Atlas Shrugged - (Paperback)
By Ayn Rand
"Atlas Shrugged" is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. It was Rand's fourth, longest and last novel, and she considered it to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. As indicated by its original working title, "The Strike," the book explores a dystopian United States where leading industrialists and businessmen refuse to allow the government to exploit their labor for the "general good." The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry, while society's most productive citizens, led by the mysterious John Galt, progressively disappear. Galt describes the strike as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the "minds" that drive society's growth and productivity; with their strike these creative minds hope to demonstrate that the economy and society would collapse without the profit motive and the efforts of the rational and productive.
The novel's title is a reference to the mythical Greek titan Atlas, who held the weight of the world on his shoulders. The novel includes elements of mystery and science fiction and contains Rand's most extensive statement of objectivism in any of her works of fiction, a lengthy monologue delivered by the strike's leader, John Galt.
The theme of "Atlas Shrugged" is the morality of rational self-interest. It advocates the core tenets of Rand's philosophy of objectivism and expresses her concept of human achievement. The book explores a number of philosophical themes that Rand would subsequently develop into the philosophy of objectivism. It centers on the decline of Western civilization, and Rand described it as demonstrating the theme of "the role of man's mind in existence." In doing so it expresses many facets of Rand's philosophy, such as the advocacy of reason, individualism, the market economy and the failure of government.
"Atlas Shrugged" received largely negative reviews after its 1957 publication but achieved enduring popularity and consistent sales in the following decades. In the wake of the late 2000s recession, sales of "Atlas Shrugged" have sharply increased, according to The Economist magazine and The New York Times. The Economist reported that the 52-year-old novel ranked No. 33 among Amazon.com's top-selling books on 13 January, 2009, and its subject matter couldn't be more timely in today's tumultuous economy.
•Paperback: 1168 pages
•Publisher: Dutton Adult (August 1, 1999)
•Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 2 inches