Review: Atlas Shrugged

Posted by Kevin |


This was my first audio book - which feels a little like cheating, but was a nice change and filled the often silent void of my 2 hour daily commute.

But this was a great book. I initially wanted to read it because I've heard people speak so highly of Ayn Rand and her work and I thought, then I must figure out what she is all about. And though I don't buy into her Objectivism philosophy, the story was very well written and captivating.

What I would love, if there are any Ayn Rand guru's out there, is to find out how the philosophy plays in our current, more postmodern culture. In particular, I'd love to know how Ayn Rand would interpret what Quantum Physics has brought about in recent years - it seems to me that Objectivism has be deconstructed by it.

Anyway - I would definitely recommend it to you - it was a good challenge to me on how I interact with the world and why.


allie said...

I read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (and I think there was another) whenI was in my 20's.
(Thats 40 years ago and long before I was a Christ-follower)

I was fascinated by the books - she is a wonderful writer! - and by her philosophy although they (and she) left me feeling uneasy.

I think it was because I had an awful feeling that she would have classified me as one of the undeserving "grey mindless people" she so scorned.

I understand better now that her outlook was crafted against the backdrop of the communism she hated and her revulsion of their 'lowest common denomator' factor that left no room for individual brilliance and any kind of selfhood.

Her disdain for anyone less individual or less brilliant probably made her cruel but her outspoken convictions and flouting of the norms also won her a devoted following.

Anyway, that was my take all those years ago - I have no idea how people see her nowadays.

And, of course, from the perspective of one aspiring to follow Christ, with His love and acceptance of all people, it seems impossible to bring her perspectives into any unity with His.

I will be following the comments here as I am very interested to see what others think.

Kevin Davis said...

Allie - thanks. I was contacted by an Ayn Rand fan on Twitter and she a huge proponent of Objectivism - so I'm trying to set up an interview with her to post here - so let me know if you have any questions and if I can get it set up, I'll get them answered.

Schnegel said...

Who is John Gault?
Kevin, I'm so pumped up that I found this blog. I am an Ayn Rand Protege' from way back. (Can't find my old "A is A" sweatshirt though.)
I became a Christ -follower about 4 years ago and struggle with a few of her ideas but still find many of them very relevant today. I'm really excited to present what I feel is relevant (Capitalism)but I'm going to start with a struggle.
In Atlas Shrugged, to enter the gulch you had to take a pledge. I posted this pledge on my refrigerator for ten years in which I took it down just two years ago. The pledge-" I swear by my life, and love of it,that I shall never live for the sake of any man, nor shall I ask another to live for the sake of me.
What does a Christian to with that?
I have so much more to say- but I can't type very well! Later!

Kevin Davis said...

Schnegel - thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you found my blog too. That pledge is definitely a tough one for us to rectify with the teachings of Jesus. One of the things that didn't make sense in the book was the love between John Gault and Dafny - how can you love someone and not live for them? Or in the end when Dafny, Fransisco and the gang all went to rescue John Gault - isn't that risking your life for another? But it was a really good book. I do appreciate some of the Capitalist thoughts (working hard, earning for yourself, becoming what you want, not depending on the Government or others successes), but those can also be hard to rectify with the teachings of Jesus.

Again - thanks for stopping by, hope you come back.

Schnegel said...

Mr. Kev,
You asked about the sexual relations between Dagny and John Galt. This is what Ayn Rand wrote about such relations in another one of her works...."Romantic love, in the full sense of the term,is an emotion possible only to the man (or women) of unbreached self- esteem: it is his response to his own highest values in the person of another- an integrated response of mind and body, of love and sexual desire. Such a man (or women) is incapable is incapable of experiencing a sexual disire divorced from spiritual values."
Wow! Do you get it now?
Anyway, I know of 3 more people in 2/42 reading Atlas..
Just for fun.. while reading Atlas years ago I imagined certain current personalities being the book characters. Then MI Gov Blanchard was James Taggert (Collectivist- Sissy man)
I wish there was a Hank Rearden in the Auto Industry Today.