Monday, January 19, 2015

Ayn Rand:Atlas Shrugged

Date: 10/2014

Title: "Atlas Shrugged"

Author: Ayn Rand

Duration: 63 hrs

Review: What can I say about Atlas Shrugged?  I loved it.  As literature, Atlas Shrugged is pretty weak. The characters are wooden, the dialogue is cheesy and sentimental, and the plot is conventional, but, the heros of this political distopia novel are so convinced of their rightiousness, and I am also so convinced of it, that I cant help but root for them. I love the speechifying, the grandstanding, and the moralizing. Rand would make a great political speech writer, in fact, the whole novel is a political speech, and the characters, mere mouth pieces for Rand's moral and political views.   Of course she sets up a situation in which the decisions are easy to make as the hero capitalists are honorable, humain and true to their convictions while the socialists are corrupt, nihilistic and cowardly.  In this set up, its easy to root for the capitalists.

One thing to keep in mind is that the viewes aren't so much pro-capitalist, though they plainly are that, as much as a reaction against totalitarian collectivesim. The novel can easily be interpreted as a reaction against the revolutioanry movement that confiscated her family's small business and displaced them from their home. Rand immigrated/escaped from Russia in 1926.  Although Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, Rand started to work on the novel in 1943.

I've been meaning to read this book since I learned of it in my early twenties and it didnt dissapoint. It's a wonderful self-help book filled with strong, iconic go-getters who bend the world to their noble vision.  I'd reccomend it to anyone.