Atlas Shrugged Summary

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One of Ayn Rand’s most well-known books, Atlas Shrugged (1957) integrates sci-fi tropes with Rand’s Objectivist approach and anti-government political views.

Eddie Willers walks down the streets of New York City in a future America. A homeless man asks, “Who is John Galt?” as Eddie strolls by, surprising him. Eddie offers the guy a penny for a cup of coffee and continues walking, noticing the run down nature of the city. The streets are in bad repair work and the buildings have cracks in them. Every fourth store is empty. The line, âEUR’Who is John Galt?” has ended up being a catchphrase utilized when there is no answer to a concern, suggesting, “What can you do?”

Willers meets with James Taggart, president of the railway company Taggart Transcontinental. Willers informs James that there has been another mishap on the Rio Norte line. The track is no longer viable and, tired of the regular accidents, individuals have stopped taking the train. Taggart keeps in mind that every rail business is suffering similar issues with their rail tracks. Willers tries to convince James that they need to make repair work to the tracks or the train is never going to get here.

Dagny Taggart, James’s sis and vice president of the company, intends to make repairs to the Rio Norte line. The track is still important because an ingenious oil tycoon, Ellis Wyatt, has found a way to extract oil from shale that is extremely lucrative. Dagny reflects that this development is the only thing conserving the United States from moving into economic darkness together with the remainder of the world.

Taggart Transcontinental suffers an obstacle when the Mexican government nationalizes another of their lines, the San Sebastian, built to service copper mines that folded. James utilizes his political influence to have legislation passed that ruins Taggart Transcontinental’s only genuine competitors. Dagny disapproves, seeing this as more evidence that the federal government is corrupt and jeopardized. She means to partner with Hank Rearden to utilize Rearden Metal, a sophisticated brand-new alloy, to repair the Rio Norte track.

Dagny and Rearden have seen that the world’s leading industrialists and “makers” are disappearing; they discuss their experiences dealing with the “looters” who merely draw from those who develop and produce– chiefly the government. The government’s State Science Institute corruptly states that Rearden Metal is risky to use, and Taggart Transcontinental’s stock plummets. Dagny starts her own company in order to fix the track. She meets with Rearden to form a partnership and the 2 ended up being lovers.

As the federal government passes more and more legislation debilitating industry with regulations and constraints, Ellis Wyatt all of a sudden disappears from the general public. Dagny and Rearden browse an abandoned factory, finding a model engine that works on absolutely nothing more than static electricity– an extraordinary development left to rot. They release a look for the creator, but a brand-new government step cripples Dagny’s business, as progressively more famous industrialists disappear. Dagny informs Rearden she fears a “destroyer” is working to undermine the country by making these fantastic males and females vanish.

Rearden is arrested for breaching the new laws, however this is a transparent effort to pressure him into supporting a new socialist structure and helping James salvage his organisation. James goes to Rearden’s wife, Lillian, who bitterly notifies him of his sis’s affair with Rearden. More brand-new laws enter into effect, needing that all brand-new patents be assigned to the federal government. Rearden at first declines to turn over the tricks of Rearden Metal, however blackmailed with the knowledge of his affair, he acquiesces.

Dagny resigns in disgust, but an accident involving her railway brings her back. She employs a scientist to attempt to duplicate the engine she and Rearden found however comes to fear the destroyers making individuals vanish have actually targeted him. When he boards an airplane, she follows him however loses control and crashes. When she awakes, she remains in a remote, isolated valley called Galt’s Gulch. She is astonished to discover all the missing out on industrialists and scientists. They tell her that the federal government and most of the world are looters, seeking to take advantage of and control their concepts and effort. For that reason, they have gone on strike.

Dagny meets John Galt, the guy who developed the engine. He is enchanting, and she quickly falls in love with him. Nevertheless, she declines his invite to remain since she loves her business too much. She leaves, only to discover that the railroads have actually been taken by the government. She is blackmailed into making a speech to relax individuals down, however she rebels, admitting her affair with Rearden, and alerting individuals not to trust the federal government.

Things go from bad to even worse as the government throws off any semblance of rationality, staging riots and developing other emergency situations in order to claim resources, however then mishandles those resources. The government prepares to make a nationwide broadcast to calm fears, however suddenly, John Galt hijacks the airwaves. “This is John Galt speaking,” he says, describing the strike and explaining the motivations behind it. The federal government arrests and tortures him in an attempt to make him become their financial leader. Dagny and some armed rebels rescue Galt, returning to Galt’s Gulch. There they prepare to wait until the government collapses completely, and after that return to rebuild.

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