When I set my eyes on this book I thought of purchasing it only because I thought it would look good in my bookshelf (which I am yet to purchase). A book with more than 1000 pages is not something I set my hands on very often. When I purchased the book in Crosswords I got a free carry bag with it; written on it were the following words
“A single book at the right time can change our views dramatically, give a quantum boost to our knowledge, help us construct a whole new outlook on the world and our life. Isn’t it odd that we don’t seek those experiences more systematically?” –Steve Leveen
Ayan Rand was one of the best authors I had ever read. I had read her book the Fountainhead and developed the same opinion as others. However a few things I did not notice that time was that Ayan was a great author of bygone Era. One of my friends had suggested me to read “Atlas Shrugged” but for some unknown reason I had shrugged the Idea. This book was written 50 years ago. She had imagined a world 30-40 years ahead that time. So for her the book was based on the future though for us it is based on a bygone era.
Not many books I have read (one way to hint that I have read many 😉 ) present this kind of situation. Thought the author may not have imagined things like computer will come in future her imagination is surprisingly accurate about the politics. The book ideally comes under thriller or suspense category however it has lot more to offer. Something like bible or Old Testament which has (not so) interesting stories as well as they form basis of some new philosophy that describes what is evil and what is good.
It about a society where in the people are made to believe by few politicians that ‘making profit’ is evil. In the name of public good and equality the government make rules and directives that can allow them to confiscate the wealth created by Rich and hard working men. Taggart Transcontinental, Reardon Steel etc etc are the companies that generate wealth are turned to dust by these policies.
John Galt and other men are the one who build a new economy in a hidden valley and they want to fight against the looters economy. The author proposes that they represent the good probably the best values in the world. The other side I would say that is definitely evil has a many things in common with the current government in India. How in the name of equality our government hurts the interest of meritous students by imposing reservations, how in the name of secularism they spread communal hatred, how in the name of tolerance they put the national security in danger, how in the name of helping the unprivileged they give loan waivers to the poor farmers. Slowly the underprivileged start thinking that living this kind of parasitic life is their birth right.
Worst they eventually start blaming people who deliver their best the generate wealth. How does our politician blame IITians and Doctors for making money and for leaving the country? There is a strong resemblance in the current situation in the country and the America in this book.
John Galt, Dagny Taggart,Fransisco d’Atnconia, Hank Reardon, Hugh Aktson and these people represent the good entrepreneurs and people who eventually build the best parallel economy.
The striking feature of this book is a speech given by John Galt. What Gita is for Mahabharat this speech is for Atlas Shrugged. Spread over 56 pages on paperback edition it takes a complete chapter. It also happens to be the longest chapter in the book. John is not interrupted anywhere in the speech except during the first paragraph. In this speech he puts forward his theory of Objectivism.
This may not be a book for ordinary readers (another way of saying I am not among them 😉 and really a Magnum Opus. However after reading this book undoubtedly you will release some change in yourself.
This book was voted as the second most life changing book after bible.