The first time I had ever heard of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, I was in the fifth grade. I had overheard some teachers talking about it and I asked about it. More than anything I was struck by the title. The title grabbed my young intellect and never let go. By the time I had graduated from high school in 1990 I had a very short list of books I felt I needed to read. These were books I held in high regard because of what I saw as their difficulty and also their status among the literati.
Not long after high school, John Milton’s Paradise Lost was the first of these books I read. I was 24, doing work that involved a lot of driving. I would sometimes hang out in bookstores for my linch break. While on one of my visits to a bookstore I saw a hardback copy of Atlas Shrugged, though I didn’t have enough money with me to buy the hardback I did however get the paperback. It was over a thousand pages long but read it in a week. From the opening line I couldn’t stop from reading this book. I read it every chance I got, even while driving to Las Vegas for a wedding with a girl I was totally head over heels for… I still have the book. The girl, thats a story for another blog.
I was a new Christian at the time I read it, I wasn’t a proper student of the Bible at the time but the book didn’t change my life the way it had others. I still hold it in high regard, find it to be a very interesting book to read but by the grace of God I didn’t accept the philosophy of Ayn Rand. I never read another one of her books either fiction or non-fiction since. I found it unromantic and cold. I know the book wasn’t meant to be a romance novel but it was passionless. Even the long, long… long speech by the hero that must have gone for fifty pages was rather unromantic. It seriously was about fifty pages of the evils of socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism too… I think and extolled the greatness of self.
After all that, if you want to read a better book on philosophy then read David Hume or better yet Greg Bahnsen, if you want to read a book about a Utopian society then read Brave New World. I liked reading this book but it’s not a book for everyone, though I do think people should read it.
Who is John Galt?