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Atlas Shrugged | [Ayn Rand]

Atlas Shrugged

As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity.
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Publisher's Summary

"Who is John Galt?" is the immortal question posed at the beginning of Ayn Rand's masterpiece. The answer is the astonishing story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world, and did.

As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity.

Part mystery, part thriller, part philosphical inquiry, part volatile love affair, Atlas Shrugged is the book that confirmed Ayn Rand as one of the most popular novelists and most respected thinkers of the 20th century.

©1957 Ayn Rand, renewed ©1985 Estate of Ayn Rand; (P)2000 HighBridge Company

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4.2 (898 )
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  •  
    D. Martin Rockville, MD USA 06-29-12
    D. Martin Rockville, MD USA 06-29-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Blech. Don't put yourself through this"

    So I certainly wasn't expecting to like this drivel or anything, but I felt like I should at least listen to it so I would understand better where the crazy Randers were coming from. If you're considering buying this, I imagine you're doing the same. (If you know anything about Rand and don't think she's utterly full of shit, it's probably already too late for you.) Take my advice: I endured this so you don't have to. I can say with complete confidence: no, it's not worth it. There really is no there here. It's absolutely as bad as everyone says.

    The basic problem Rand seems to run into is that she wants to make her hero characters seem way smarter than all the other characters in the book. Except that she (Rand) is herself not smart enough to create really smart characters. So instead she just makes all the other characters unbelievably stupid so that her preferred characters seem smart by comparison. Apparently no one in America but like ten people can figure out how to run a railroad. And the evil villainous henchmen come off as the worst totalitarians in the history of the world: "Do our bidding or else we'll... stammer!" There's this overarching threat, if you don't do what we say, we'll force you to at the end of a gun. And then the main character declares "no, you can't actually make me *think* for you with a gun." What somehow no one seems to realize is that the threat isn't "do what we say or we'll point a gun at you," it's "do what we say or we'll shoot you with this gun. Then we'll shoot the next guy in line until we arrive at the person who listens." She doesn't do what they say. Then they don't shoot her. This is the difference between this idiotic story and every real totalitarian state in history. And believe me, after a few hours of this crap, I was begging the government henchmen to pull the trigger!

    Look, we all know libertarianism is intellectually bankrupt. You listen to this thing in order to try to diagnose what's wrong with them. It's not worth it. There's no secret in these pages of how this virus of a terrible idea infects sensible people. If you're someone who read this book and liked it, there was something wrong with you beforehand.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tisa United States 11-20-11
    Tisa United States 11-20-11
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    "I gave this book the lowest possible rating"

    Atlas Shrugged is full of stereotypes and over-simplifications. Rand continually displays her extreme bias towards capitalism, and distain for any sort of regulation. It makes sense to me that a person with her particular background would hold the opinions discussed in Atlas Shrugged, but I really don't see how any rational westerner can take this book seriously. Any comparisons to modern life are superficial at best, and completely unavoidable. Rand's ideas are so over-generalized that you can find comparisons everywhere you look but never manage to find any deeper meaning. I really wanted this book to mean something, but it's shallow.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Glenville, NC, United States 09-08-09
    Kenneth Glenville, NC, United States 09-08-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Prophetic"

    Wow, this should be required reading. We're seeing this actually happen today. I have heard politicians say things the idiots in her book said. We are seeing the "If I just had more power I could fix it" mentality. I wish someone could make a movie of this.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 11-25-12
    William 11-25-12
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    "better than expected"
    What did you love best about Atlas Shrugged?

    Applies to the situation in our country today. It offers hope for a brighter future. It always motivates me to be my best despite obstacles.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Atlas Shrugged?

    Dagney Taggert trading diamonds for a Rearden metal bracelet, completing the impossible John Gault line and then taking the train across the Rearden metal bridge. There were to many great moments to describe! She weaves a great story into her philosophical points. You will see echoes of what is happening here in the united states and Europe even though this was written 50 plus years ago.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    My biggest compliment was I never noticed him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I stood up and cheered for John Gault


    Any additional comments?

    I normally stay away from abridged versions but thought this worked well

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerald L Jackson Pensacola, Florida United States 11-09-12
    Jerald L Jackson Pensacola, Florida United States 11-09-12
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    "Right Wing Manifesto Too Mythical For Me"
    What did you like best about Atlas Shrugged? What did you like least?

    Reading quality high! Unfortunately, the premise of the story is flawed, especially to have inspired a whole generation of Reaganites! As a liberal, I felt like I had to hear this story since it seems to be so important to understand the reds. After finally hearing it, I feel even more compassion for those who are (sadly) using this novel as a basis for their political and social positions. No wonder those positions are losing traction among the ever smarter and more diverse and empathetic populace emerging here in the US.

    Thankfully, 'the believers' of Atlas Shrugged are a waning coalition.






    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 12-29-11
    Brenda LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 12-29-11 Member Since 2010

    I'm a mom of a busy 10 year old daughter, manage a demanding career and depending on my morning read during my commute to improve my happiness!

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    "Really? Are you kidding me with this book?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This was a terrible story - can't figure out why anyone recommends it. One of my friends told me to read it - said she reads it every year to


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Pasadena, TX, USA 11-06-09
    James Pasadena, TX, USA 11-06-09
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    "Shrugged is Great!"

    Just absolutely the best story told in conjunction with todays current events. Everyone must listen to this.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Maze 12-27-10
    J. Maze 12-27-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Wish I could have rated it a 0"

    This book's one purpose is to promote the author's philosophy of objectivism, which clearly resonates with some people in this day and age, but in my mind is an extreme point of view. Would recommend you understand this philosophy before you buy the book. Wikipedia has a good article.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-14-06
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-14-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Never thought I'd say this ..."

    ... but am I glad I went against type this time for the abridged version. I rate this one-star for the narration and the fact that it's abridged. I enjoy Plato, EVEN Rousseau, but I'd rather listen to a good sermon (even though I'm no believer) than a long-drawn treatise on half-baked ideas wrapped up in a weak story with too many loose ends, repetitions, and one-dimensional characters. Granted that what was going on at the time was enough to drive people to extremes, and granted that this was written when narrow-minded people roamed the earth, I am disappointed to see such a misogynist praised as a great thinker (unfortunately, one has to have read this to realize that).

    4 of 51 people found this review helpful
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