With this acclaimed work and its immortal query, “Who is John Galt?”, Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.
Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world–and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder–and rebirth–of man’s spirit.
- “Who is John Galt?”
- “Do you know the hallmark of a second rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own – they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top.”
- “The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.”
- “I take no pride in hopeless longing; I wouldn’t hold a stillborn aspiration. I’d want to have it, to make it, to live it.”
- “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
- “Do not let the hero in your soul parish, in lonely frustration, for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”
- “The source of publis opinion? … There is no source of public opinion. It is spontaneously general. It is a reflex of the collective instinct of the collective mind.”
- “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, “Who is destroying the world?” You are.”
- “John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains—and he withdrew his fire—until the day when men withdraw their vultures.”
- “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be left waiting for us in our graves-or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”
- “The music of Richard Halley’s Fifth Concerto streamed from his keyboard, past the glass of the window, and spread through the air over the lights of the valley. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive.”