July 4, 2013

Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" in 3 Minutes: a guest post by Jack Collins

I don't know about you, but there are some books out there that I will just never take the time to read. I just know it. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, and Ayn Rand's Atlast Shrugged. Fortunately for me, Jack Collins contacted me a while back looking for a little feedback and signal boost on his short video synopsising Atlas Shrugged in less than three minutes. Perfect. I checked it out and thought it was really well done. I mean, as well as anyone can sum up a lengthy novel in a couple minutes. Here's a bit about the video in Jack's own words, and the video itself. Enjoy.

You know how some authors tuck their messages away in subtle narrative layers, inviting you to tease them out through careful analysis? Well, Ayn Rand isn’t one of those authors. In Atlas Shrugged, her 1957 magnum opus, Rand thrusts her philosophy to the foreground, leaving no question as to where she stands on social values.

Having witnessed the Communist conquest that shook her native Russia, Rand had quite a bit to say about the merits of capitalism, freedom, and self-interest. Though she had already begun to outline her social theory in her previous novel, The Fountainhead, it was Atlas Shrugged that—through heavy symbolism and even explicit speeches—solidified the divisive ideology she called Objectivism.

Particularly in the wake of Paul Ryan’s now-famous endorsement, it seems like everyone has something to say about this controversial manifesto. Love it or hate it, Atlas Shrugged is likely to remain a staple of dinner party conversation for years to come. Don’t miss out on the fun—check out this TL;DR video and bring your own opinion to the table. To watch the video, click here, or just check out the embedded player below.

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  1. That was an interesting little video. I read Rand's We The Living years ago and found it both depressing and insightful. One of these days I should make time for her other fictional works, especially Atlas Shrugged.

  2. I first read Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED back in the 1950's as a teenager and enjoyed it. Recently in my 60's I started to wonder what I might think of it after all those years. It stood up to a second reading and I enjoyed it again even though I disagreed with many of her ideas.

    A very interesting video!

  3. nrlymrtl, I've only listened to a couple of her intereviews--equally depressing, I'm sure.

    Walker, at least you've read it--and twice at that--which is more than I can say for some of her ardent followers. Astonishing at times how some will praise or decry a book without at least giving it a go.

  4. I adore the book for the story and the characters, and the philosophy makes sense given the context of the book. However, in our reality the politics of the book is deplorable.