Customer Reviews

16
4.4 out of 5 stars
Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$46.07 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Format: Paperback
This is a book for those who enjoyed Atlas Shrugged and admire the philosophy it expresses. I appreciated the in-depth and original ideas in virtually every essay in the book. I came away from each section of reading with both a deeper understanding and appreciation of Rand's particular genius.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm part of an "Atlas Shrugged" Reading Group. We're about to begin John Galt's speech. Onkar Ghate's study of it is being used as the guide. It's wonderful to be able to read his chapter on the speech. I've read the whole book many times but after reading this chapter I saw parts of it afresh. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of Rand's ideas and fiction writing style.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is fourth, and apparently final, collection of essays on Ayn Rand's major works of fiction edited by Robert Mayhew. As with the other volumes in the Mahyew series, Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is a valuable, if not very critical, collection of essays. All the contributors are (or were -- for all I know one or two have been excommunicated since its publication) associated with Leonard Peikoff's Ayn Rand Institute. But having access to the ARI's archives is a great advantage.

As with the previous volumes, Shoshana Milgram's essays are among the best. Philosophers Greg Salmier's and Darryl Wright's pieces are excellent as well.

I also recommend Ed Younkins' collection of essays on Atlas Shrugged. These essays are more creative but often not as polished.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified 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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mr. Boeckmann noted that "Dr. Rasmussen specifically cites Edward Younkins' collection of essays, which falls in this category, let me simply mention that the publishers had to recall the first printing of that book when the editor's breaches of the most elementary scholarly standards were pointed out to them." Yet Dr. Rasmussen, after having read this, still insists that Younkins' book deserves attention and presumably respect. More likely the Younkins book shares company with "Dr." Pellegrine's "Last Train from Hiroshima," found out too late by Henry Holt, the publisher, to contain numerous errors, mispresentations, and anecdotes from fictive persons concernng the bombing of Hiroshima, and all copies of it recalled by Holt.

That being said (and I understand that Ashgate has corrected the errors in the Younkins book and reissued it), I turn to Robert Mayhew's work. We can only speculate on what critics and "reviewers" in Aristotle's life time might have said about his most important works, those which have come down to us through the destructive turbulence of human history. What did his original draft of the Poetics look like, what did he strike out or rewrite in the Nichomachean Ethics, did his Politics provoke a Greek Whittaker Chambers to denigrate the work by libeling the character of the author? Did anyone in his life time subject his work to philosophical, literary, and political scrutiny? Did anyone in his life time recognize the supreme importance of his work to human existence, then and in the future? And, did Aristotle know it?

We are fortunate to profit from a collection of essays which explicates the history, text, themes, plot, and contents of a literary phenomenon, Atlas Shrugged, written by Aristotle's philosophical heir, Ayn Rand. Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, edited by Robert Mayhew, bears as frequent rereading as does the novel (or any of her novels, for that matter). Rand certainly knew the importance of all her work, and most especially of Atlas Shrugged, that "philosophical murder mystery" in which the victims solve the crime of two millennia. It would be redundant to repeat the praise already paid here by other reviewers, so I will simply say that while all the essays are well-written, thought-provoking, and seminal contributions to the study and dissemination of Rand`s philosophy, my three favorites, from the perspective of a novelist, are Shoshana Milgram's explorations of the origins of John Galt and Francisco d'Anconia, and Harry Binswinger's "A Tale of Two Novels," which contrasts Atlas Shrugged with Joyce's Ulysses, followed closely by Tara Smith's two crucial essays, "Humanity's Darkest Evil: The Lethal Destructiveness of Non-Objective Law" (certainly applicable to the current administration) and "No Tributes to Caesar: Good or Evil in Atlas Shrugged," also too obviously relevant today to expound here. I highly recommend Essays for both the serious student of Objectivism and the lay reader. It is as much a "keeper" as the novel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
An engaging panegyric devoted to Ayn Rand's magnum opus, this volume is a collection of essays by Rand devotees, and thus lacks any of what Bertrand Russell would call evidence against interest. The only criticism the reader will find is in the essay on the reviews of Atlas Shrugged, which the author dispatches with ease, focusing on the silly (yet vile) National Review article by Whittaker Chambers. There are enlightening new perspectives to be found, a brief essay by Tore Boeckmann on the ancestry of Francisco D'Anconia was fascinating if speculative, and Darryl Wright's essay on the development of Rand's ethics between The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged was stimulating and fresh. However, long time fans familiar with Who is Ayn Rand?, and it's essays (by Nathaniel Branden) Moral Revolution in Atlas Shrugged and The Literary Method of Ayn Rand will find the insights there repeated, even expanded, but hardly improved on here.
Some new historical material makes its first appearance in this volume: Leonard Peikoff's unpublished letter to National Review replying to the Chambers review, and Rand's miniseries screenplay in progress. The one misfire is Harry Binswanger's embarrassing (and thankfully brief) piece comparing Atlas Shrugged to James Joyce's Ulysses, naturally to the latter's severe detriment. The attitude and approach of this kind of piece is what still consigns Ayn Rand to an intellectual ghetto.
Note: the product description, claiming that this is the "first scholarly study" is false, as noted by other reviewers. It is also typical of the hermetically sealed ingroup approach of its authorship, to flatly deny the existence of competition, with heads buried in sand. This is how these contemporary Objectivists practice the primacy of consciousness.
1010 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Robert Mayhew's book Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged approaches its subject matter with a sophistication and comprehensiveness unmatched by any previous treatment, and it in effect inaugurates the study of Ayn Rand's greatest novel as a scholarly field.

However, Professor Douglas Rasmussen, in a review below, quotes the following from the Amazon Product Description--"This is the first scholarly study of Atlas Shrugged"--and replies: "This is false." Dr. Rasmussen specifically cites Edward Younkins' collection of essays as an example of Ayn Rand scholarship. But in fact, the publishers had to recall the first printing of that book because of the editor's breaches of scholarly standards.

The inquiring reader is better off with Mayhew. I am proud to have contributed two essays to his book.
2727 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I expect Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to be a useful book, like the volumes under Robert Mayhew's editorship that covered Rand's other novels. It is on my wish list.

But whoever was responsible for the Product Description needs a remedial course in Truth in Packaging.

The Product Description proclaims, "This is the first scholarly study of Atlas Shrugged...," and that is obviously not true.

There have been many scholarly discussions of Atlas Shrugged in books by various authors about Ayn Rand and her ideas. A number of articles have been published about Atlas Shrugged in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies and other venues.

In 2000, Mimi Reisel Gladstein's book about Atlas Shrugged appeared in the Twayne Masterworks series; in 2007, Ed Younkins put out an edited volume of essays on Atlas Shrugged. Both are available from amazon right now, as this review is being written.

A more truthful Product Description of the Mayhew volume might have read, "This is the first book-length study of Atlas Shrugged in which every chapter was written by an author connected with the Ayn Rand Institute. The Ayn Rand Institute counts only its affiliates as genuine Rand scholars..."

But such candor might have led to awkward questions.
1414 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rasmussen & Den Uyl, Chris Sciabarra, Mimi Reisel Gladstein and Ed Younkins have all edited or written scholarly essays and books on Atlas Shrugged, so to claim this is the first of its kind is simply a lie. And The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is filled with such works. (I, too, penned a book, Ayn Rand (Peter Lang, 2001), in which AS is discussed at some length and some of Rand's philosophical themes are thoroughly investigated.) Why do people need to produce lies like these? Beats me, especially when one of Ayn Rand's major messages was that people ought to practice the moral virtues, including honesty!
1717 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
The editorial description states "This is the first scholarly study of Atlas Shrugged . . ."

This is false.

See:

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion
~ Edward Wayne Younkins (Editor) (2007)
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion by Edward W. Younkins (Paperback - November 1, 2007)
$29.95

Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Paperback - August 1, 1999)
$17.14

Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead by Robert Mayhew (Paperback - November 24, 2006)
$29.95
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.