1st Edition

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
A Philosophical and Literary Companion

Edited By

Edward W. Younkins

ISBN 9780754655497
Published November 28, 2007 by Routledge
432 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part 1 An Overview: Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand's philosophical and literary masterpiece, Edward W. Younkins; Atlas Shrugged: manifesto for a new radicalism, Chris Matthew Sciabarra; The Aristotelian significance of the section titles of Atlas Shrugged, Douglas B. Rasmussen; Various levels of meaning in the chapter titles of Atlas Shrugged, Fred Seddon; Some structural aspects of Atlas Shrugged, Lester H. Hunt; Table of contents for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Hans Gregory Schantz. Part 2 Philosophy: Atlas Shrugged's moral principle of the sanction of the victim, Tibor R. Machan; Forced to rule: Atlas Shrugged as a response to Plato's Republic, Roderick T. Long; The role and essence of John Galt's speech in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, G. Stolyarov II. Part 3 Literary Aspects: Ayn Rand's cinematic eye, Mimi Reisel Gladstein; Atlas Shrugged as a science fiction novel, Jeff Riggenbach; Ayn Rand's recasting of ancient myths in Atlas Shrugged, Kirsti Minsaas. Part 4 Aesthetics: Atlas and art, Ronald F. Lipp; My music: why it's romantic, and why I write it that way, Roger E. Bissell; Fuel for the soul, Russell Madden. Part 5 Political Economy: The economics of Atlas Shrugged, Peter J. Boettke; Atlas, Ayn and anarchy: A is A is A, Larry J. Sechrest; The businessman and Ayn Rand: Galt's Gulch in real time, Spencer Heath MacCallum; Ayn Rand's Atlantis as a free market economy, Sam Bostaph; Atlas Shrugged and public choice: the obvious parallels, Bryan Caplan; Francisco d'Anconia on money: a socio-economic analysis, Steven Horwitz; Human productivity in Atlas Shrugged, Jack Criss. Part 6 Human Relationships: Dagny and me, Karen Michalson; Atlas Shrugged: the dream of every woman, Joy Bushnell; Friendship in Atlas Shrugged, Peter Saint-Andre; Romantic love in Atlas Shrugged, Jennifer L. Iannolo; Beyond the 'stillborn aspiration': virtuous sexuality in Atlas Shrugged, Susan Love Brown. Part 7 Characterization: The price of passivity: Hank Rearden's mind-body dichotomy, Virginia Murr; Hugh Akston, the role of teaching, and the lessons of Atlas Shrugged, Ken Schoolland and Stuart K. Hayashi; When the train left the station, with two lights on behind: the Eddie Willers story, Robert Campbell; In the beginning was the thought: the story of the wet nurse, Jomana Krupinski; The destruction from the nihilism train: the Cherryl Brooks story, Jennifer J. Rhodes. Part 8 History: Atlas and 'the Bible': Rand's debt to Isabel Paterson, Stephen Cox; A note on Rand's Americanism, Douglas J. Den Uyl; The non fictional Robert Stadlers: traitors to liberty, Walter Block; Atlas Shrugging throughout history and modern life, Stuart K. Hayashi. Index.

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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'.


'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.' Aeon J. Skoble, Bridgewater State University 'Edward Younkins appreciates the significance of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged to so many disciplines and thus he has assembled an impressive collection of essays by distinguished experts in many fields to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Rand’s monumental work. Younkins understands the unique nature of Atlas ; it is a great work of romantic literature, its plot shows in the concrete the importance of economic liberty and a morality of rational self-interest, it outlines an integrated philosophy - Objectivism - by which to guide one’s life, and it offers a vision of the kind of life and world that this philosophy can produce. This collection is a welcomed volume for the millions who love Rand’s magnum opus.' Edward Hudgins,The Atlas Society & the Objectivist Center 'Atlas Shrugged is a thrilling and, in my view, nearly indispensable part of courses on economics and government. Dr. Younkins’s insightful collection of essays by experts in many fields will prove immensely valuable to teachers and students who use Atlas and to any reader who seeks deeper understanding of Ayn Rand’s marvellous novel.' John B. Egger, Towson State University 'A collection of this type is long overdue. Edward Younkins has exhibited an impressive vision in assembling this extraordinary book just in time for the 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece.' Lew Rockwell, Ludwig von M