Atlas Shrugged is one of my favorite books. I don’t blame you for being confused.

atlas-shrugged-book-coverI love Atlas Shrugged.  I’ve read it from cover to cover at least four times.  I’ve recommended it to a number of people.  I’ve listened to the audio book.  I have favorite chapters, and my copy of the book is practically falling apart.

Go ahead.  Judge me.  I’ll give you a minute.

I also love Wuthering Heights.  (It’s relevant.  Bear with me.)  It’s brilliantly written, passionate and so very dark.  (Uh…spoiler alert – Wuthering Heights is not a happy book.)  I’ve read it more times than I can count.  But no matter how many times I get lost in the story of Cathy and Heathcliff, I still don’t believe that love has to turn into hate.

If you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that I am a Liberal.  (Yes, with a capital L.)  I believe in social programs, corporate taxes, and our inherent human responsibility to care for each other in our darkest times.

I am the anti-Rand.

When I read Atlas Shrugged, I’m not a student of philosophy, I’m a student of literature – and it’s a damn good piece of fiction.  I love the character of Dagny Taggert – independent, intelligent, with questionable morals and a soft spot for powerful men.  I love lots of fictional characters of questionable morality, but with Taggart, there’s no apologies for her behavior.  And that’s cool, because I don’t need my fiction to teach me how to be a good person.  I can read a book and separate reality and fiction.

I like to believe that my love of Atlas Shrugged would piss off Ayn Rand.  And maybe that adds to the appeal.