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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My biggest compliment was I never noticed him.
I stood up and cheered for John Gault
I normally stay away from abridged versions but thought this worked well
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.
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!
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
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.
... 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).
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