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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged (original 1957; edition 1999)

by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,843325137 (3.78)505
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)
Title:Atlas Shrugged
Authors:Ayn Rand
Other authors:Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)
Info:Plume (1999), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 1200 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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)
  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: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition 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
    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
    The Metaphysics by Aristoteles (thebookpile)
  17. 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.
  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 505 mentions

English (318)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Spanish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (323)
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
Utter crap. Lightweight pseudo-philosopher given too much credit by those who don't understand philosophy or even the near-universal lack of acceptance of this author as a so-called philosopher by both former and current philosophers and academics. I can't tell you how many philosophy professors, as well as various authors of currently accepted "philosophy" in various forms have laughed at me over the years for daring to ask if Rand is a legitimate philosopher and why she's not taught in most philosophy courses at any level. Ironic that so many leading US politicians of a particular bent seem to think she's a damn genius and quote her at every opportunity. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jan 4, 2020 |
Whole thing could have been solved with a threesome. ( )
  bluemooses | Dec 31, 2019 |
I have given five stars to this book and that despite the fact that, in my opinion, it is written with a disastrous literary technique. Ayn Rand could have narrated the same history with four hundred pages less. The book has an absolute lack of mystery and intrigue. On each page the reader knows everything that will happen on the next page. Some dialogues occupy dozens and dozens of boring pages. We could be talking for hours about the technical errors of this novel. Then, why do I give it five points? Because the message of this novel seems so important to me that I don’t care how bad Ayn Rand tells it. And, besides, I think that this message can also be understood separately from the philosophy of objectivism (philosophy that I don’t like).

In “Atlas Shrugged” Ayn Rand divides men into two large groups: those who work and produce things and those who want to live at the expense of the producers. The whole history of humanity could be described as a struggle between the people who have created wealth and the people who has lived by stealing that wealth. This book is a moral defense of the idea that parasites can not be allowed to live at the expense of producers. It is well known that Ayn Rand was a total anti-socialist. For Rand, the Marx's famous phrase: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is a trap that only leads to non-productive people exaggerating their needs, hiding their abilities and becoming leeches to end up leading the economy to total ruin. Which seems to be true if we see how all the countries that have adopted communism as a political system have always finished in total economic disaster. Greed has no limit and, in the long run, usually leads to ruin.

This is one of those few books that have the power to make the reader rethink many things about his own life. Should we allow others to take advantage of us and treat us like dairy cows? How many lies should we endure from the people who hide their selfishness under thousands of disguises like "equality", "social rights" or “the defense of the national industry”? The warning of Ayn Rand is there: don’t let the parasites take advantage of the producers because it is something morally unacceptable. If you want to have a future, run away from the bloodsuckers. ( )
  Library_user_3.0 | Dec 29, 2019 |
A staggering portrait of emptiness. If only someone had remembered to tell the author.

Atlas Shrugged is breathtaking empty. Devoid of morality, depleted of literary skill, deprived of sensible plot, deserted of dialogue. Philosophy textbooks disguised as novels are rarely appealing, but especially not when the underlying philosophy is so absurd. Like much throat-slitting libertarianism (which Rand chose to call "objectivism"), the views make minimal sense in regard to their actions, but make no sense whatsoever in regard to the consequences of those actions. Take a few logical steps down the line and see what kind of world you'll end up in if you follow these instructions.

(If you're reading this on the cusp of the 2020s, you won't have to do too much guessing; Rand's principles underwrite some of our most prominent world politicians and thinkers.)

Run. Take your children and your pets, grab that wad of cash from under grandma's mattress, and head for the hills. A world awaits you there of kindness and compassion, and - for that matter - genuine literature. Maybe you'll enjoy [a:Lawrence Durrell|8166|Lawrence Durrell|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1463722118p2/8166.jpg] or [a:Sally Rooney|15860970|Sally Rooney|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1534007127p2/15860970.jpg]? Perhaps you're a [a:Toni Morrison|3534|Toni Morrison|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1494211316p2/3534.jpg] type, a [a:Kazuo Ishiguro|4280|Kazuo Ishiguro|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1424906625p2/4280.jpg] acolyte, mad for [a:John Barth|8113|John Barth|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1222685060p2/8113.jpg] or eager for [a:George Eliot|173|George Eliot|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1525078524p2/173.jpg]. Whatever you choose, it's got to be better than this. As Robinson Jeffers famously said, "when the cities lie at the monster's feet, there are left the mountains". ( )
2 vote therebelprince | Dec 14, 2019 |
Well, I couldn't resist (re-reading this after I read so many enlightened reviews on GRs and elsewhere).

The idea that people will work if they receive some benefit is true. The expectation that others should do the same is perfectly normal. I don't expect to be enslaved and neither do I expect others to be enslaved to me. Also, government from the beginning of time, had to ensure that collectively certain work was done for the good of the collective. That 'service' was often a respected duty in a small community - whether it be defending the territory or being responsible in the use of shared resources. In a larger community those responsibilities and duties had to be enforced by law. Every great society had to manage a precarious balance between laws and individual autonomy that enables both collective prosperity and individual freedom. We may have never had it exactly right but we work towards a balance of ideals so there should be no room for single- minded self-righteous preachers in a practical policy debate.

The real debate should focus on our collective cultural transformation to one that rewards immediate gratification and spin versus real value. The Bernie Madoff culture (just invest with me b/c of my reputation culture), the Enron culture (quarterly earnings are the only thing that matters), the Batchelor/Match.com culture (find your soulmate between commercial breaks), the Pharma culture (all your problems can be fixed with this pill), the fast food culture (eat it – it’s cheap and it tastes good), the Dow Ticker culture (immediate market fluctuations are the best policy measurement). These are the things that make it harder and harder for America to be truly productive. More and more in our nation have forgotten about the discipline and the creative ingenuity it took to build the institutions that are crumbling around us today. Of course we may work long hours but that is no measure of 'Productivity'. Of course, it is more honorable to earn than to beg or steal. We're a nation with a historically low savings rate, an over-dependence on credit, a receding lead in technology yet we spend more time on our reality game shows, or political score-keeping than identifying the root causes of this new reality.

Back to Ayn, whose repulsive aura, if only she'd been a better writer, would be the least important thing about her? If she'd been as good as Henry Miller was on slightly off days, she'd be remembered as the female Henry Miller, since the female analog of Henry's satyriasis isn't nymphomania (it's just too rare a condition to be that, innit?), it's... some Greek word combining the concepts for material security and status with "mania" stuck on the end. We know men think about sex every seven seconds (my friends assure me this is true)... what do women think about every seven seconds? And if men who think about sex seven times every seven seconds write books like Henry Miller, women who think about the Other Thing as frequently write books like Ayn Rand.

If only the books were better-written; weren't such utter trex! Then it wouldn't matter that Rand, whose life was bent by an event that was the 19th century's dying grab at the 20th century's shapely leg, was such an opportunistic shaman-creep-refugee (that was the era for them: Gurdjieff, anyone?). What is it about refugees who scurry up the ladder from the lifeboat and want to pull the ladder right up after themselves?

I guess the aspect which irritates is the overly romantic way in which some of the characters are discussed, the convolution of beauty and talent, the brazen discussion of human perfection. But why not? If you want to believe those kind of people exist, good for you.

Final question: how popular would this stuff be if "Rand" hadn't been smart enough to change her name before going to work? "Ayn" isn't even that far from "Aryan". Will ironies never cease?

(I was going to put an Atlas Shrugged excerpt here and let hilarity ensue from my fellow book reviewers but I fear being excommunicated for reasons of “decency” (wait until you see what I wrote after I re-read “The Fountainhead”…). The Randiose would also have accused me of "cherry-picking", of course... to which I would have replied, "What else would I do in an orchard?") ( )
  antao | Oct 20, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (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
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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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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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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.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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