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Synopsis

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor—and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life—from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy—to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction—to the philosopher who becomes a pirate—to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph—to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad—to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions. This is a mystery story, not about the murder—and rebirth—of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.

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4.5 out of 5
(43)
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    Awesome read! I couldn't put the book down.

    This is the first book that I read of Ayn Rand and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this to my friends.

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    Philosophy first, story second

    For anyone who doesn't already know, the main point of the novel was always to demonstrate the philosophy of Objectivism; Rand's notes mention that it elaborates on the points she brought up in The Fountainhead. So with that in mind, it's an excellent story, and you either like the philosophy or hate it; I happen to like it. What's keeping me from giving it 5 stars is just Rand's writing style. Brevity is apparently not a very big part of Objectivism; towards the end of the book, a character delivers a monologue that consumes an entire chapter, and later acknowledges that he had been speaking for three hours straight.

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    Great great book

    One of the greatest books ever written!

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    Rand's masterpiece dystopia presents a failing world when liberty and freedom of enterprise are replaced by collectivistic views of "we need to help those in despair" or like "from those according to its ability to those according its need". It is particularly great when the simple views of "we trade because we exchange value" or "I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine" are introduced and confronted with the destroyers. Only man knows what is best for himself. This could not be more up-to-date, when current policies are justified because they are for the good of society. The is book was written in the 40's. Excellent read, not only because of the great story but because of the message and values it conveys.

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    A seminal work

    I do not believe an intelligent person can read this book and come away unchanged. Thought provoking and inspiring.

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