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Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Paperback – April 28, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0739127803 ISBN-10: 0739127802

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739127802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739127803
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 5.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Ayn Rand's magnum opus has long warranted analyses that are scholarly but accessible, sympathetic but not fawning, useful to readers new to Rand and rewarding to those who have long studied her. Readers have also needed an account of the book's development, publication, and reception. This outstanding collection meets these needs and more. It is the novel's definitive companion.... (John P. McCaskey, Stanford University)

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is unprecedented: a literary masterwork that presents a startlingly new philosophical system in the form of a mystery novel. In his latest collection of essays, Robert Mayhew has assembled an impressive group of scholars who explore Rand's last and most ambitious novel as a work of literature and of philosophy and place it in its historical and cultural context. This is at once a guide for new readers and a source of fresh insights for devotees. (James G. Lennox, University of Pittsburgh)

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presented a revolutionary new philosophy in the form of a gripping and inspiring novel. Dr. Mayhew's remarkable new collection will help readers gain an even deeper appreciation of Rand's esthetic and philosophical achievement. For anyone interested in understanding one of the most celebrated books of the 20th century, Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is a must-read. (Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director, The Ayn Rand Institute)

Ayn Rand's magnum opus has long warranted analyses that are scholarly but accessible, sympathetic but not fawning, useful to readers new to Rand and rewarding to those who have long studied her. Readers have also needed an account of the book's development, publication, and reception. This outstanding collection meets these needs and more. It is the novel'sdefinitive companion. (John P. McCaskey, Stanford University)

About the Author

Robert Mayhew is professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University. His authored books include Ayn Rand and Song of Russia: Communism and Anti-Communism in 1940s Hollywood, The Female in Aristotle's Biology: Reason or Rationalization, and Aristotle's Critique of Plato's Republic; his edited collections include Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of her Q&A.

Customer Reviews

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You won't go wrong learning about Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged" from this book.
David P. Hayes
This collection of essays in turn is the most complete, scholarly, and philosophical analysis of Atlas Shrugged.
Andrew Layman
I highly recommend it for growth as a personal pleasure or one to share with other fans.
R. Miner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Miner on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've loved hosting an informal study group on this text! We agree on one or two chapters and then meet once a month to discuss intriguing points from the essays. Each person brings at least one point that they want to discuss. The book offers so many insights into a novel which is always surprising me with more delightful points to learn. I highly recommend it for growth as a personal pleasure or one to share with other fans.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David P. Hayes on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This collection of 22 essays covers aspects of "Atlas Shrugged" from the most general to the most applied. For people who want to understand the underlying causes explaining why "Atlas Shrugged" exerts a tremendous impact on the thinking of people who change American culture, this book explains it. The collection begins with a refresher course on the events of "Atlas Shrugged" (I advise readers of these essays to have already read "Atlas Shrugged," even if years ago), then proceeds to previously-unreported facts about character developments that Ayn Rand made during the writing, and in the collection's later chapters the essayists elucidate through comprehensive non-fiction prose many of the ideas on law and business ethics that the novel presents through its characters' actions and in brief dialogue scattered through the novel.

Previously-published explorations on "Atlas Shrugged" didn't indicate how Ayn Rand's conception of her major character Francisco d'Anconia went through a significant transition. You get to read in this collection many quotations from Ayn Rand's manuscripts that show how d'Anconia changed from manuscript draft to manuscript draft to the final book. The early version of d'Anconia is intriguing, but it's easy to see why Ayn Rand realized that the story and the character needed the ruthless yet furtive honesty he has in the final incarnation. Not every aspect of the changes that "Atlas Shrugged" went through is here; for a comprehensive examination, "Essays on Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged'" should be read along with "Journal of Ayn Rand," published in 1997.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Paul Beaird on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoyed Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and you want see how the author combined characters, action and themes together in this book which clearly reveals Ayn Rand as a moralist and lover of life on Earth, you are in for a treat between the covers of Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
Robert Mayhew has published in one place the insights of some of the best writers on Rand's Atlas and offered them to you for at least a month's worth of enjoyable reading.
The essay by Onkar Ghate, "The Part and Chapter Headings of Atlas Shrugged" is worth the price of the entire book on its own. He shows you the connections of the characters and the novel's action, as they develop through the plot of the novel, in such rich detail that you wonder how anyone could add any more insight on the novel. But, every writer collected here does that.
You get two explorations of the hidden conspirator, Galt. You get a romantic reflection on the cheerful energy of the very deliberate Francisco. Greg Salmieri's "Discovering Atlantis" reveals the moral theme of Atlas by showing, step by step, how the events in the novel and the thinking of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden lead them from stages of not knowing the value of their lives and work, gradually, to complete understanding and their final choice to join Galt's conspiracy. What you see here is Ayn Rand's mind at work, understanding what the elements of the moral life are and in creating events that give the characters the chance to learn those elements. That is novel-plotting, characterization and moral thinking on a dimension that has no equal in human literature before Atlas. High praise? Well, read Atlas and Salmieri's essay and see for yourself.
The briefest piece is offered by Dr.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William Bucko on May 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This eagerly-awaited book promises to be just as valuable as the three previous volumes, on "We the Living," "Anthem" and "The Fountainhead," with essays by noted scholars:

"This is the first scholarly study of Atlas Shrugged, covering in detail the historical, literary, and philosophical aspects of Ayn Rand's magnum opus. Topics explored in depth include the history behind the novel's creation, publication, and reception; its nature as a romantic novel; and its presentation of a radical new philosophy.

Contents:

Preface
Chapter 1. The Part and Chapter Headings of Atlas Shrugged
Onkar Ghate
Chapter 2. Who Was John Galt? The Creation of Ayn Rand's Ultimate Ideal Man
Shoshana Milgram
Chapter 3. The Spirit of Francisco d'Anconia: The Development of His Characterization
Shoshana Milgram
Chapter 4. A Note on Francisco's Ancestry
Tore Boeckmann
Chapter 5. Working for Ayn Rand: Selections from Facets of Ayn Rand
Mary Ann Sures
Chapter 6 Publishing Atlas Shrugged
Richard Ralston
Chapter 7. The Atlas Shrugged Reviews
Michael S. Berliner
Chapter 8. Reply to Whittaker Chambers
Leonard Peikoff
Chapter 9. Atlas Shrugged and the Metaphysics of Values
Tore Boeckmann
Chapter 10. Atlas Shrugged as the Culmination of the Romantic Novel
Andrew Bernstein
Chapter 11. A Tale of Two Novels
Harry Binswanger
Chapter 12. Adapting Atlas Shrugged to Film
Jeff Britting
Chapter 13. Atlas Shrugged on the Role of the Mind in Man's Existence
Gregory Salmieri
Chapter 14. Ayn Rand's Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged
Darryl Wright
Chapter 15. No Tributes to Caesar: Good or Evil in Atlas Shrugged
Tara Smith
Chapter 16.
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