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Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Rises in Popularity as Economy Falls

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Sales Surge as Economy Falls

Last year dates were getting kicked to the curb for putting Ayn Rand books on their shelves and online profiles, yet this year her most popular book, Atlas Shrugged, has been flying off store shelves and onto Amazon's best-seller list. Today it's perched at no. 50. Not bad for 51-year-old book.

Why so popular again? The sci-fi tale of economic Armageddon has been looking more like science than fiction to die-hard libertarians, who value individualism, self-interest, and laissez-faire capitalism. Depending on your Ayn Rand feelings (and, trust me, people have them), you can blame or thank the economy, President Obama, and the government bailout. It's gotten to the point where book sales peak on days of major government interventions, like the bank-buying spree and stimulus passing.

But as The Economist points out, there's nothing new in the book's sales history: Whenever the government intervenes, Atlas Shrugged's sales rise. Even if the reason is as simple and modern as a poorly named Facegroup called Read the News Today? It’s Like Atlas Shrugged Is Happening in Real Life today.

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genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
It's been getting a lot of press coverage lately.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Oh by the by - Atlas Shrugged was originally written or commissioned by a Hollywood Studio exec with the expressed purpose that it be made into a movie back in the 40's. However, long winded Ayn turning in the script of Atlas Shrugged and it was something like 800 pages which is completely unacceptable for a movie. For years Rand tried to reduce the size and unnecessary complexity of AS but she couldn't and around that time another script she wrote was successfully made into a film and the film flopped becuase Rand's political and social views where and in some part are still to laughable to be applicable. I used to have a membership in the Ayn Rand Institute in my 20's. It was a gift from my B-I-L because he knew I was a fan of Rand as a kid.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
"Who's John Galt?" That's the question. :D I liked Ayn Rand's work, preferred "Fountainhead." And I LOVE Robert Heinlein's works. Man, those were just great read. Missed those days when I can just read without interruption :)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
*running* should be *ran for*
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Sales may be up for Atlas Shrugged (I suspect partly because Angelina is trying to turn it into a movie) however I bet a great number of readers who are new to Ayn Rand read the first few pages and put the book down. I've read way to much Rand, partly because she too was an atheist and she was the first atheist I ever saw admit to it on National TV - on the Phil Donahue show in the 80's. I also read her works because she a Russian and I had a fascination with all things Russian as a kid. The Fountainhead is way better than AS or her other books on Ojectivism at least in my opinion. However, I do find many of her theories of the economy and capitalism to be seriously flawed and too naive and idealistic. There are other old books with much better ideas about the economy and how to improve our social structure while allowing and increasing individual freedom and decreasing the need for governments role in people's lives...I suggest reading Robert Heinlein's "For Us The Living". Heinlein's ideas were brilliant and they were factually based in his sound understanding of economics, science and sociology. R. Heinlein running for a CA legislative seat after receiving numerous advanced degrees and spending time in the armed services. His ideas weren't radical, just founded on a belief in the idea behind in the US Constitution and on improving individual freedoms, reducing conflict and the roll of government in everyone's lives.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
I was referring to that whole "read it and think for yourself" mindset. I google lots of things, but gets skewed and opinionated answers all the time...
stephley stephley 8 years
Oh yeah, you only google or go to cliffnotes to pass a simple test or satisfy curiosity about a detail - beyond that, you're putting yourself at serious risk!
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Ha, Stephley. I watched "The Squid and the Whale" the other night and one of the kids never read a book, but instead asked his literary dad if it was any good and just took his word for it. Saved him a lot of time I guess, but he ended up looking and acting like a fool.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well it's only natural, you're sitting at the cafe or chatting on phone with a friend about the economic times and if one of you have read the book you'd most likely be prompted to say hey you should read this book.
stephley stephley 8 years
Or you could save time and google him! :)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I love Atlas Shrugged and the connection makes total sense to me. Every time I read it I think about what a good movie it would make. (Although, massive chunks would have to be cut out, even to get it down to a three hour movie.)
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Then again, if you do read "Atlas Shrugged", you'll know who John Galt is...
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Try "We The Living" instead. It's about 1500 pages shorter, but still gets the point across beats you over the head with it a bit less than "Atlas Shrugged" or "The Fountainhead". COMMUNISM IS BAD! GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IS EVIL! THE FREE MARKET IS BETTER. That's the basic theme of all of her books.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I love the cover artwork!
SillyGirl SillyGirl 8 years
There are so many characters and storylines that it takes a good 150 pages to really get into it (but dont worry there are a lot more). But I think it is one of the best books of all time! The connection is, in the book the economy is quickly dwindling, and the government keeps stepping in, trying to make things easier on everyone and help-out - but all of that intervention just keeps making things worse.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Stephley, that's precisely how I described reading Anthem! After reading that for (an economics!) class, I never even bothered with Atlas Shrugged.
stephley stephley 8 years
I tried reading it once but gave up - it felt like being stuck with an unpleasant person.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I will tell you why its popular again. simple. Lionsgate has picked up the rights, and the Jolie-Pitts are interested in making it. So people, like me, picked it back up again, or for the first time, to see what its about.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I know that I haven't finished the book or anything, but I don't get the connection.
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