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Atlas Shrugged

A book written by the philosopher Ayn Rand

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Atlas Shrugged: A monumental read with monumental ideas

  • May 6, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
It took me six weeks but last night I read the final sentence of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" with a huge sigh of satisfaction and a total sense of accomplishment.  If anyone is interested in reading a book of this size, I suggest buying the Cliff Notes and reading the theme and character analysis from each chapter.  It is a wonderful way to dive into the deeper meanings as well as  keep the characters straight (thank you sister Sara for that gem!).

I will be mulling over all the ideas in this book for many weeks to come.  This book was 1) a good story with really interesting characters; and 2) a philosophical treatise on the positive forces of  capitalism and greed.  I NEVER expected to agree with the premise of this book, so now I am in that wonderful position of re-evaluating how I think about the socialism, government roles, and what makes a life worthwhile.  Before reading this book, I thought  a moral justification of capitalism meant why the big guys win and the rich get richer... all negative associations.  I can now see that capitalism is a system that protects individual rights.  I am now happily reflecting on questions such as:  What makes a society work? What makes people happy?  What parts of my life am I a looter?  Do I truly value the thinkers and those that create in my world?  If you like to think, I heartily recommend this book!

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August 03, 2009
A very good review. I read "Atlas Shrugged" years ago, and have been tempted to read it again, especially now as our government is trying to totally control all economic activity based on their greed for power. All ethics should be based on freedom for each individual. I believe this is the premise that Ayn Rand is basing her philosophy, if my recollection is correct. Government pays for its greed for power by forcefully taking from hard working, successful individuals to promote their power grab. Businesses receive money voluntarily from individuals, if they can provide the lowest cost, best product and best service in a competitive environment. This is a ethical method to become financial successful. Voluntarily giving an institution money is certainly more ethical that being forced to give an institution money. Large companies who eventually lose their innovative and competitive advantage then try to form a partnership with government to force a monopoly. This is when a business becomes corrupt with the force and blessing of politicians and government bureaucrats who receive payoffs from the company. Politicians sell this government control and corruption by proclaiming they are helping the masses. The masses are worse off in the long run, and society becomes more corrupt. "Atlas Shrugged" should be required reading for everyone, especially for anyone wishing to go into politics.
 
May 06, 2009
Ok, I am trying to work out how corporate greed fits into this. To me it is a different animal. I have always questioned subsidies- a total social prop for the mega-business (and I grew up on a farm so I saw it first hand). Its the idea that creating something good and wanting to be valued for that creation (getting paid) is what is intriguing. If a company makes a crappy product, why does it continue to sell? Why is it that once a great idea develops into a major corporation, things tend to fall apart?
 
May 06, 2009
I've read it. I've also read ANTHEM and THE FOUNTAINHEAD and its a wonderful rationalization of greed and egoism, but its no more correct than when Gordon Gecko spounted it in WALL STREET. How do you think the econoy got to its present state? Greed--pure unadulterated, unregulated corporate and Individual greed. So it must always be.
 
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More Atlas Shrugged reviews
review by . January 07, 2008
I reread Atlas shrugged, and as befits a classic, my review is even stronger this time. This time around, I read and listened to the audio book version together, highlighting key passages for their philosophical insight. There are 500 pages of a great novel, 500 pages of a comprehensive objective philosophy survey textbook, and 200 pages that could have been edited out to make this 1200 page concrete block more portable.     Still, my first review holds true: this must rate as …
review by . July 09, 2010
Who the hell is John Galt???  This is a question of desperation, and certainly hope.   Not the sort of hope in others, Not a sort of passive hope, but a hope that my own determination, resolve, understanding and implementation of that understanding will keep the world going round on a path towards exquisite rightness.  I felt disgusted by the wrongness and seemingly hopelessness of certain character groups.  I fell in love several times during this book.  I laughed, …
review by . July 23, 2010
I have read this book perhaps six or seven times over the years.  Having just read another review of it, I think it may be time to read it again.  It's the kind of book that with each reading, speaks to you differently depending on where you are in your own passage through life.      Besides setting forth an interesting philosophy of life, it develops the plot and the characters in such a way that I was immediately sucked into the story and was lost until I finished …
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
You don't have to be a capitalist fanatic to love this thrilling, entertaining, and provocative page-turner by the late genius, Ayn Rand.
review by . August 04, 2009
    I read "Atlas Shrugged" years ago, and have been tempted to read it again, especially now as our government is trying to totally control all economic activity based on their greed for power. All ethics should be based on freedom for each individual. I believe this is the premise that Ayn Rand is basing her philosophy, if my recollection is correct. Government pays for its greed for power by forcefully taking from hard working, successful individuals to promote their …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Read it twice, both times in less than a sleepless week. I think I'll read it again!
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Best book ever - hands down.
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
Honestly, when I even think about this book I get excited all over again. It's so moving. Every single line feels so important. So, so amazing.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
I picked up this book expecting a long slog, after a few chapters I became hooked. I read, and I began to love some of the characters and the pace and breadth of the plot. Unfortunately, somewhere past the halfway point, the book seemed to morph into an extremely lengthy brief of Ms. Rand's personal ideology. Worse, the characters began to seem transparent shills for her philosophy. Read the Fountainhead, its like a thousand pages shorter and you'll get the same ideas out of it.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Although, this is book is founded on objectivism I believe there's really a lot more than meets the eye. The affairs, complexity of emotions, and beautiful, beautiful images drawn from this book definitely have left more of an influence on me. To capture the character of people so wonderfully is truly a gift.
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Ranked #642
Member Since: Apr 13, 2009
Last Login: Nov 17, 2009 04:39 PM UTC
About this book

Wiki

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 her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. As indicated by its 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.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0525948929 (Centennial hbk. ed)
ISBN-13: 9780525948926 (Centennial hbk. ed)
Author: Rand, Ayn
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Date Published: April 21, 2005
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