It?s not surprising that one of the of the twentieth century?s most enduring and controversial figures, Ayn Rand, produced one of the twentieth century?s most enduring and controversial books, Atlas Shrugged. In the novel?s fifty-plus years of existence, Atlas Shrugged has been both lauded and vilified, credited with creating a new paradigm of social and ...
It’s not surprising that one of the of the twentieth century’s most enduring and controversial figures, Ayn Rand, produced one of the twentieth century’s most enduring and controversial books, Atlas Shrugged. In the novel’s fifty-plus years of existence, Atlas Shrugged has been both lauded and vilified, credited with creating a new paradigm of social and political thought by supporters and denounced by detractors as a re-hashed, reactionary appeal to selfishness and greed.
Rand, in the course of her life as a writer, intellectual and political theorist, embraced all of these labels, whether from critic or supporter alike. Fittingly, her novel is infused with the same elusive qualities. Whether loved or hated, it is because of this clash of ideas that Atlas Shrugged has endured to take its place with the important novels of the last century.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
In the world of the near future, the United States has been overcome by a sweeping moral malaise, caused by a national embrace of Socialism and Social Welfare. In this Anti-Capitalist atmosphere, leading industrialists and scientists have been mysteriously disappearing. Despite repeated denials by the highest levels of government, rumors and half-truths point to a conspiracy to remove the best and brightest minds from the reach of society. The average man on the street sums up this growing urban legend in a single question: “Who is John Galt?”
Dagny Taggart is a driven, focused New York railroad executive who is vehemently opposed to the creeping disintegration of private property rights and individual liberty. She along with her married lover, Henry Rearden, ( whose development of a new, super alloy called Rearden Metal allows Taggart Transcontinental to become one of the last efficient companies remaining in the U.S.) decide to to resist the forces of those they call the Looters, by upholding the principles of selfishness, profit and individual achievement. To this they embark on the only type of rebellion available to them, namely living solely for the advancement of their material, business and personal interests. They are opposed in these ventures by the majority of polite society, including Dagny’s brother, James Taggart.
Jason Stewart is San Francisco area public relations/marketing professional with degrees in Political Science and Comparative Religion. He writes two semi-regular blogs at www.criticstudio.com. His short fiction has appeared on-line and in print and his first novel "The Eyes of the Stars" will be released in late 2012.
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