If you watched the video on the previous page, one minute and fourteen seconds into it you heard producer John Aglialoro say, “This book is one of the ten most influential books of all time according to a study by the Library of Congress. It was second only to the Bible.” An exhaustive search of the web by my friend, The Goog, would seem to indicate that Aglialoro misspoke. There is an ongoing survey by the Library of Congress that Aglialoro might possibly be referencing. That list of 88 books is titled, Books That Shaped America. It does not rank the books other than by alphabetical order. There is no reference to the Bible. Atlas Shrugged is on that list. Also included on the list are:
Howl by Allen Ginsberg
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and
Poems by Emily Dickinson.
More likely, though, Aglialoro is referencing a 1991 survey that was submitted to the Library of Congress. On that list of books that “made the most difference in the lives of the Book-of-the-Month Club members surveyed,” Atlas Shrugged was, in fact, second to the Bible, “with a large gap existing between the #1 book and the rest of the list.”
Modern Library’s 1998 nonscientific online poll of the 100 best novels of the 20th century ranked Atlas at #1 although the book was not included on the list of 100 chosen by Modern Library’s board of authors and scholars. That’s interesting… voted #1 by readers, but not even ranked in the top 100 by scholars. Atlas fans will no doubt argue that this merely proves that scholars are all Eastern liberals.
My Opinion: Atlas Shrugged is an ideology cloaked in a novel.
You love the book or hate it based on the degree to which you embrace the ideology it promotes.
Speaking of promoting an ideology, WIKIPEDIA mentions that the
Ayn Rand Institute donates 400,000 copies of works by Ayn Rand, including Atlas Shrugged, to high school students each year. WIKIPEDIA cites the source of this information as a New York Times story written by Harriet Rubin, published on Sept. 15, 2007, called Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism.
Read that story and you might notice that while the Institute donates 400,000 copies a year to “Advanced Placement high school programs,” only 150,000 copies of Atlas Shrugged were sold the previous year in bookstores.
You already know Don Quixote is one of the icons
of Wizard Academy, so obviously the wizard and I
have no problem with fantasy – a self-indulgent playtime –
but egotistical delusion is an altogether different thing.
Meet Ayn Rand. Give her 5 minutes.
We’ll let her speak for herself.
(By the way, where are
the flying monkees?)
Hee, hee, hee.
PS – And now Don Quixote speaks to us about playtime:
“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.
“Those you see there,” answered his master,
“with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”
“Look, your worship,” said Sancho. “What we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the vanes that turn by the wind and make the millstone go.”
“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that you are not used to this business of adventures.”
– Don Quixote, (1605)
# # # #
“Well! That Indiana Beagle has kind
of a snarky attitude, don’t you think?”
“Well, you have to consider who he works for.”
“Oh, yes! That wizard fella. Is he still crazy?”
“Shhhhh. Don’t let the dog hear you say that.
His bark is nothing, but his bite is for real.”
“Uh-Oh. Do you think I should apologize?”
“No. Just shut up while you still have calves and shins.”