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Atlas Shrugged (1957)

by Ayn Rand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,238334143 (3.77)515
This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world, and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battle not against his enemys but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? You will learn the answers to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this remarkable book. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, "Atlas shrugged" is Ayn Rand's magnum opus, which launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. "Atlas shrugged" emerged as a premier moral apologia for Capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who have never heard Capitalism defended in other than technical terms.… (more)
  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 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
    Metafisica de Aristoteles by Aristotle (thebookpile)
  15. 23
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (rratzlaff)
  16. 01
    The Leopard's Spots by Thomas Dixon Jr. (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both of these books are famous for being controversial, and are as hated by their detractors as they are loved by their fans. They also both have a long winded speech by a character who starts off not being a real part of the story and ends up being the full protagonist.
  17. 23
    Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns (szarka)
  18. 03
    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.
  19. 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 515 mentions

English (325)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Spanish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (330)
Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
This is one of those books that is so divisive in regards to the quality of the writing or the story. I am not ashamed to say it is a book that everyone should read. Not an easy read my any stretch of the imagination. Consider when this was written and who wrote it. It is frightening in the sense that it could be considered a premonition of what is to come. ( )
  Jolene.M | Jul 30, 2020 |
You can agree or disagree with the ideas presented in this overwrought, turgid, and unnecessarily verbose attempt at an epic. I'm not sure there's an effective argument that this needed to be 1200 pages (61.5 hours for those who listened). ( )
  buleth | Jul 9, 2020 |
Update, today's xkcd:

The mouseover of which says:

I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at 'therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.'


I was so very determined to read this, not least because I have acquaintances who live in a day-to-day way with Rand the way some people live with Jesus. You can't get through a meal or a game of bridge or a walk down to the lake without Objectivism coming into play. I thought at the very least we might be able to have a conversation if I learnt some of the rules.

Birdbrian asks why reviews of this are always so emotional*

Well. I wonder too. But my bemusement is based on the solitary page I read before it went on the got-to-go pile.

* http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/44663258 ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Although I don't agree with everything, it surely gives you something to ponder over. ( )
  Cuchulainn | Jun 7, 2020 |
I am glad that I read this, even though I have problems with the book both in terms of the ideas and the writing. Rand made me think about my own beliefs.

I was surprised to find that the 'bad guys' were not (just) communism and/or socialism but Christianity. I gather from passages in the book that Rand believes that communism & socialism are outgrowths of Chrisitian philosophy (a bit ironic considering communism's view of religion!).

I must say that some aspects of the relationship between Dagny and Hank bother me - such as the sex (especially at first) seems almost like rape & Hank's attitude that Dagny is 'degrading' herself by what she is doing with him is disturbing.

I also find the whole idea that lots of people would have this concept about working for the good of those with the most need rather than for their own needs very unconvincing. For example, the bank manager in Wisconsin who gave the loan to that guy who bought the automobile factory (and I am sure many others) & thus caused the collapse of his bank and widespread poverty in the region struck me as extremely far fetched.

I think that it would be a bit more believable if the different people holding these beliefs didn't express themselves in almost identical words. Or even better, if there was more of a range in their devotion to the idea; it has been a struggle between all or none with no discussion about what different levels of welfare or state support might be and how it might be funded.

The final section of the book, Book 3, was disenchanting, disappointing. First there was the problem of Dagny and her reaction to John Galt. Why does it have to be a emotional bond? Couldn't she just admire or even platonically love him? I felt this diminished Dagny & Rand's argument as well. Then there is the very long radio speech by John Galt (far too long - a good example of an author telling instead of showing), and then Dagny's incredible stupidity of falling into such an obvious trap by Thompson, especially after being warned beforehand. She is supposed to be a smart woman but she doesn't act it in this episode!

I also found Dr. Robert Stadler's final disintegration unrealistic for the character who had been portrayed. I could believe that an eminant scientist could be coward enough to publically support a government and policies that he knew to be wrong but I just don't believe that he would descend into unreason, especially so quickly and in that particular way. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 325 (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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Book description
This is actually a wonderful book describing the change in the world. Here the difference between thinking people who "make our world" and those who are limited in their thinking and just follows those to whom it can benefit. This book really makes you think, because in our day the situation is similar, though not everyone understands this ....
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Average: (3.77)
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1 333
1.5 22
2 364
2.5 49
3 679
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451191145, 0141188936

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page


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