Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand held that art is a "re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value judgments." By its nature, therefore, a novel (like a statue or a symphony) does not require or tolerate an explanatory preface; it is a self-contained universe, aloof from commentary, beckoning the reader to enter, perceive, respond.

Ayn Rand would never have approved of a didactic (or laudatory) introduction to her book, and I have no intention of flouting her wishes. Instead, I am going to give her the floor. I am going to let you in on some of the thinking she did as she was preparing to write Atlas Shrugged.

Before starting a novel, Ayn Rand wrote voluminously in her journals about its theme, plot, and characters. She wrote not for any audience, but strictly for herself-that is, for the clarity of her own understanding. The journals dealing with Atlas Shrugged are powerful examples of her mind in action, confident even when groping, purposeful even when stymied, luminously eloquent even though wholly unedited. These journals are also a fascinating record of the step-by-step birth of an immortal work of art.

In due course, all of Ayn Rand's writings will be published. For this 35th anniversary edition of Atlas Shrugged,however, I have selected, as a kind of advance bonus for her fans, four typical journal entries. Let me warn new readers that the passages reveal the plot and will spoil the book for anyone who reads them before knowing the story.

As I recall, "Atlas Shrugged" did not become the novel's title until Miss Rand's husband made the suggestion in 1956. The working title throughout the writing was "The Strike."

The earliest of Miss Rand's notes for "The Strike" are dated January 1, 1945, about a year after the publication ofThe Fountainhead. Naturally enough, the subject on her mind was how to differentiate the present novel from its predecessor.

Theme. What happens to the world when the Prime Movers go on strike.

This means-a picture of the world with its motor cut off. Show: what, how, why. The specific steps and incidents-in terms of persons, their spirits, motives, psychology and actions-and, secondarily, proceeding from persons, in terms of history, society and the world.

The theme requires: to show who are the prime movers and why, how they function. Who are their enemies and why, what are the motives behind the hatred for and the enslavement of the prime movers; the nature of the obstacles placed in their way, and the reasons for it.

This last paragraph is contained entirely in The Fountainhead. Roark and Toohey are the complete statement of it. Therefore, this is not the direct theme of The Strike-but it is part of the theme and must be kept in mind, stated again (though briefly) to have the theme clear and complete.

First question to decide is on whom the emphasis must be placed-on the prime movers, the parasites or the world. The answer is: The world. The story must be primarily a picture of the whole.

In this sense, The Strike is to be much more a "social" novel than The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead was about "individualism and collectivism within man's soul"; it showed the nature and function of the creator and the second-hander. The primary concern there was with Roark and Toohey-showing what they are. The rest of the characters were variations of the theme of the relation of the ego to others-mixtures of the two extremes, the two poles: Roark and Toohey. The primary concern of the story was the characters, the people as such-their natures. Their relations to each other-which is society, men in relation to men-were secondary, an unavoidable, direct consequence of Roark set against Toohey. But it was not the theme.

Now, it is this relation that must be the theme. Therefore, the personal becomes secondary. That is, the personal is necessary only to the extent needed to make the relat
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Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller-nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?

You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy...why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction...why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph...why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.

Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism-her groundbreaking philosophy-offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century's leading artists.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 1096
Erscheinungsdatum 30.01.1997
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-451-19114-4
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17,5/10,8/4,9 cm
Gewicht 442 g
Verkaufsrang 5296


Kevin Beckmann, Thalia-Buchhandlung Hilden

Noch mehr als The Fountainhead bietet dieses Werk die in Romanform gepresste Essenz von Rands Philosophie. So abschreckend manche Aspekte ihrer Denkweise auch sein mögen, so ganz kann man sich dem Genie dahinter nie entziehen. Ein monumentales Werk.


4 Bewertungen

Atlas shrugged
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden am 04.11.2020

Eines der langweiligsten Bücher die ich bis jetzt gelesen habe. Inhaltlich schwach, und auch ideologisch enttäuscht Ayn Rand. Das Buch wirkt wie ein einziges Propagandastück, mit dem Ziel den Leser davon zu überzeugen das die Bourgeoisie nicht nur ihren Reichtum und Einfluss verdient, sondern sich dauerhaft aufopfert und ihr e... Eines der langweiligsten Bücher die ich bis jetzt gelesen habe. Inhaltlich schwach, und auch ideologisch enttäuscht Ayn Rand. Das Buch wirkt wie ein einziges Propagandastück, mit dem Ziel den Leser davon zu überzeugen das die Bourgeoisie nicht nur ihren Reichtum und Einfluss verdient, sondern sich dauerhaft aufopfert und ihr eigenes Leben dazu nutzt eine bessere Gesellschaft zu erschaffen. Im Buch werden fiktive Argumente der gegenseite (allgemein Linke) genutzt die offensichtlich falsch sind. Diese werden dann von den Helden der Geschichte natürlich widerlegt. Ayn Rand vermeidet es allerdings komplett auf Argumente einzugehen die auch außerhalb ihres selbstgeschaffenen Universums Sinn machen oder gemacht werden. Das macht ihr Buch in meinen Augen ideologisch schwach, und sie als Schriftstellerin langweilig und irrelevant. Ich hatte auf interessante Argument und einen Einblick in die Sichtweise konservativer andersdenkender gehofft und wurde zutiefst enttäuscht. Das Buch ist eindeutig nicht zu empfehlen.

Bestes Buch das ich je gelesen hab
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden aus Zug am 17.02.2015

Jeder sollte dieses Buch lesen (und The Fountainhead). Ayn Rands Philosophie verpackt in einem spannendem Roman.

Ayn Rand's masterpiece
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden am 02.12.2007

Rand presents us a world in which people with ideas disappear. Leaving a leaderless society behind which slowly comes undone. A great book which was written during a time where communism was still seen as a threat to society.

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