Atlas Shrugged

ayn rand atlas shrugged audiobookUnabridged Audiobook
Written By: Ayn Rand
Narrated By: Scott Brick
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Duration: 55 Hours 30 Minutes

Book Rating: stars_4-5




Summary: In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?

In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? And why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies but against the woman he loves?…Read more.

User Reviews

Eric L.

stars_4 A clear classic. Some points of the novel seem a bit dated, but this is no question an amazing work.



Lisa M.

stars_4-5 Amazing book! I knew very little about Ayn Rand before a friend suggested I read this book. It’s long but well worth it!



Max R.

stars_3-5 The narrator did a good job, but the audio quality seemed to be a bit inconsistent. Otherwise good.

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Atlas Shrugged Quotes

  • quotes atlas shrugged“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
  • “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
  • “If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”
  • “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”
  • “Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.”
  • “He saw for the first time that he had never known fear because, against any disaster, he had held the omnipotent cure of being able to act. No, he thought, not an assurance of victory—who can ever have that?—only the chance to act, which is all one needs. Now he was contemplating, impersonally and for the first time, the real heart of terror: being delivered to destruction with one’s hands tied behind one’s back.”
  • “Wasn’t it evil to wish without moving- or to move without aim?”
  • “Don’t ever get angry at a man for stating the truth.”
  • “So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”
  • “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.”
  • “The nation which had once held the creed that greatness is achieved by production, is now told that it is achieved by squalor.”
  • “‘I will put an end to this, once and for all,’ he said. His voice was clear and without feeling. That was all he said and started to walk out. He walked down the length of the place, in the white light, not hurrying and not noticing any of us. Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, ‘How?’ He turned and answered, ‘I will stop the motor of the world. Then he walked out.”
  • “There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist…”
  • “I never found beauty in longing for the impossible and never found the possible to be beyond my reach.”
  • “What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish.”

quotes from atlas shrugged

Summary of the Novel

Atlas Shrugged was written by Ayn Rand and published in 1957. The last and longest of her works, Rand considered it her greatest achievement, and an excellent manifestation of her Objectivist philosophy.

ayn rand atlas shrugged cover imageThe majority of the novel is set within a highly imperfect United States, in which industry crumbles further every year, and most people are merely loafing off of the broader system.

Rand points to strict government legislation that shackles the titans of industry and prevents them from producing and achieving greatness as the cause of this gradual downfall.

The epic work is structured in 3 parts, each named for one of Aristotle’s 3 pillars of logic.

Much of the novel centers around the intersecting lives of Dagny Taggart, an executive of the massive Taggart Transcontinental rail system, and Hank Rearden, a self-made billionaire and steel magnate.

Taggart and Rearden emerge as two rare leaders of talent, and are depicted as some of the only competent individuals in the world, while other large enterprises wither away due to poor leadership and lack of innovation.

As the book progresses, several accounts arise of mysterious disappearances of major industry leaders, and the question “Who Is John Galt?” begins to sift through the minds of the principal characters.

Eventually it is revealed that there is a secret colony in the mountains of Ohio where all of the competent men and women are fleeing. This colony, presented as a utopian system against the dystopian US government, allows free and unfettered range of capitalism, encouraging each member of society to produce to the best of his ability.

To listen to the whole story and download the Atlas Shrugged audiobook unabridged, click the link below.
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