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Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion [Paperback]

by Edward W. Younkins, Edward Wayne Younkins
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 2007 0754655490 978-0754655497 New Ed
Since its publication in 1957 "Atlas Shrugged", the philosophical and artistic climax of Ayn Rand's novels, has never been out of print and has received enormous critical attention becoming one of the most influential books ever published, impacting on a variety of disciplines including philosophy, literature, economics, business, and political science among others. More than a great novel, "Atlas Shrugged" is an abstract conceptual, and symbolic work that expounds a radical philosophy, presenting a view of man and man's relationship to existence and manifesting the essentials of an entire philosophical system - metaphysics, epistemology, politics and ethics. Celebrating the fiftieth year of "Atlas Shrugged's" publication, this companion is an exploration of this monumental work of literature. Contributions have been specially commissioned from a diversity of eminent scholars who admire and have been influenced by the book, the included essays analyzing the novel's integrating elements of theme, plot and characterization from many perspectives and from various levels of meaning.

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Editorial Reviews


'Ayn Rand's complex philosophical novel, Atlas Shrugged, is hugely popular, yet intimidating or confusing to some people. By assembling this impressive collection, Edward Younkins has done something wonderful for both those who enjoyed the novel and those yet to discover it. Younkins and his collaborators examine many different facets of the novel, from the perspectives of a variety of different disciplines: literature, philosophy, economics, politics, history. This is sure to be a thought-provoking and conversation-stimulating anthology.'

About the Author

Edward Younkins is one of the leading scholars on the works of Ayn Rand in the world. He is the author of 'Capitalism and Commerce' and 'Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand and Beyond'.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate; New Ed edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754655490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754655497
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true must-have December 14, 2007
Very few novels have stood the test of time. This year marks a venerable exception to this axiom, with the fiftieth aniversary of the first publication of Ayn Rand's groundbreaking novel Atlas Shrugged, which has never been out of print since its inititial publication. Hugely popular among literature and philosophy buffs alike, it has meant many different things to many people over the years. To some, it is just an entertaining story with fascinating characters and plot twists, while to others it is the cornerstone of their business, political, economic, and life's philosophy.

One such man, Dr. Edward Younkins of Wheeling Jesuit University, has long argued the merits and deeper meaning of Ayn Rand's ideas and Objectivist philosophy, which was laid out so completely in her culminating work, Atlas Shrugged. While Dr. Younkins has authored other works on related ideas, he may well consider this his crowning achievement. Few have understood this complex and artistic work with the depth and breadth of Dr. Younkins, and he has worked with many of the worlds leading scholars, authors, philosophers, businessmen, and educators to compile thirty six different essays on various aspects of Atlas Shrugged. Each contributor has laid out in easily understood form a different aspect of Atlas Shrugged and its significance to the human condition.

Dr. Younkins has then organized each of these separate works into a comprehensive companion, designed to help anyone understand the deeper truths Ayn Rand worked so hard to articulate to those who are willing to look. After reading Dr. Younkins' companion compilation, it is clear to anyone why the works of Ayn Rand have had such staying power and influence over the best and brightest minds of our age, from such minds as Alan Greenspan all the way down to the causal reader just looking for a good story. Anyone wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of this classic work need look no further.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom and capitalism December 4, 2009
By Armahda
Format:Kindle Edition
It's rather amazing that 30 years after her death, more and more people are reading Atlas Shrugged. Some people would say that her writing was terrible. Do you think her terrible writing is the reason why more people are picking up this book? NO OTHER freedom or capitalism writer will stand the test of time as Ayn Rand. She was able to convey her message to the common people. Something that most economists and freedom writers often fail to do. What she accomplished was to make people realized why we must fight for capitalism. It is about freedom and no other system have lifted so many people out of poverty and misery as capitalism. To judge her writing and ignore the great message displays an extreme degree of ignorance.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 years NEW July 12, 2010
By Kase
Format:Kindle Edition
Excellent and everyone should read it. I could not put this down. I read this through 22 hours of flight time and still could not stop until I finished the book. For me personally, this was a very disturbing read. A fiction novel written over 50 years ago and the story could have been written as a non fiction reflecting what has been happening in the last several years in the political systems of today. Those that work hard for what they earn and being made to feel guilty by those who don't want to work and want to be given everything. The characters are appealing in their humanity.
I will be honest and say I had not heard of this book until seeing something about it on a recent Glen Beck show. I am so glad I have found Ayn Rand as an author.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Basic Discussion November 6, 2010
By Bridge
As a lover of Atlas Shrugged and of literary analysis, I was really looking forward to diving into this companion book. With the promise of philosophical and literary discussion, I was very interested in what the articles would have to add to the dialogue of ideas in Atlas Shrugged and modern culture. I was sadly disappointed, however. This book's essays are basic and offer little further insight into the myriad ideas presented in Rand's epic novel. For anyone just beginning to delve into literary analysis, this companion may prove helpful. However, for anyone looking for an in-depth or even a collegiate companion book, this collection won't offer any additional insight.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Helpful Book September 24, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good and helpful discussion of one of the most important books of the 20th century. It has a very good plot summary. Do not read this book until you read Atlas Shrugged.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atlas Shrugged September 3, 2009
There are many different themes in this book. Most notable are the tones of capitalism vs. communism and the the producers in society vs. those who mooch off of the government.

Dagny Taggart is the female protagonist. This is a story about one person's fight against government corruption and greed. As an executive for one of the biggest railroads in the country run by her brother, she is frustrated by the lack of production from other workers until she runs into Henry Rearden, a scientist who has created his own metal plant and through many hours of hard work has grown the company to be one of the best in the industry. The two discover they have a lot of ideas in common in regards to work ethic and business practices.

Against Dagny and Henry (and many other industry giants introduced in the book) is the government which believes that they should share the wealth they have created for themselves from their own hard work with the rest of the world. In addition, they should share the secrets of their success with the rest of the world so that other companies can produce the same product without having to put in the same amount of work.

John M. Vanderslice
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ATLAS SHRUGGED -- Indeed he did!
Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED is by far the best story in the best book I have ever read. An exceptionally interesting view of our world then and now.
Published 9 months ago by Marjorie I Deck
5.0 out of 5 stars Where we are headed
This book was a good read. Interesting that back in 57 Ann had the forsight to see where we were headed. You might become a John Galt fan as I did. Read more
Published 10 months ago by trainrobber
1.0 out of 5 stars Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
Don't be fooled like I was. This is not "Atlas Shrugged" but rather it is a collection of essays ABOUT Atlas Shrugged. I had to go back and spend another $15 for the actual book.
Published 13 months ago by Movin' On
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a revealing view into how insidious government control of the powers of production can be. It gives one possible path to rebellion of this injustice. Read more
Published 14 months ago by S. Yurich
1.0 out of 5 stars Ayn Rand's Atlas Shruged
I was trying to order the actual book and this is useless without the book. I guess I blew another $14.
Published 15 months ago by Claire
2.0 out of 5 stars Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
Some of the essays were interesting, some were written in such a convoluted academic way I had NO idea what they were talking about. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nancy Roach
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK..
I thought I was buying the classic Atlas Shrugged. Instead I got a book of commentaries on Atlas Shrugged. The title and advertising about this book was TOTALLY misleading. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Terry L Hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary, its happening NOW
VERY interesting twist at the end, worth reading. Especially if you are concerned with todays economy, and to think this was originally written in 1952. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kathleen A. Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Wonderful book with a look at what will happen if government is given to much power... Interesting how this review will not post...hmmm
Published 16 months ago by Angela Duncan
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Atlas Shrugged
I thought I was purchasing the actual novel and not a disection or review/interpetation. If I read the novel itself I might be interested in this. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mustang Man
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Atlas Shrugged on Kindle
You can request Atlas Shrugged be released for Kindle by going to http://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/detail/request-kindle-edition/ref=dtp_dp_su_0452011876?ie=UTF8&a=0452011876

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Nov 26, 2009 by A. Humphries |  See all 2 posts
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