I'm re-reading this book for the first time since 9th or 10th grade. It made an impression on me in the mid-1970s, but some of it seemed to be a bit of an exaggeration. It's a long book, but if you haven't read it recently, find a copy and read it carefully. I won't give away the plot. What I will say is that it chronicles what happens when the government and society punish people who work hard and reward those who are nonproductive.
You can buy the book from Amazon.com by clicking the link at the bottom of this post. It doesn't matter to me how you get the book, just get it.
From The Economist:
Books do not sell themselves: That is what films are for. "The Reader," the book that inspired the Oscar-winning film, has shot up the best-seller lists. Another recent publishing success, however, has had more help from Washington, D.C., than Hollywood. That book is Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged."
According to data from TitleZ, a firm that tracks best-seller rankings on Amazon, an online retailer, the book's 30-day average Amazon rank was 127 on Feb. 21, well above its average over the past two years of 542. On Jan. 13 the book's ranking was 33, briefly besting President Barack Obama's popular tome, "The Audacity of Hope."
Tellingly, the spikes in the novel's sales coincide with the news. The first jump, in September 2007, followed dramatic interest-rate cuts by central banks, and the Bank of England's bailout of Northern Rock, a troubled mortgage lender.
The October 2007 rise happened two days after the Bush administration announced an initiative to coax banks to assist subprime borrowers. A year later, sales of the book rose after America's Treasury said that it would use a big chunk of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to buy stakes in nine large banks.
Debate over Obama's stimulus plan in January gave the book another lift. And sales leapt once again when the stimulus plan passed and Obama announced a new mortgage-modification plan.
Whenever governments intervene in the market, in short, readers rush to buy Rand's book. Why?
The reason is explained by the name of a recently formed group on Facebook, the world's biggest social-networking site: "Read the news today? It's like 'Atlas Shrugged' is happening in real life." The group, and an expanding chorus of fretful bloggers, reckon that life is imitating art.