I 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.