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Any Rand's view of humanity in general is akin to John Calvin's, man is totally depraved and does not seek the highest good. To Rand, the highest good was that the uberman is the measure of all things, Calvin taught that only God is the fulfillment of the predestined man. But both r seeking something larger than life and Rand's joy in individual creative accomplishments is an offshoot of God's creation of all the beauty that we see and is an impetus for man, created in His image to create according to the magnificent abilities God has given him. Still, a compelling story with exciting characters and a rather too quickly put together finale.
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: pre-owned | Sold by: your_online_boo...
Book was well worn. It has been around. My wife found a Japanese book mark inside with a number of different airline stamps on it. I'll probably look for a better preserved copy for my library and give this one to Good Will.
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: pre-owned | Sold by: silver-arch-books
for serious readers
"Atlas Shrugged is a classic. It's a classic in a lot of ways--not least of which is that it is still printed 54 years after it was written. It's a classic because its author, Ayn Rand, a Russian Jewish emigre, had the chutzpah to propose it at a time when it was unpopular to speak ill of what was later known as The Establishment. It's also a classic, because it reads like a black and white movie of its era. Men wear cuffed-pants suits and trench coats, and are either heroic or simply cads. Women are pushovers or goddesses with male temperaments, who jump into commandeered planes and fly them like Chuck Yeager. All heroes are blond-haired and blue-eyed. No, not kidding. Companies are named after their sole proprietors, not after cynical quasi-words that can be trademarked, like "Accenture," or "Inspirographics." The high-tech company of the story is a railroad that still uses steam locomotives in some locations, and of course jointed rail, which makes the once-familiar clickety-clack sound under the wheels. Wikipedia reports that Atlas Shrugged was largely panned by critics when it was issued. It's understandable, given the simplistic characters, melodramatic story lines and stilted dialogue that is straight from Dragnet or Highway Patrol. But one of the reasons that Atlas shrugs to this day (and had funding for a 2011 "part 1"movie released on a limited basis) is that Ms. Rand was no less an observer of man than was Alexis de Tocqueville. What she foresaw is the dissipation of America through the many safety nets its largely well-meaning "liberals" have constructed and which is often presented nowadays as "The Nanny State." It is not too much to call her prescient. As we lose our grip and slide into a depression, the "D" word that our entrenched government system will not utter, we mirror the events of Atlas Shrugged. We see recent welfare recipient General Motors offering signing bonuses for new workers (September, 2011) in the face of high unemployment; how can we but understand that it is a rebate to the unions who supported the Democratic admininstration, along with the congress who voted the bailout. All of this is analogous to events of the book, for example, where railroad executives are pressured to give workers higher wages and feathered beds, even as their employer goes broke. I couldn't say that I'd recommend Atlas Shrugged to everyone, because there are few who could stand to read all of its 1,000+ pages, while ignoring the many literary and circumstantial anachronisms that are the book's corpus. But for those, like me, who wanted to know who John Galt is, it's worthwhile. Sort of a plot spoiler, but however heroic John Galt might be, he's rather a gasbag. He goes on for 50 pages or so with his manifesto. Of course, we know that it's really Ms. Rand who is speaking, and Mr. Galt is only the fictitious deliverer of her Objectivist Philosophy's Mein Kampf to a worldwide radio audience (itself made possible by the familiar sci-fi trope of a shocking mass media hijack by unexplained means). Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, and Huxley's Brave New World satirized communism, but Atlas Shrugged, whether it realizes it or not, takes a larger swipe at what we have come to know as capitalism. Of course, its intended wrath goes towards machine politics and totalitarianism, but ultimately, Rand's heroic capitalists are indifferent to the outsiders in the world they inhabit. Rand's system, like libertarianism in any guise, is r
Who is John Galt?
Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's masterpiece work. Deeply developed characters, intricately and concisely described, and given colorful, appropriate names, act out a mesmerizing story. The book showcases Ayn Rand's philosophy of "objectivism". This should be a must read for our high school students today. The main reason it likely won't be is the book's over 1000 page length. Do not be dissuaded by the book's length, however. It does not have to be read in one sitting. Much like a captivating mini-series on TV, Atlas Shrugged will have you longing to get back to the next installment. Although it was written in 1957, it takes little imagination to see the story being played out today. "Who is John Galt?" The question runs throughout the story and is asked repeatedly. Indeed, just who is John Galt? Dagny Taggart, the dynamic and driven female protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, wrestles with the meaning of the phrase as she heads the operations of the railroad that she and her brother James Taggart own. A stronger lead character can scarcely be found. The realness of the characters, the multiple venues, so vividly described, and the several mysteries woven into the tale make this an excellent read. Why else, more than half a century after it was written would Atlas Shrugged still be such a great selling book? Perhaps it is because people can see so much of what is happening in American politics today reflected precisely in the story Ayn Rand wrote, and realize that the current philosophy being pursued is one that does not play well in Atlas Shrugged. This book comes highly recommended.
Wonderful message but lacking in excitement.
I bought this book to read for a scholarship. I loved the story behind it and it drew my attention at first. However when I kept reading it, I got rather bored and it did not keep my attention. I can not and will not say that I dislike the book as it's meaning is a wonderful one. I will say I personally think that to write a great book. You not only need a wonderful meaning but excitement to keep the viewers attention. Take the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter books have wonderful meanings in them and many at that. They also have imagination and excitement. What will happen next? You think eagerly sitting on your seat, turning the page reading the next one. That is a good book! One that opens the doorway for both children and adults.One that captures the ability to explain important messages but has so much excitement that you can't put it down. That is what Atlas Shrugged lacks. Excitement.