Atlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThis 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 to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.
Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life — from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy — to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction — to the philosopher who becomes a pirate — to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph — to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad — to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.
You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions.
This is a mystery story, not about the murder — and rebirth — of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.
Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged Book Summary
Dagny decides to start her own company to rebuild the line, and it is a huge success. Dagny and Rearden become lovers. Together they discover a motor in an abandoned factory that runs on static electricity, and they seek the inventor. The government passes new legislation that cripples industry in Colorado. Ellis Wyatt, an oil industrialist, suddenly disappears after setting fire to his wells. Dagny is forced to cut trains, and the situation worsens.
Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand. Rand's fourth and final novel, it was also her longest , and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. The book depicts a dystopian United States in which private businesses suffer under increasingly burdensome laws and regulations. Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and her lover, steel magnate Hank Rearden, struggle against "looters" who want to exploit their productivity. Dagny and Hank discover that a mysterious figure called John Galt is persuading other business leaders to abandon their companies and disappear as a "strike" of productive individuals against the looters. The novel ends with the strikers planning to build a new capitalist society based on Galt's philosophy of reason and individualism.
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Dagny Taggart pursues John Galt because
Arresting in its breadth, depth, and style, Atlas Shrugged is a manifesto on politics, philosophy, and economics wrapped up in a compelling narrative featuring larger-than-life and smaller-than-life characters. Atlas Shrugged has shaped the worldview of many devotees of liberty, and it surged in popularity in the wake of the recent financial crisis since it became clear that the government's response to crisis and recession would not be to learn from its mistakes and recede but to expand its reach. I first read Atlas Shrugged during my fourth year of graduate school. On one hand, I wish I had read it much earlier. On the other, I feel like I appreciate it on a much deeper level than I would have had I read it in high school or college. Atlas Shrugged is my favorite novel for two reasons.
Atlas Shrugged is structured in three major parts, each of which consists of ten chapters. The parts and chapters are named, and the titles typically suggest multiple layers of meaning and implication. Part One is titled "Non-Contradiction," and appropriately, the first third of the book confronts two prominent business executives, Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden and the reader with a host of seeming contradictions and paradoxes with no apparently logical solutions. Part Two, titled "Either-Or," focuses on Dagny Taggart's struggle to resolve a dilemma: either to continue her battle to save her business or to give it up. Part Three is titled "A Is A," symbolizing what Rand referred to as "the Law of Identity" and here, the answers to all the apparent contradictions finally are identified and resolved by Dagny and Rearden, and also for the reader. The tale is told largely from the point of view of Dagny, the beautiful, superlatively competent chief of operations for the nation's largest railroad, Taggart Transcontinental.
If recent reports are to be believed, people have started seeing parallels between our current economic meltdown and the world collapse outlined in the pages of Ayn Rand's libertarian classic Atlas Shrugged. Rand's fans proclaim her a prophet - the hero whose teachings will rid us of recession. This sudden popularity is odd why seek salvation from a situation caused by out of control markets in a book preaching less market regulation? And so it was that I recently became one of the millions who have set out to discover the answer to the book's opening question: "Who is John Galt? Galt, it transpires after odd pages of hard yakka is "Prometheus who changed his mind". A man who has refused to accept the increasing socialisation of American society in Rand's bleak future, who has "taken away his fire" and gone on strike.