Monday, March 09, 2009

Atlas Shrugged makes a comeback

Sales of Atlas Shrugged are up, according to the National Post (via Newsalert):

Banks, automakers and overextended homeowners aren't the only ones who've been helped by massive government bailout packages. Sales of the Libertarian classic Atlas Shrugged have apparently surged and are apparently triple what they were this time last year according to one Libertarian think tank.

The book even cracked the top 40 on Amazon's bestsellers list, briefly besting Barack Obama's memoir The Audacity of Hope.

The Economist tellingly points out that Rand's book seems to do well whenever the government stages massive interventions in the economy:...


Perhaps Rand will do for reading what J.K. Rowling did.

22 Comments:

Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Am I mistaken? I thought Ayn Rand did not think too much of Libertarians.

7:02 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Happy Hour...Somewhere,

I don't think she does:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_campus_libertarians

7:14 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Major-General said...

Perhaps Rand will do for reading what J.K. Rowling did.

I hope not. Rand wrote an engaging book, 1079 pages (in my paperback edition) of thrilling prose that also laid down her philosophical vision. J.K. Rowling is an untalented hack, whose saving grace is the window dressing that covers up the plagerism. Or is it plagerism only when the story is copyrighted?

We would have to get a new Rand novel, from beyond the grave, for them to be equivalent. My apologies to the good Doctor, but I have strong feelings regarding literature.

8:19 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Major-General,

I simply meant that perhaps more people would start to read, instead of watching tv and letting the MSM be their sole source of information. I should have made that clearer.

8:25 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger John said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:48 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger John said...

I embrace Rand's vision of capitalism of course, but the overall philosopy of Objectivism seems to be merely a hodgepodge of what what she bothered to reject about communism and what she didn't. She retained the atheism, for example, but rejected the collectivism. My hope is that her renewed popularity will not spark renewed interest in objectivism as a whole.

9:50 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Aunt Judie said...

I finished reading it for the first time last night. I re-read John Galt's speech, and highlighted areas to start talking about with the young adults in my life.

Big book...wish I had my Kindle 2 first!

10:44 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

@ Major-General:

Thank goodness I'm not the only one (other than Harold Bloom) that thinks JK Rowling is to fiction what L. Ron Hubbard is to religion.

11:18 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

So she would be a little p.o.'d that the article notes it as a Libertarian classic. I am just starting to re-read her books after many years, but the appropriation of her work by the Libs sounds like it would have chapped her hide.

FWIW, I loved the Harry Potter stories. I remember either an article or an essay where she wrote of loving "tiddlywink music." I hope she would think of these books as "tiddlywink books"~! They are fun, full of morality, heroes, villains, etc.

11:43 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Jim Hart said...

Dear Helen:

Go Galt!

Please.

11:44 AM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Mark Sicignano said...

I purchased a copy for myself and one for a friend last week. I look forward to cracking it open and getting started.

It's always been on my reading list, but after watching this three part interview from 1959, I became more intrigued. After seeing all of the signs invoking her name, Atlas Shrugging, and John Galt, I just ordered it before it sells out. ;-)

3:02 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Mark Sicignano said...

I meant to leave a link to that interview. Sorry.

3:03 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger GOPStrategy said...

I'm all about this going galt.
Check out www.howtogogalt.com for more ideas.

3:19 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

John, atheism is not a necessary component to communism and vise versa. There were religious communists in Europe and notably Christian Communists basing their philosophy on Jesus' teachings. And this atheist and many others find communism failed and very distasteful.

5:00 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Major-General said...

Helen:

Understood. I don't think a resurgence in Rand will actually spill over into the popular culture. Atlas Shrugged still sells about 200,000 copies a year already.

I have remarked elsewhere that Socialism is not the disease, it is the symptom. I may be wrong about that, because I don't know what the disease is. But I am reminded of another symptom: I met a woman recently who expressed her hatred for Wal-Mart because they "want to take my job from me." How? Because "they donate money to school vouchers."

I unfortunately can't reply back to these statements as I like being employed. But I want to ask how she is entitled to lifetime employment. Or perhaps "You do know the public school system is a failure, right? I should know, I'm a product of it."

As to Harry Potter my contemporaries consist of two groups: those who love Potter, and those who don't. As a side note, those also correspond to those who like Obambi, and those who see through his cult of personality and poor public speaking style.

5:04 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Major-General,it sounds like you would enjoy the hell out of Christopher Hitchens review of the Harry Potter books. It is in the New York Times book review section. I always thought The Da Vinci Code and Demons and Angels by Dan Brown were somewhat clunky, but damn I could not put them down.

The woman who hates Wal-Mart and the people like her drive me nuts. Do they ever realize the incredible stupidity of their statements? Probably, not only does she hate Wal-Mart, she would use the power of the government to run them out of business. It is all about them, you know.

11:31 PM, March 09, 2009  
Blogger downtownlad said...

Please go John Galt Dr. Helen.

I'm sure the world will do just FINE without you practicing reparative therapy on gay teenagers.

11:43 AM, March 10, 2009  
Blogger delagar said...

People might buy Rand in whatever numbers, just like they buy the Bible(bestselling book of all time!); how many actually read her?

Survey says...

2:04 PM, March 10, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

@delagar

That would explain some of the comments made on this blog in prior posts.

2:09 PM, March 10, 2009  
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10:57 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger peter.w said...

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10:26 AM, May 01, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

smiling,face.Not,only,can,answer,good,intentions,by,form.Can,also,shorten,distance,between,human,relationses!Happiness-not-is-getting-much.And-is-accounting-less~wish-happy-delectation....

8:56 AM, May 05, 2009  

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