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Atlas Shrugged

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  257,788 Ratings  ·  13,158 Reviews
At last, Ayn Rand's masterpiece is available to her millions of loyal readers in trade paperback.

With this acclaimed work and its immortal query, "Who is John Galt?", Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.

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Paperback, 1084 pages
Published July 1st 1959 by Signet (first published 1957)
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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)
Alex Read Anthem, because it's very short. All Ayn Rand's books are about the same thing, so you might as well find out how dumb that thing is before…moreRead Anthem, because it's very short. All Ayn Rand's books are about the same thing, so you might as well find out how dumb that thing is before slogging through like 800 pages of it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Jennifer
Feb 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Richard
Aug 15, 2007 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  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
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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
Dec 04, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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deanna
Apr 17, 2007 deanna rated it did not like it  ·  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
Jun 05, 2007 Seth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sparrow
Dec 03, 2013 Sparrow rated it it was amazing  ·  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:

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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.
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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
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Simon
Feb 02, 2008 Simon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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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.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
s.penkevich
Sep 13, 2015 s.penkevich rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: There are much better books out there
I really like trains, but goddammit does this novel give them a bad name.
Also, everyone, pardon my french. And sorry Grandma.

Recently someone told me this was their favorite novel. I believe they referred to it as 'the greatest book ever written.' I find a lot wrong with that statement. Because who cares about Ulysses, right? No, that won't do, I'm going to have to drink and rant for a moment. I refrained from commenting to the customer, because I'm sure it is typically for political reasons tha
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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
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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
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David
Mar 09, 2008 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica MizMiz
Dec 10, 2013 Monica MizMiz rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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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
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Ian Gabogovinanana
"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,
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Rob
Mar 23, 2013 Rob rated it did not like it  ·  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:/
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Ken
Dec 17, 2008 Ken rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, masochism
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
Amy
Jul 22, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Robb
Apr 24, 2008 Robb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megha
Apr 25, 2013 Megha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jul 26, 2008 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nandakishore Varma
I read this book as a teenager while recovering from a long bout of viral fever which had left me bedridden for almost a month: I had exhausted all my other books and forced to rummage through old shelves in my house. (Ironically, I read The Grapes of Wrath also at the same time.) My teenage mind was captivated by the "dangerous" ideas proposed by Ayn Rand. At that time, India was having an inefficient "mixed" economy comprising all the negative aspects of capitalism and socialism, and Ms. Rand ...more
Tara
Mar 28, 2007 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
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
Deb Seksay
May 21, 2008 Deb Seksay rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Ian
Jul 12, 2007 Ian rated it liked it  ·  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
Jodi Lu
Aug 20, 2007 Jodi Lu rated it did not like it  ·  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 it was ok  ·  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
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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
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“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.” 6745 likes
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.” 3155 likes
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