Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
Release Date1996-09-01 (added to CC 5 Jan)
Amazon Sales Rank1,913
Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?

You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy...why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction...why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph...why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.

Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.

Member Reviews
(9 Jan)
This seems to be one of the most controversial books of all times. And it is a very curious thing. People love and hate it but for all the wrong reasons. It has taken on a certain mystique that is misinterpreted and completely misunderstood. It has turned into a political football, and yet is a great novel in its own right. The characters are fully dimensional. They are consistent and deeply philosophical. You may disagree with their beliefs, but I find it hard to criticize their actions in relation to their ideals. They are real, or should I say they represent what I would like people to be. They have integrity, at least as it pertains to their ideals. They have character and ethics and morals, again, irrelevant if you are not of like mind. It immediately makes me ask, who is the truer person, the individual who does not follow what he knows to be false, or the person who follows the false, knowingly, to gain advantage for himself? Being mistaken and following your belief is vastly superior to following that which you know to be false for ulterior motives.
The story is simply individuals who decide that if they are not being given an opportunity to have freedom of choice, they will choose, willingly, to not fight or protest, but simply to remove themselves from the equation and not knowingly accept or condone the manipulation or abuse of their abilities against their will. Society has the opportunity to do what they will, even with the fruits of their labour, their discoveries and their factories and their resources, but not with their consent. They simply withdraw and leave those who have never created to their own wiles to make a success of undeserved and unearned accomplishments of others. No violence, no manipulation, no coercion. Who can criticize such actions? The resultant chaos is completely understandable and believable. The whole story is based on a complete and comprehensive philosophical belief system that I have never hear a credible refutation. One has to remember that this is not a manifesto or a bible. It is a fictional representation. It is a novel, and the characters have flaws and make some mistakes, as we all do. This does not is any way negate the positive aspects of what she is trying to portray. I enjoyed the book for what it was. Well written, fully developed characters, individuals of character and integrity, and a philosophical basis that could change our lives. A great story and riveting as the story develops. Was it long? It certainly was. Some say too long. I say not long enough. I have read the book in its entirety at least six or seven times, and learned something with every read. It is acknowledged as the second most popular book ever written, second only to the bible. And yet it is only a book. But the philosophy behind it? She is without doubt the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. She changed my life and she could change yours. For those of you who disagree, I would love to engage in a conversation of respect and reason. Haters need not apply. It was not what she was about.
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