of any tension. With the protagonists embodying Rand's philosophy and no nuance of any sort in sight, it's obvious who is going to turn out okay and who is going to get their just deserts. Rand could have acknowledged that her ideas weren't perfect, and thereby not only introduced some intellectual complexity to the book but also injected some much-needed dramatic tension into the narrative, but instead we get an intellectually unfulfilling book of black-and-white morals praising capitalism and selfishness above and beyond whatever critical thought could justify in reality.

The most generous way I can describe Rand's prose is "functional," as it's almost entirely devoid of beauty and any level of complexity. This is likely for the best, as better writing would probably have made it take more time to finish the book, while in its current state the book only drags because of its structure and ideas instead of its prose. Rand doesn't get much credit for this in my eyes, however, as it seems more likely that she simply couldn't write better prose rather than that she intentionally chose to write in a simple manner.

The structure of the book is flawed in two major ways: Rand's penchant for speeches and the unnecessarily length of the tome. Speeches of the length that Ayn Rand includes in Atlas Shrugged simply don't belong in a work of fiction like this. Not only are they necessarily unrealistic (if you know anyone who speaks to you in twenty page speeches on a regular basis, then you know some weird people), but they can't help but kill the flow of the narrative. Also, Rand often uses such speeches to spell out the point of the book to the reader, even though that point is blatantly obvious to begin with. If you needed any further evidence that Ayn Rand saw Atlas Shrugged as primarily a vehicle for her philosophy of Objectivism and not as an actual narrative with characters and a plot then look no further than Galt's speech, which hammers home Rand's beliefs in case you hadn't already picked up on them a thousand pages earlier. Speaking of length, a consequence of the simplicity of the message and the lack of actual characters is that the length that Atlas Shrugged reaches is completely unnecessary. You could easily excise half this book or more and nothing would be lost.

This is not to say that Atlas Shrugged is the worst book I've ever read. It has something to say, even if it says it poorly, and I like to see that in a book. Also, as stated above, the simple writing made this book a faster read than the length might suggest, and I'll take functional prose over failed attempts at impressive writing any day of the week. The cardboard characters, moral and intellectual simplicity, irritating speeches, and unnecessary length still mean that this book is decidedly subpar. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
איך אפשר לתת ארבעה כוכבים לספר שכתוב כל כך רע? כי ​למרות שהוא כתוב רע הוא יצירה מרכזית ומעניינת עד מא​וד. למרות הכתיבה הנוראית (בייחוד של קטעי האהבה ברר​רר) מצאתי את עצמי קורא (שומע) בעניין ושוקע יותר וי​ותר בעולם המוזר שמתארת איין ראנד. למרות שהפיסופיה ​פשטנית ונטחנת עד עייפה, מעניין כמה נקודות ניתן למצ​ ( )
  amoskovacs | Nov 15, 2014 |
The love-hate relationship I have with this book actually leans to the former, despite the magnitude of the latter. Yes, her characters are quite one dimensional bordering satirical at times, however I felt that when she delved into her lengthy diatribes from D'Anconia, Reardren, and sometimes Dagny Taggery she was at her best. However the contrast between them, and the socialist is sharp enough to grain the entire picture. ( )
1 vote ErraticLucidity | Oct 28, 2014 |
A really wonderful statement on the woes of a socialist society. Unfortunately, I have no desire to live in her objectivist society either since there is no room for a humanistic viewpoint. Either a retreat to Dickensian stoicism and abuse or forward to an apocalyptic futuristic vision espoused by the movie "Brazil" or its ilk. Not a happy place to live. But an excellent book -- just a flawed theory. ( )
2 vote AliceAnna | Oct 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 254 (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
"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."
"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."
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
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:18 -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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4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451191145, 0141188936


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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