News Column

'Atlas Shrugged' -- Book and Movie -- Reignites Debate Over Fate of America and Capitalism

May 6, 2011
First edition of 'Atlas Shrugged'
First edition of 'Atlas Shrugged'

More than 50 years after Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged debuted as a controversial New York Times bestseller, the novel again is at the top of the charts. USA Today and Amazon recorded large sales spikes with the theatrical release of Atlas Shrugged Part 1.

Critics -- including most liberals and even many conservatives -- have damned the film and the novel, while audiences have loved both. Among the book's diverse fans are Alan Greenspan, Angelina Jolie, Playboy's Hugh Hefner, Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The film's release has reignited oft-heated debate over Rand's thought-provoking works; her books have sold a cumulative 25 million copies, with Atlas selling over seven million, over a half-million of that number since President Obama took office.

At the center of debate stands The Atlas Society (, a non-profit founded two decades ago to promote Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.

-- Objectivism celebrates heroes as productive individuals -- including

entrepreneurs -- who create wealth and condemns expropriators --

including corrupt businessmen -- who use government to steal from the


-- It champions individualism and personal liberty over imagined notions of

some collective or "social" good.

-- It advocates a morality of rational self-interest and holds pride to be

a high virtue rather than a deadly sin.

-- It defends the moral right to individual liberty and laissez-faire


-- It completely rejects all corporate and social welfare, government

economic planning, and crony capitalism.

The Atlas Society explains:

-- Why capitalism is in danger and how our country is at a perilous

crossroads, facing a civil war between producers and expropriators;

-- Why "Atlas Shrugged" has been championed by the Tea Party and


-- What Objectivism is and how we each can take steps to support an

Objectivist world;

-- Why "Atlas" has caused an uproar, and how today reality is reflecting

fiction depicted in Atlas;

-- How a classic book continues to influence political discussions more

than five decades after its publication -- and nearly 30 years since the

author's death.

Edward Hudgins, director of advocacy for The Atlas Society states that "Objectivism provides the moral foundation for economic, political, and personal liberty. And it teaches you to use your own mind and to think for yourself as the only path to happiness."

Contact: Edward Hudgins 202-296-7263

The Atlas Society

Web site:

Source: Copyright PRNewswire 2011

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