I read Atlas Shrugged in college, and it definitely ranks as one of my favorite novels. Growing up in a liberty-leaning household, a lot of the material was not new to me. However, for people who aren’t as exposed to liberty and especially entrepreneurs, this book will strike a cord with you that is not often heard. Common themes such as the “evil of profit” and how “the greater good” always seems to involve your pocketbook being emptied are addressed in this.
Amazingly this book is over 50 years old, and it still paints a very accurate picture of how bureaucrats and central authorities attack businesses, often with smiling, “I’m here to help” mentalities.
This book is a little long, and the author definitely deviates a little on some unrelated topics about sex that is kind of interesting, but could have been excluded in order to keep the book under 900 pages. There’s a speech that goes on for over a hundred pages that essentially retells the message the book already articulates, thus the reader can likely scan this without missing out on much.
If you tend to lean socialist and want central authorities to plan out people’s lives, this book will either change your mind, or make you angry. I have a hard time seeing a communist being able to actually finish this book.
In college, I was bombarded by all kinds of socialist material. I had an economics professor who said all prices from food, home to gas, ultimately need to be regulated by government. Ignoring how insanely oppressive this belief is (why can’t two people voluntarily decide what something cost?), this novel provides a much needed alternative perspective that impressionable college kids should be reading.
As I’m typing this, part of me wonders if a new type of book like this needs to be written for a new generation. Maybe I’ll add that to my to-do list when I have an insane amount of free time, which will probably be in 2040.
Anyway, if you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, I would encourage you to do.