Atlas Shrugged

Rand, Ayn

Paperback - 1999
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Atlas Shrugged
The book's female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad amid the pressures and restrictions of massive bureaucracy. Her antagonistic reaction to a libertarian group seeking an end to government regulation is later echoed and modified in her encounter with a utopian community, Galt's Gulch, whose members regard self-determination rather than collective responsibility as the highest ideal.

Publisher: New York : Plume, [1999], c1992
Edition: 35th anniversary ed
ISBN: 0452011876
Branch Call Number: FIC R
Characteristics: xv, 1168 p. ; 23 cm.


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Set in a dystopian future America where the economy has collapsed as a result of the mysterious disappearance of all the leading innovators and industrialists.

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Mar 16, 2015
  • StarGladiator rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Ayn Rand, who received Social Security while in America, although she never paid into the system, reminds me of Milton Friedman [who once received consulting fees as an advisor to the Augusto Pinochet government], who loved to talk the talk, but never walked the walk: he was a tenured professor who stridently believed in at-will employment!

Mar 16, 2015

Redban, I like your commentary. As far as this book goes, it sucks. It's not that I dislike the implications of this story, it's that it kinda' sucks. I must say that I do lean left on polytricks, but I don't think I am letting that cloud my judgement of this book. It's a slog to read and I only recommend it for cultural literal value. Highly overrated

Sep 29, 2014
  • redban rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

To ecrl: let me try a different approach, I'm sure we both have our hearts in the right place. You see, I am also against undemocratic Socialism, as I am against undemocratic Capitalism. I see both the proletariat dictatorship AND the free market as mythical utopias that make unicorns blush. To me, democracy is important, and if a democratic society choses Capitalism and can sustain democracy at the same time, then great! (my Left-leaning colleges would say this is oxymoronic, but let us start at a middle-ground). Which is why I question the extremism of this book, Rand, and her ideology. Inherited wealth and predatory behavior do not automatically make someone industrious! (At least not in the sense that benefits humankind). But they are consequences (traits?) of Capitalism. No, I'm not damning everyone super-rich, but certain sectors are certainly controlled through inherited wealth and have incentives for predatory behavior. Successful corporations have incentives to monopolize (to make more profits), thus killing competition. Certain industries produce things that are bad for most people, but will always have a market in this chaotic world (i.e. weapons, narcotics and other lesser social vices). Certain issues may not have profit incentives and the consequences can be pushed onto others, so are neglected (i.e. environment). Yes, these are extreme forms of Capitalism and greed, but they need to be accounted for, something that Rand fails to do when she places greed as the centerpiece of her ideology. May I also throw in the worry of self-projection: you may be moral and industrious, but not every individual may share your qualities; there are sociopaths out there, and creating an incentive structure that freely rewards their individual egoism with power is, well, worrisome. Please understand that I sympathize with individualism in many areas, I support progress for humankind, and if Capitalism has a role to play than great, but I worry about utopic extremism. And to me, placing greed on a pedestal as the infallible core of an ideology is an extreme oversight. I agree when Rand criticizes religion as irrational and authoritative, but she loses me here.

Sep 26, 2014
  • ecrl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

(So, this is now a forum to debate politics, no longer a vehicle to post opinions about books one read...) Instead of giving trash literature to teens, teachers should have them read this book. It would open their eyes to the evils of socialism. But... yet, maybe this is the reason why they push trash literature instead: don't teach them to think critically, keep them ignorant and complacent. This book is a must read for anyone who would like to understand Capitalism. Together with 1984 and Animal Farm, it forms a trilogy that departs from the typical academic litany.

Sep 25, 2014
  • naturalist rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

The ruthless selfishness of “objectivism” should not be confused with the biology of . . . “The Selfish Gene” . . . by C. Richard Dawkins DSc, FRS, FRSL (1941-) . . published Oxford University Press 1976 . . in which he explores the evolution of co-operation and altruism – behaviour that benefits society also benefits the individual – the antithesis of Ms. Rand’s amoral, laissez faire capitalism. Ironically, Professor Dawkins seems more “Christian” in his appreciation of brotherly love. Christian conservatives vilify Dawkins while Rand is their darling.

Sep 01, 2013
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ayn Rand—born Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in February 2, 1905–was an Objectivist, not a Conservative. She died at home on March 6, 1982, of heart failure. Although I disagree in several instances with Mrs. Rand’s philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant, respectful manifesto of human accomplishment. Yes, it's also about individualism, which is what Human Beings are made of—we are individuals, not masses to be used by some fascist, socialist or communist government, as it happens in the book. Rand fled communism and writes with authority on the subject of government taking over our individualism. But you don’t need to be a political junkie to read her book! By the way, Francisco d'Anconia tells Dagny: "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." In other words: doubt yourself, you might be laboring under false “premises”! It is hard for someone (who really read this book!) to, even as a joke, perceive anything else but what Rand meant. Long live individualism, accomplishment and freedom. (Worth watching are the two excellent movie adaptations of this book, part I and part II, with a third one coming in 2013.) PS: I hope this is not taken as harsh criticism, but “the rest of the country withers in hunger and darkness” BECAUSE of government control. The “smart and industrious” did not create a “utopia,” but were forced by the heavy hand of government to retire to a place where they would be allowed the freedoms they no longer enjoyed. If you this in mind while reading Atlas Shrugged, it all makes sense.

Jun 21, 2013
  • Andrewkohnen rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I'll be honest reading these comments I get a vibe that this is a great place for conspiracy theorists to hang out. Either case it seems this book is very polarizing.

May 15, 2013
  • meyoubou rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

The writing itself was terrible. I couldn't believe people (some people) were so influenced by this book with its awful writing. I stayed to the end but with much difficulty and only because I wanted to know if I was missing something.
Ayn Rand revealed herself to be an egoist and an odious woman.

Apr 19, 2013
  • joekingaround rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The storytelling got me engaged, but I soon started picking out flaws. (This is not my tendency.) At first I disregarded them, the author revealing her own character rather than her characters, for example. And chug along I did, enjoying passages. But the philosophy got heavy handed. I on one hand granted that too much government control can surely ruin people's lives, like hers was. But a utopia for the smart and industrious while the rest of the country withers in hunger and darkness just didn't settle well with me. The extremes are both wrong. I wonder if the controversial nature of the book, not the greatness of the story, might be responsible for its staggering success.

Feb 18, 2013
  • Mee2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a story of what each person can accomplish hindered by the staggering weight of government--in other words, very little. Unless you are Dagny Taggart, that is. Rand lived in an oppressive regime--communist Russia--and wrote with expertise on the matter. Her book should open the eyes of our modern voters to what the future will bring. People who didn't read this book or are hardcore liberal, cannot grasp the depths of its philosophy, therefore should not attempt to write reviews; in this case, ignorance is NOT bliss. Incidentally, I am yet to find the “act of cannibalism” at the end of the book. There are references to cannibals/cannibalism, but no act per se.

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Mar 16, 2015

brookszirkel thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and under

Sep 23, 2012
  • ecrl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ecrl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Sep 20, 2012
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Sep 14, 2012
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Aug 16, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 16, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 14, 2012
  • Mee2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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Jun 15, 2011

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Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love is our response to our highest values — and can be nothing else. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 4

Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You do not have to depend on any material possessions, they depend on you, you create them, you own the one and only tool of production. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 8

Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What's wealth but the means of expanding one's life? There's two ways one can do it: either by producing more or by producing it faster. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I thought by the time the sun was exhausted, men would find a substitute. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

Aug 14, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 6

Jun 11, 2011
  • EuSei rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“Every man builds his world in his own image... He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” Hugh Akston


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