Atlas Shrugged Quotations and Analysis

“But what can you do when you have to deal with people?” This question is repeated in the book. The above is from Dr. Stadler in Part One, Chapter VII. It stems from his belief that most people are not really capable of rational thought. They are basically irrational and must be dealt with manipulative … Read more

Key Facts about Atlas Shrugged

The novel is fundamentally an exploration of Rand’s philosophy of rational selfishness, the belief that all virtue and vice is basically an expression of reason and that we are at root motivated by selfish impulses. To think otherwise is naïve and dangerous. Rand is at great pains to run counter to Marxism and the idea … Read more

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s fourth and final novel. It is also her longest. The book combines elements of romance, science fiction, and mystery. The novel is the most extensive fictionalized expression of her philosophy of “objectivism.” Atlas Shrugged tells the story of a dystopian future in which business and innovation are hampered by the … Read more

Atlas Shrugged Summary

As the novel opens we find Dagny Taggart, vide president in charge of operations, struggling against worsening economic conditions to save Taggart Transcontinental’s Rio Norte Line which provides service to Colorado. This is the last place in America that is experiencing economic growth. She is struggling because, as we find out, the most talented entrepreneurs … Read more

Atlas Shrugged Characters and Analysis

Dagny Taggart As vice president of operations for Taggart Transcontinental, Dagny is the central character. She is a brilliant manager and she is committed to saving the railroad against the “looters” who would seize property from capitalists. Amid the growing chaos in the nation, Dagny mainstains the system which allows the looters to disrupt the … Read more

Major Themes of Atlas Shrugged

The Mind over Labor The “Strike of the mind” is one of the main issues in the novel. Rand’s belief that great minds are the engines of social progress is contained in this theme. It is the work of great minds which create and fuel progress and not labor. The idea that society is driven … Read more