Book Review: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Review by Jack Smith

“Who is John Galt?” begins the famous 1957 novel by Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged.” How could a 64-year-old book see into the future and make us believe that it was written today? Jules Verne, George Orwell, and Ayn Rand are authors who, it seems, could see into the future. Rand believes in the virtues of rational self-interest and the power of capitalism, and that the individual knows better than the government how to spend its capital and intellect. In the book, the government forces industrial and intellectual people to share their wealth and treasure with those who are less fortunate. This formula not only disincentivizes the have-nots, but takes away all incentive for the producers to produce.

“Atlas Shrugged” is a mystery story, not about the murder of a person’s body, but about the murder and rebirth of one’s spirit. The book is about individualism versus government, dependency, and Socialism – and the characters could be found in a school board meeting today. No matter which side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, “Atlas Shrugged” will at least expose you to the alternatives. Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, “Atlas Shrugged” is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus.