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Atlas Shrugged

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  373,365 ratings  ·  18,755 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 answer
Paperback, 1168 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Plume (first published October 10th 1957)
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Leo Walsh "Anthem" is at least half-way decent pulp science fiction novel. It is derivative of many distopias, notably "We" by Zamyatin, but it's not terrible. …more"Anthem" is at least half-way decent pulp science fiction novel. It is derivative of many distopias, notably "We" by Zamyatin, but it's not terrible. Say about three-stars.

"Atlas Shrugged," on the other hand, is rapidly becoming a one-star read as I plod though it. The "heroes" don't act heroically. Instead, imagine Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark abandoning regular people, and holing up in a gated community. Then exhuming Marie Antoinette, where they can scoff at the common people, and chant "Let them eat cake."

And it strains my ability to suspend my disbelief. I often find myself laughing, saying "People don't act that way." Example. One of the "good guys" [according to Rand's intentions, not my assessment] disrupts a wedding, preaches for like twenty pages (maybe fifteen or twenty minutes straight), insulting the groom and his guests and doesn't get slugged.... You get the point.(less)
TyLean 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 mor…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)

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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
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: assholes seeking rationalizations for their terrible ideas
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
Apr 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jun 05, 2007 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.
Sep 08, 2007 rated it did not like it
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,
Meredith Holley
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: soviets
Recommended to Meredith 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.

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
Richard Derus
Aug 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Pretentious poseur writes pseudophilosophical apologia for being a sociopath. Distasteful in the extreme.

Appealing to narcissists since 1949...unappealing to properly emotionally constituted adults since then, too.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: There are much better books out there
Honestly this book isn’t even worth talking about. Here’s my old review I guess:

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 that people like this book and, whatever, some
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
The premise: Everyone is stupid except the faith and ideology I want to spread with awkward, bad writing and glorifying sociopathy with a touch of ethical thoughts to make it not look even more inhuman.

Imagine the book with a different plot instead of good capitalist vs evil socialist/communist.
Let´s say
Intelligent, friendly believers of one faith vs the barbaric, cannibalistic tribe members of a sect.
Great, beautiful misogynist vs ugly women.
Any kind of wonderful fascism-, eugenic-, master rac
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
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 SHRU
Mar 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nandakishore Mridula
Sep 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Monica MizMiz
Apr 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
May 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: masochism, fiction
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
"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,
Jul 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Atlas Shrugged is a flawed epic, strident with a swaggering ambition, yet almost fable-like in its overly simplistic social and economic criticisms.

This is more of a philosophical, social commentary than a literary monument. The characterization is where it fails; Rand draws stick figures for antagonists: caricatures, strawmen to act as foil to her politico-economic-social vehicle. This is the book that made everyone mad in the late fifties: progressive liberals were spurned due to its vitrioli
Oct 30, 2021 rated it did not like it
I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I started reading, but it is fair to say that I wouldn’t have guessed it would prove to be anything like it ended up. This is pure and simple melodrama starring various iterations of Nietzschean Supermen wrapped up tight in Hayek’s Road to Serfdom – so, essentially, this is three of my least favourite things all slammed together in one endlessly, endlessly long book. In fact, if you were to read The Road to Serfdom and to say at the end of each ch ...more
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2013 marked it as never-ever-to-read-ever
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
Jun 30, 2007 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:
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Who is John Galt? Actually, I think he may be alive and well, and residing in the US Senate this very minute. I hate to accuse anyone directly, but I think he may even be from my own state. Metaphorically speaking of course, because he has many imitators around the world. When I read a book I usually try to seperate the writers personal views and opinions from the novel and read it for what it is, a work of fiction. That's hard to do with Ayn Rand, especially this book, because she hammers you w ...more
Terence M
I read this book in about 1961. It was the must read book of the day among my group of quasi-whatever we were (not intellectuals of any persuasion I might add) and I struggled through it to the bitter end, telling anyone who would listen that it was the most important book of the century. Yeah, like I would know this at the tender age of 20?!

What it was, was BIG - 1100 and something pages - and while I was quite adept at posing with book in hand and able to quote some John Galt verbatim, I reall
J.G. Keely
Jan 15, 2013 marked it as to-avoid
Based on everything I've heard about Rand, in conversation and online, from her supporters and her detractors, or in interviews with the author or articles by her, I feel there is no reason to believe that this book or any of her others contain anything that is worth reading, not even as 'cautionary example'. Nothing about it sounds the least bit appealing or reasoned.

Watching interviews of Rand, herself, I wonder if she wasn't somewhere on the autism spectrum--her entire Objectivist philosophy
Ahmad Sharabiani
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged includes elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance, and it contains Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction.

The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence".

The book explores a number of philosophical themes from which Rand would subsequently develop Objectivism.

In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, and capitalism, and depicts what Rand saw
aPriL does feral sometimes
I heard about Ayn Rand for years. Now I've finally read The Famous Book. 'Atlas Shrugged' is SO ridiculous on EVERY level. It's a poorly written shrill operatic infomercial written by an evangelical fool suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome with an idea she hopes will bring on the cleansing apocalypse. Why does America elevate these well-dressed haters of humanity? Can't people see the nihilism, the suicidal self-hatred underlying her ideas?

I can't believe she has any fans. Those who adore this bo
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Inquiry: Book Clu...: Book Club Event on 08/13/2022: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand 1 1 Jul 01, 2022 07:55AM  
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