I want to say from the beginning that one does not need to agree with a philosophy to appreciate it. Obviously most of the critics and some of the supporters have never read this work. One need not approve of communism to give the Communist Manifesto a high rating but it is certainly a must read.
Ayn Rand's philosophy is known as objectivism. It is essentially having a objective reason and purpose for every action you commit.
Atlas Shrugged is one of two major novels that outlines her entire philosophy while trying to show how it would be applied. That is why this book deserves a 5 star rating. Any philosopher can give generic ideas with no application. Rand puts it all on the line to show exactly how she means her philosophy to be interpreted.
The student of philosophy will be able to understand her philosophy quite clearly after reading this. If you agree with her philosophy you should encourage others to read this book. If this book is so clearly wrong then you should encourage others to read it so they will see how clearly wrong it is. Those that want it burned or object to others reading it know that she offers some very strong arguments for a position they clearly do not want to be true.
This book takes place probably around the 1950s. It is centered around the industrial sector of the U.S., the only government that has not become a People's State. The main character in this book is Dagny Taggart. She is a no-nonsense VP of Operations for the largest railroad in the world. She is intelligent and is solely driven to keeping her RR as the best.
The times are dim and getting dimmer. In the beginning the country is in a recession of sorts and it is up to Taggart and others like her to save the country. There are two problems that are preventing her from doing this. One, the government seeks more and more control when it should be stepping away. Second, the men of industry are disappearing one by one just when they are critically needed. No one knows where they go off to.
In the sense of a novel this is a good one. It is suspenseful and intriguing. Everyone can identify with the characters in this book. Most of the antagonists have been left rather shallow. That is on purpose. They are supposed to represent certain elements of society. This book can get dry at times. One man has a 60 page speech that can seem a little preachy at times but is wholly necessary within the context of the novel.
Ayn Rand is perhaps the best known and widest read philosopher of the 20th century. If you have any interest in philosophy or economics then this is a must read. Don't fear her teachings. An open mind is a dangerous thing to some people.
The most important thing to remember is not to take everything you read here as dogma. Think for yourself and apply whatever ideas make sense to you and ignore that which you don't like. Think for yourself. I think Rand would object to anyone blindly following her philosophy without actually believing in it. No one says you can't be charitable to others. Just make sure you do it of your own volition and not because it is expected of you or because you feel guilty.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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