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Atlas Shrugged (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Updated edition (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188935
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 5.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936, followed by Anthem. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved spectacular and enduring success. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience and maintains a lasting influence on popular thought. The fundamentals of her philosophy are set forth in such books as Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, and The Romantic Manifesto. Ayn Rand died in 1982.

(Image reproduced courtesy of The Ayn Rand® Institute)

Product Description

About the Author

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels We the Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
"Who is John Galt?" The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum's face. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mike Thomas on 2 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a Marmite book, you will either be cheering on John Galt, Dagny Taggart and Henry Reardon - or you will not. This is a story set in the dystopian future that pits the world's inventors, entrepreneurs and free thinkers against those that seek to thwart them by misappropriating their invention, ideas and wealth. These people are labelled as 'looters' - invariably, this is Big Government seeking to take the proceeds from their success and subjugate them for the 'greater good'.

When people begin to mysteriously disappear, government concern turns to panic as John Galt's fanciful prophesy looks like it is going to come true.

It is a lengthy read, longer than War and Peace and it weaves a story from many strands beautifully to its inevitable conclusion. Rand's characters are consistent, her command of the English language is fantastic, it is precision writing that flows very well.

Personally, I enjoyed the book immensely, it was written at a time when Hayek's Road to Serfdom and Orwell's vision of the future were vivid in the minds of the public as was Europe's embrace of socialism and the USSR's menace was becoming increasingly apparent.

It is a book of its time but remarkably prescient in the backdrop of socialised losses in the wake of the 2007-8 banking crisis and subsequent global recession.

Regardless of politics, this book will challenge your view of yourself and those around you, either to reject it or perhaps see things in a different way. Very few works of fiction have that power and that makes this book one of the best works of the 20th century.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Atlas Shrugged may be the most demanding work of literature I have read since university. It is certainly the only novel since then for which I have also bought a reader, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companionfiftieth anniversary collection of essays, and it is only now, having finished that, that I am turning to writing a review. At about 1,200 pages (always a bit hard to tell from a Kindle edition) it is also, give or take the occasional "space opera", the longest work I've read for a long time. So: was it worth it?

Arguably this is a work of fiction that is more germane today that it ever was. In a month where the government of one European state, Cyprus, exercised a "levy" thought to be over 40% on investors with over 100,000 on deposit, it's worth considering Rand's depiction of the causes and effects of state-backed "looting and mooching". While I find it surprising, 55 years on, that she could have seen the seeds of such statist decadence in the US of the 1940s and 1950s, the New Deal notwithstanding, there is no doubt that the European Union would have represented, to Rand, an (un)worthy successor to the Soviet Union as the archetype of a well meaning but ultimately corrupting and self-defeating super-state. Every day the news abounds with stories of government spending tax payers' money because they feel that "something must be done", or perhaps just that they feel that they ought to be seen to be doing something. Rand was clear: the best thing government can do is stick to maintaining freedom through the rule of law, and then by getting (the hell) out of individuals' way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RY on 7 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
A friend gave me this book as a birthday present. I looked at the number of pages and thought it will either have to wait until my retirement or goes straight to the charity shop - who's got time to read 1168 pages? But as this was a new author for me, I thought I'd read a few pages to see if there was anything in it. Then.. I got to page 40 before forcing myself to put this book down. After that I found myself reading it for straight 3-4 hours on the trot after work with live put on hold.

This book grips you from the first page and gets better and better. I loved the plot, the language and the philosophy of the book. I found myself writing down some quotes into a notepad, such as: "Any refusal to recognize reality, for any reason, whatsoever, has disastrous consequences" or "An idea unexpressed in physical action is contemptible hypocrisy" or "the only sin on earth is to do things badly", and more...

One of the pieces I enjoyed the most was the monologue on the value of money by one of the main characters in response to a critic that money was worthless. Another was a paragraph where a minister explains to a businessman that the laws are created specifically so they cannot be followed and have to be broken as this is the only way to control people. To think that this was spelled out over 50 years ago, yet there are great many countries that follow this very system today......
The plot centers around the government officials attempting to run the economy by issuing directives under the philosophy of allocating to everyone based on their needs, while at the same time lining their pockets. The economy deteriorates and some of the biggest business people decide to close down rather than face expropriations.
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