Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Atlas Shrugged” as Want to Read:
Atlas Shrugged
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Atlas Shrugged

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  218,329 ratings  ·  12,026 reviews
"This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world's motor - and the motive power of every man? You will know the an ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 1080 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Signet (first published 1957)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Atlas Shrugged, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

James You are judging this site because of the average score of an all-time best seller?
TyLean Polley Dagny saw the bracelet as more than Rearden Metal, it was the manifestation of Hank Rearden's achievement - which very few people appreciate. It's…moreDagny saw the bracelet as more than Rearden Metal, it was the manifestation of Hank Rearden's achievement - which very few people appreciate. It's more than a valuable metal.... it was made by a man who she respects completely for his ability. Lillian Rearden, on the other hand, sees the bracelet as nothing but a trinket to show off that she - and no one else - is Mrs. Rearden. Lillian is a looter, and Dagny sees Lillian as undeserving of the bracelet. In Dagny's eyes, it is morally wrong for Lillian to wear such a bracelet.

As for Hank's reaction.... I believe it has more to do with his own denial than anything Dagny or Lillian have done. Hank - at this point in the book - is still struggling with how his obligations, his responsibilities and his morals are at odds with one another.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jason
Ayn Rand makes my eyes hurt. She does this, not by the length of her six hundred thousand word diatribe, but rather by the frequency with which she causes me to roll them. Do you want to know what I’ve learned after spending nearly two months reading Ayn Rand’s crap? Here’s a brief rundown, Breakfast of Champions style.

Socialists are scary. Socialists are frightening creatures who lurk in corners, waiting to pounce on you. They are unpredictable, they have curvature of the spine, and they often
...more
Richard
Aug 15, 2007 Richard rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Ayn Rand's characters are almost completely defined by the extent to which they embrace her beliefs. A good guy by definition is someone who agrees with her; a bad guy someone who dares to have a different point of view. For all the lip-service Rand pays to individualism, she brooks no dissent from her heroes; none of her so-called individualists ever expresses a point of view significantly different from hers.

To illustrate the gulf between Rand's characters and human reality, consider this beha
...more
Jennifer
Feb 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Lou Lendi
This book really makes you take a good hard look at yourself and your behavior, which is why I think a lot of people don't like this book. It's a lecture and most people don't like to get lectured. I loved it. It gave me a good swift kick in the ass. While I've never been a "looter," I have made several irrational decisions in my life, which this 1000+ page lecture has helped me to stop doing. It teaches you to think with your mind, rather than your heart. It doesn't make you an uncaring person. ...more
Jason Pettus
Would you like to hear the only joke I've ever written? Q: "How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" A: (Pause, then disdainfully) "Uh...one!" And thus it is that so many of us have such a complicated relationship with the work of Ayn Rand; unabashed admirers at the age of 19, unabashedly horrified by 25, after hanging out with some actual Objectivists and witnessing what a--holes they actually are, and also realizing that Rand and her cronies were one of the guiltiest partie ...more
Christopher
As Ayn Rand's immortal opus, Atlas Shrugged, stands as a tome to a philosophy that is relevant today as it was in her time. Basically, the major moral theme is that there are two types of people in the world: the Creators and the Leeches.

The Creators are the innovators who use the power of their will and intelligence to better humanity. The first person to create fire is often referenced as the paradigm for these people. In the book, each of the major protagonists also represent Creators improvi
...more
deanna
Apr 17, 2007 deanna rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the unsubtle
The best way to understand Rand's message in this book is to simply close it, and beat yourself over the head with it as hard as possible. This is essentially what Rand does throughout it's ridiculous length. I see no reason that a book with a strong lesson can't also have decent character development, natural dialog, and a believable plot. Of course, I also think that you can establish a theme with subtlety, and trust that your reader will figure it out. Ayn Rand writes as if the elements of fi ...more
Seth
This book, as much as I detest it, is actually rather useful. Those who have read it tend to be those whom I most especially desire to avoid. Because those who have read it are invariably proud of the fact--ostentatiously so--it is even easier for me to keep my life free and clear of delusional egomaniacs. Thank you Ayn Rand.
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
UPDATE 8/25! This blog debunks some of the Aynholes' major misunderstandings about the book.

Pretentious poseur writes pseudophilosophical apologia for being a sociopath. Distasteful in the extreme.

[image error]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Sparrow
Dec 03, 2013 Sparrow rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: soviets
Recommended to Sparrow by: PC library
I was visiting an old friend for the past few days, and she showed me this cover of Atlas Shrugged I made for her when we lived in Ukraine:

[image error]

side view showing how beat up the binding is

It was a necessary repair, but it pretty much proves I should be a cover designer.
_____________________________________________

Original review:

I think Francisco D’Aconia is absolutely a dream boat. This book’s like blah blah blah engineering, blah blah blah John Galt, blah blah blah no altruistic act, blah bla- HE-llo, Francisco D’Aconia, you gro
...more
Simon
Absolutely terrible.
Imagine an analogous situation:
A white supremacist writes a book in which all the white characters are great and all the black characters are awful. If you were to read that book and as a result buy into white supremacy; that would make you an utter utter fool.

And yet, Rand writes a book where anyone who is a raging capitalist is a veritable super-hero and anyone who pauses for half a second to consider that maybe such a system is sub-optimal is a sniveling lunatic - and lo,
...more
Christopher Stephen
When my mother gave me this book and said, "I think you will like this; I read it over a vacation in a week when I was your age," I took one look at the massive text and couldn't believe it. She also said that I reminded her of the characters....a statement to this day I take pride in....
And that is exactly what I learned from this book: that pride is most beautiful thing, and to live on this earth means that one must understand its reality, and learn to use one's mind to make it what one wants
...more
Stephen
Photobucket

COMING….NEXT…. SUMMER….EXCLUSIVELY TO GOODREADS……

A review so ambitious, so controversial, so staggeringly over-hyped unique that it has to be seen in order to be read. A review many minutes in the writing (and several hours in the photo finding). A review so important that one Dr. Hyperbole had this to say upon seeing it.... Photobucket

This is the review most people didn’t even know they wanted to read. A review of one of the most talked about and polarizing classics of the 20th century…ATLAS SHRUGGED by
...more
David
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica MizMiz
Dec 10, 2013 Monica MizMiz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any reader interested in philosophy or just a good story
The Concept: Rand follows the lives of society's movers and shakers (first-handers, in her words, and business men, scientists, inventors, and artists in her novel) as they resist the societal pull to become second-handers and to remain true to themselves and their live's work. Meanwhile, something is happening that is shaking the very foundation of society.

After reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand in 2005-2006, my life has been changed for the better. Applying Rand's ideas t
...more
Ian Heidin[+]Fisch
"Shagged at Last (The Sequel)"

Written while she was still alive, but published posthumously after her death in 1982, "Shagged At Last" is the posthumous sequel to Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction, "Atlas Shrugged" (not counting "Shagged At Last").

In this novel, she dramatizes the shortcomings of her unique Objectivist philosophy through an intellectual mystery story and magical mystery tour that intertwines sex, ethics, sex, metaphysics, sex, epistemology, sex, politics,
...more
sckenda
Aug 19, 2013 sckenda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Want to Hear the Voice of "Producers"
This review will please absolutely no one. Indeed, this rating sorely tests me and tests all the standards that I set for myself when evaluating books. It is important to me to be fair and to purge my own inconsistency and hypocrisy whenever I find it. My knee-jerk reaction is to assign this one-star to proclaim my objection to objectivism.

I value compassion and altruism, and I do not think "selfishness a virtue" as she famously stated. Ms. Rand’s ideas contradict the Sermon the Mount, the Jewi
...more
Rob
Mar 23, 2013 Rob rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: playa haters
If you're into sprawling, barely coherent I-are-mighty anti-Communist rants then this is for you. I suppose in our moments of weakness, we can look to Ayn Rand's philosophy to bring out our inner-super-humans. Except that really it's just a polarized response to Marx and Lenin (whom I have found equally unpalatable).

What's that? You want me to separate the aesthetic elements from the philosophy? Sure thing. This book reads like an instruction manual for drawing right angles.

----

See also:
http:/
...more
Manny
In some ways, this is a very bad book. The style is stiff and clunky, and the world-view she is trying to sell you has holes you could drive a train through. There is a nice putdown in One Fat Englishman. The main character has just been given a precis of Objectivism. He says "I bet I'm at least as selfish as you. But I don't why I need to turn that into a philosophy". Thank you, Kingsley Amis.

But on the plus side, the book is a page-turner; it does a great job of helping people brought up in a
...more
Ken
This book was the most overrated piece of crap of the twentieth century. It spars only with Dianetics and in its absolute absurdity.

The characters are absolutely idealized 'heroes of capitalism' action figures. I wonder if Rand imagined some of these great barons of industry coming to her rescue when she immigrated away from the vile pit of communism that she left behind. You know, during the time where she forged her citizenship papers and depended on the generocity and kindness of a liberal, o
...more
Whitaker
Jan 20, 2014 Whitaker marked it as never-ever-to-read-ever  ·  review of another edition
A Modest Proposal

I'd give this book 10 stars, but it only gets five, because really, Ayn didn't have the courage of her convictions. She wussed out at the end and gave in to EVIL Liberal Blackmail. The problem with Atlas Shrugged is that it doesn't go far enough. And so, to correct that, here's an addendum, a modest proposal to supplement Ayn's book.

We're taxing the wrong people. Why are we taxing rich people more than poor people? Rich people don't need government services. If they want a hig
...more
Megha

Rant from ages past

uff..so tiring!! After having plodded through more than 700 pages I couldn't go on reading it any more. Ayn Rand sees everything in black and white. The message of the book seems to be that any character who doesn't completely agree with her point of view doesn't deserve to be alive. Except a handful of Ayn Rand-ish characters, no one is worth a damn. And all she does is preach her extremist philosophy throughout the book. Once a character starts talking he would ramble on for
...more
April
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robb
I guess I can't hate this book. After reading The Fountainhead, I found myself crushing on Objectivism and Rand's brand of rugged self-reliance. Intrigued, I picked up Atlas. 1000 pages later I closed the book, opened my window and threw it into the street. This book cured me forever of this flat, willingly shortsighted b*llshit religion.

I've had my run-ins with the devout and the dogmatic fans of Rand and the big O and their reluctance to even nod towards the notion that saying A is A and that
...more
Amy
After working on this book for several months, I finally finished it and loved it. I've learned that I rate a book highly when it forces me to think and broadens my perspective. Rand definitely accomplishes this in Atlas Shrugged and earns five stars. I am amazed at the depth of her philosophy, her intelligence, and her ability to write and communicate her ideas through strong, entertaining fictional characters.

In Atlas Shrugged, she shares her philosophy which she calls Objectivism, which in a
...more
Tara
Favorite Quotes

He walked, groping for a sentence that hung in his mind as an empty shape. He could neither fill it or dismiss it.

She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release
...more
Ian
Jul 12, 2007 Ian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: socialists
I only gave this book 3 stars because it was so tedious and repetitive. I actually have some things to say in defense of the usual criticisms, but more on that in a minute. Whether or not you agree with her philosophy, Ayn Rand does make some good points in favor of her argument. I can forgive it for it's exaggerated depiction of socialism as a system which rewards the weak and lazy and parasitizes the intelligent and productive. Honestly, if you install any system which allows people to thrive ...more
Deb Seksay
May 21, 2008 Deb Seksay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: more cerebral readers
Recommended to Deb by: Ruff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodi Lu
Aug 20, 2007 Jodi Lu rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people i don't care to understand
no, REALLY?!?! people LOVE this...but i just... i realize that, in disliking cucumbers, i am siding with a very scant and unpopular team, but i have my reasons: i chewed on them while i was teething, so it's an association thing. i realize they have merit and i love all other veggies, it's just they're not for me. but it seems more people like this book than even cucumbers, which we know is saying a lot. and this book's got NOTHING going for it. except it's heavy. i mean, is that it? b/c there a ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 19, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Berto Poblete
I bought this book during my college days. Our lady professor in World Literature class was obviously an Ayn Rand fan. We were required to choose and read one of her books. So, to impress her, I bought 4 of her novels: The Fountainhead (3 stars), We the Living (3 stars) and Anthem (2 stars) and Atlas Shrugged (2 stars). I finished reading the first three during that trimester but I did not even get past page 10 of this book. That was more than two decades ago. My copy of this book languished in ...more
Brett
Nov 19, 2008 Brett rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All adults
Atlas Shrugged is a ferocious defense of the concept of capitalism. Although Rand depicts capitalism from her objectivist perspective and makes monumental over-exaggerations, she succeeds in demonstrating the importance of such basic social necessities as self sufficiency, personal responsibility, accountability, punctuality, and hard work. She equally condemns such economic poisons as socialized industry, redistribution of wealth, laziness, entitlement, and incompetence. Rand shows how these ec ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What effect did this book have on you?? 507 893 Dec 15, 2014 11:06AM  
BookBunnyPR: Atlas Shrugged 2015 Reading Challenge 1 7 Oct 30, 2014 04:46AM  
Small Government ...: Atlas Shrugged 171 129 Oct 06, 2014 06:28AM  
Did anyone like the movies? I did not.. 11 85 Aug 28, 2014 07:07PM  
Why is it popular in the US? 19 155 Aug 05, 2014 11:56PM  
Capitalism vs Socialism 364 267 Aug 05, 2014 08:49PM  
  • American Boys Handy Book
  • End the Fed
  • Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse
  • Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
  • Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond
  • Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why
  • The Crisis
  • Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
  • Boy Scout Handbook
  • The Road to Serfdom
  • Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The Ethics of Liberty
  • The Young Man's Guide
  • Economic Facts and Fallacies
  • The Law
  • The Passion of Ayn Rand
  • The Frontier in American History
432
Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa ...more
More about Ayn Rand...
The Fountainhead Anthem We the Living The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead

Share This Book

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.” 6141 likes
“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.” 1573 likes
More quotes…