Just over 50 years ago Ayn Rand published the book that launched a thousand companies.
“Atlas Shrugged” is more than three times the length of “Built to Last” and features far steamier love scenes. But the two books share this: They are among the all-time favorite reads of business leaders. Published 50 years ago, Rand’s very magnum opus has inspired several generations of entrepreneurs to unleash their inner titans of industry.
My Grandad put Atlas Shrugged in my hands as did my favorite college professor and early mentor – Dr. Nick Pappas. That connection was not lost on me my sophomore year at Radford University.
The novel recounts a battle for – as oxymoronic as it sounds – the soul of the U.S. economy. On one side are the “producers,” who use brain or brawn to invent, to create wealth and change the world. On the other side are “looters” and “moochers”: academic, government officials, and underachievers seeking to live off the sweat of others. The plot turns to efforts by dauntless railroad executive Dagny Taggart and her lover, the resolute industrialist Henry Rearden to keep their empires afloat while enemies of progress thwart them at every turn. Meanwhile, the nation’s most talented individuals are mysteriously disappearing, lured by enigmatic visionary John Galt to Colorado, where they withhold their talents from a society they see as hopelessly corrupt.
Atlas Shrugged is like a Shakespeare for the businessperson.
I will be discussing this book and Ayn Rand further in later Blogs entries.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork