Judge Atlas Shrugged for Yourself
By Yaron Brook (Financial Times, January 13, 2007)
Charles Pretzlik claims that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is "the most successful business book ever", yet asserts that it is not worth reading (The Financial Times, Outside Edge, "Why John Galt is not worth knowing", January 6/7).
If the book were really as "joyless" as Mr Pretzlik asserts, its success would be inexplicable. How does an unreadable tome find an audience of millions and enjoy enduring popularity 50 years after its publication?
In fact, what a new reader will discover in its pages is an exciting suspense story with well-drawn characters, an ingenious plot structure and a profound philosophic theme.
Atlas Shrugged is more than just a "manifesto for money and the free market". It is a deep exploration of the philosophical foundations of freedom. It is no exaggeration to say that the very future of capitalism, itself, depends on the ideas in this book. FT readers should follow another "Randian tip": ignore Mr Pretzlik's advice and judge Atlas Shrugged for yourself.