What does Ayn Rand stand for?
Atlas Shrugged (1957)—her masterwork and last novel—is the brilliant dramatization of her unique vision of existence and of man’s highest purpose and potential in life. If you want to read just one book to understand Ayn Rand’s worldview, this is the book.
Ayn Rand loved to read—and so wanted to write—fiction for the sake of the story. She would ask herself: “Is this story an experience worth living through for its own sake? Is the pleasure of contemplating these characters an end in itself?”
As millions of readers have discovered, Atlas Shrugged is precisely the kind of novel you cannot put down.
Atlas Shrugged sweeps the reader into its own world of larger-than-life characters—including the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy and the great industrialist who doesn’t know that he is working for his own destruction. The story is a mystery about a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Society disintegrates, food shortages spark riots, factories shutdown by the hundreds. Is this man a vicious destroyer—or the greatest of liberators? What is the motor of the world? What is required to restart it?
The answers emerge in the novel’s logical yet astounding climax. The answers are of profound significance not merely for the resolution of the story’s central conflict— but also for man’s life in reality, today.
Atlas Shrugged presents the consummate Ayn Rand hero—and the radically new moral and philosophic principles by which he lives. This philosophic underpinning is the system of ideas Ayn Rand called Objectivism.
With the publication of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s career as a fiction writer came to an end. In subsequent years, she devoted her time to lecturing and writing extensively on the nature and applications of her new philosophy.
(Paperback; 1096 pages)