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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philisophical Fiction .... What a "Novel" Idea!
Yes, this is a classic work and valuable primarily as a presentation of Ayn Rand's Philosphophy of Objectivism. It's a pretty good presentation of how life might look and feel if you were to eliminate all subjective and emotional human responses to life and more importantly create a government that only minimally intrudes upon those thinkers, inventors and producers who...
Published on June 5 2011 by B. Breen

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy another edition of this book
This edition of the book is not too great. The font is too small and the pages are hard to open, so I would recommend buying another version of the book.
Published on May 25 2012 by mdimitro


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy another edition of this book, May 25 2012
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This edition of the book is not too great. The font is too small and the pages are hard to open, so I would recommend buying another version of the book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philisophical Fiction .... What a "Novel" Idea!, June 5 2011
By 
B. Breen "Canuckster1127" (Sterling, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Atlas Shrugged (Paperback)
Yes, this is a classic work and valuable primarily as a presentation of Ayn Rand's Philosphophy of Objectivism. It's a pretty good presentation of how life might look and feel if you were to eliminate all subjective and emotional human responses to life and more importantly create a government that only minimally intrudes upon those thinkers, inventors and producers who utilize capitalism to its most efficient ends.

In fact, I think that's why it does a good job of what's it "objectively" sets out to do. As evidenced by the myriad of reviews all over the map, it achieves its goal by spurring thought and evaluation of the philosophy of objectivism and more importantly what the balance must be between individualism and the corporate needs of society and the role of government in balancing them.

As a novel, it is long, it rambles and it could use some editing. But then again, that's a "subjective evaluation" and who is to say that the philosophy itself does not render it to be as it is.

I know many come to this work as required reading and as the audience is young there tends to be a pretty strong reaction to the content of the philosophy, either setting aside all idealism or embracing the cold, hard automaton thinking of the protagonist Rand creates.

In fact, I think reality lies between those two extremes. There is much to be said in favor of Rand's conclusions coming from a totalitarian idealistic Soviet Union that causes her to react so strongly against it and advocate an austere personal capitalism. In fact, she does such a good job, that I think she creates a whiplash at the end of the book that drives people back toward the center, seeking desperately for something, anything, that offeres solace and relief from the stark world she paints with little of the milk of human kindness and care for one's fellow man beyond that which is necessary for one's own self-interest to be preserved.

This is a very important book and a very influential one. I read it later in life to see what all the fuss was about. I walked away from it changed and better able to use my mind to evaluate the value of well intentioned social engineering and what it does to the opposite end of the spectrum. In the end, I tend to hear the warning against tipping too far in this direction, but I also appreciate the perhaps unintentional opposite warning of neglecting this area. The question that must be answered is how much is enough and by what means, especially by means of a coersive government, must this be accomplished.

Regardless of what perspective you come to this book already holding, chances are you'll be brought face to face with the harsh reality that Rand and her objectivism paints and you'll walk away with some modified views and possibly even some new values and a foundation to build further your own views.

I think we can agree that that experience is a worthwhile one, even if the panoply of differing opinions attached to the book gives evidence of the controversial nature of the core message.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Literature, March 29 2004
Extroidinary literature but may not be the place to start if you are not acquainted with Ayn Rand.
Anyway, after reading many of the reviews, I have noticed that even the people who loved the book have an erroneous idea of what Ayn Rand was saying.
First of all, ethically selfishness or self-interest means you have a right to your own life, that you own it and can dispose of it as you want, without imposing force on others. It does not mean you have the right TO DO ANYTHING YOU WANT OR TO IMPOSE YOURSELF ON OTHERS. It means you own your life, and are free to live it in the manner you deem right for yourself. In a political context, it means the government is prohibited from imposing itself on your life, by for example drafting you into the military, or prohibiting you from entering a certain career field.
When Ayn Rand attacked altruism and its component part self-sacrifice SHE WAS NOT ATTACKING HELPING OTHERS, OR DOING GOOD THINGS FOR OTHERS, OR BENEVOLENTLY SPREADING GOOD WILL IN THE WORLD. What she was attacking was the fundamental principle of altruism that YOUR LIFE BELONGS TO OTHERS AND CAN BE DISPOSED OF WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.
We see the consequences of altruism all over the world. People living without the ability to own their lives. Cuba is a prime example. The communist party and Fidel Castro are the owners of everyone's life. They control and direct it with impunity. One has little or no control.
Helping others and spreading good will is as much a part of successful living as living and breathing, but when people are FORCED to sacrifice their lives in the name of helping others, state coercion follows, and this is the evil, Ayn Rand so eloquently refers to in Atlas Shrugged and her other writing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not even after my death., July 10 2014
Not even at my funeral.
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2.0 out of 5 stars There is potential but it's lost in drivel, May 25 2014
First a note about the book. The Paperback edition is terrible to read. It's far too small, cheaply made and the words are microscopic. Try to find a hardcover edition or a different edition of the paperback.

Now the material itself. Atlas Shrugged has a great beginning, a long, but still good middle, but a winding and unsatisfying end.

The beginning sets the novel up with a mystery, "Who is John Galt". In the first chapter we her this enigmatic phrase uttered in response to a question that one couldn't possibly answer. It's usage is continued throughout the book, but who is John Galt? The answer to that book is found later in the book.

A healthy amount of characters are introduced but they are cleanly segregated into two categories. Those who own businesses and are the clear heros of the story, and those who seek to provide to people less fortunate through taxation and regulation of the rich, these people are clearly the villains in the story. Beliefs aside, Ayn Rand's characters are one-dimensional straw-men whose sole purpose is to spread her ideology. People she see's favourably are described as emotionless workaholics, they are attractive, fit and intelligent. People she see's negatively are emotional in confrontations, and ugly unhealthy people.

Scenes in which characters are incredibly uncomfortable to read. Love in Ayn Rand's world is one-sided. Pleasure is only for the man and the woman seems almost unwilling during these scenes. Even though this book is little over 50 years old these love scenes read like an ancient relic of the past.

The plot is interesting enough even if one doesn't agree with the economic beliefs so plainly pushed at its readers. But as the book approaches the end the plot becomes tedious to read, the book could have ended 100 earlier and that would have been adequate.

I don't recommend this book for anyone reading for pleasure, I only read this book to see what the fuss was about and I have since wished I have spend myself reading something else.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Atlas Shrugged, May 9 2014
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This review is from: Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Ed. HC) (Hardcover)
I don't normally read fiction, however with Paul Ryan's obsession with Ayn Rand's philosophy, I decided I would judge her for myself. Ryan talks about makers and takers. Rand portrays the corporate rich as the ones who make society operate, however she doesn't think that if the workers (who really physically do make a business operate) all disappeared into a secluded valley, business (takers) would grind to a halt and society would collapse. Rand was a self-serving elitist pandering to the rich. Just as it is in our politics today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Atlas Shrugged, April 23 2014
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I'm in admiration for Ayn Rand,
From the time I started this book ,I could not put it down ,you want to keep on reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who is John Galt, Jan. 30 2014
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This review is from: Atlas Shrugged (Hardcover)
Look around, it is real. When Rand wrote this book, she was basing it on what she had witnessed, we had better pay attention and start to take a voting interest....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read, Jan. 28 2014
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Absolutely stunning. A great look at a dystopian country which far from real, with lessons that can be applied to current day situations.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the story but the font! for the love of Og the font!, Jan. 20 2014
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I know opinions vary on this book., and I personally like the story.

I purchase this copy for my husband who had never read it ( I figured he should before Hollywood does that thing it does to books) and was super disappointed with the quality of the actual book.

The font is minuscule and the pages are super thin. It just makes for a difficult read.
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Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Ed. HC)
Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Ed. HC) by Ayn Rand (Hardcover - April 26 2005)
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