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Jun 1, 2010

Atlas Shrugged sales soar.

An article by George Will raised an interesting fact that since Obama took office sales of Atlas Shrugged have soared. From my reading of Shrugged, I find it has generally come true, or at least the dystopian setting is here.

He was featuring Ron Johnson's bid for the Republican nomination to stand against big government liberal Russ Feingold in the Senate contest in Wisconsin. Ron is an Ayn Rand fan and calls "Atlas Shrugged" his "foundational book."

But this year the "social issues," as normally understood, are less important than the social issue as Johnson understands it -- the transformation of American society in a way foreshadowed in fiction.

What Samuel Johnson said of Milton's "Paradise Lost" -- "None ever wished it longer than it is" -- some readers have said of "Atlas Shrugged.” Not Johnson, who thinks it is "too short" at 1,088 pages. Noting that Massachusetts "is requiring insurance companies to write policies at a loss," he says, "We're living it," referring to the novel's dystopian world in which society's producers are weighed down by parasitic non-producers.

From 2000 through 2008, sales of "Atlas Shrugged," which was published in 1957, averaged a remarkable 166,000 a year. Since Barack Obama took office, more than 600,000 copies have been sold. The novel's famous opening words -- "Who is John Galt?" -- refer to a creative capitalist, Rand's symbol of society's self-sufficient people who, weary of carrying on their shoulders the burden of dependent people, shrug. Ron Johnson would rather run.


  1. Atlas is an excellent 500-page book done in 1,000 pages;)

  2. I read some of Rand about 30 years ago and got bored with her and only recently started Atlas, but at present haven't had a lot of time to read it.