Written By: Ayn Rand

Narrated By: Edward Herrmann

Date: May 2000

Duration: 11 hours 10 minutes


'Who is John Galt?' is the immortal question posed at the beginning of Ayn Rand's masterpiece. The answer is the astonishing story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world-and did. As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity. Part mystery, part thriller, part philosophical inquiry, part volatile love affair, Atlas Shrugged is the book that confirmed Ayn Rand as one of the most popular novelist and most respected thinkers of the 20th century.


  • Juliette P.

    Glad I read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant and fascinatingly accurate regarding the course government bureaucracies slither in 2020. The narrator should be awarded the highest accolades. Absolutely superb!

  • Alyssa P.

    Captivating in-depth exploration of industry, values, and mindset. Narrator was great.

  • David C.

    Wow! What a great book! The book tells why being productive is the most important contribution man can make to humanity! Wonderfully and entertainingly read! Highly recommend this book!

  • George S.

    I have always wanted to read this book, but could never find the time to finish it because of my work and long commute. Thank you Audiobooks! I was finally able to hear this story by Ayn Rand during my 2hr/day commute in the car. What an amazing story, and amazing the relevance of some aspects of the story in today's modern business an global commerce. The narrator was exceptional! After hearing a character's accent or voice for the first time through the narrator's voice, you can differentiate the speakers afterwards. He uses great emotions, sighs, yells, and other characteristics of a character's speech as if you are listening to a movie! Only reason I gave this abridged version of the book a 4/5 stars, is because I did miss out on some pre-plot information. Sometimes, I felt as if I missed a chapter because some pieces didn't seem to go together when back to back. Even rewound the recording to make sure I didn't miss anything in case I dozed off. As with many abridged versions, the scenes leading up to a plot point are sometimes taken away, or redacted too much, as was the case here. But that is why we have sparknotes. If you want to at least get the juicy details and full plot summary, and character struggles from this book, while not having the extra fluff that could make you doze off, listen to this abridged version. At some point, I will listen or read the full version. But with my being too busy, and always wanting to read this book, I am glad I chose this abridged version with an exceptional narrator.

  • Anonymous

    One of my favorite all time books! It was great to have it read to me as I envisioned the world of Dagny! Classic!!! Everyone should read it at least once in their life time!!!

  • Alan T

    I usually don't listen to abridged versions, but I knew this unabridged book is huge. So, I decided to try the abridged version. Big mistake! I liked the material, but about halfway through it there was a big leap in the plot progression that threw me. I had to stop listening and decided to listen to the unabridged version instead...one of these days!

  • Anonymous

    This book is full of exaggeration, and gives the leaders - 4 executives and one engineer much more credit than they deserve. In this book it's only these wealthy leaders who can think while everyone else is a blithering idiot who can't make a decision to save their own life. This book was published in 1954, during the great fear of communism, and the story reflects it. The government takes over and people are paid according to need not ability and productivity is restricted so that output must be equal for all companies. Basically, the author has taken the effort to help those in need to the extreme, and responds by taking greed to the extreme as the leaders form their own group and take a pledge never to give or to live for someone else. These leaders get injured and tortured, but choose not to feel pain - yeah right! If you've ever been seriously injured you know that feeling pain is not a choice! I found myself rolling my eyes much of the time, but somehow got through it.

  • Anonymous

    The concept of the book is interesting, but the pace dragged terribly through the middle. The narrator's voice was also extremely annoying when he tried to act out the various characters' voices. When he read the dialog of the antagonists, he adopted a wheedling or nasal or strange accents. He laid it on too thick with the dramatics and detracted from the story.

  • Anonymous

    The premise of this book is not true. The rich CEO's of companies are not super-intellegent and morally superior. Have we not learned from recent corporation failures? This book also makes everyone else totally inept idiots.

  • Kathy

    I don't do well with long audio books, so this abridged version was great. The story was interesting and kept the listener's attention.

  • nittany1979

    This book was very well narrated, easy to follow, and flowed very well. I have become an Ayn Rand fan from this book.

  • Brian

    This should be required for every Obama follower, maybe Obama himself.

  • Anonymous

    Gentle readers, this book was originally published in 1957 - the author was born at the turn of the 20th century so think of how futuristic this was in it's time. Contemporary readers thinking living in modern times should remember that this author has long ago passed on and was not witness the shameful actions in our capitalist society of late. I agree that the single-track cd's were annoying and distracting.

  • Josh

    The novel would be interesting if it were satire. The book expresses well the theory of laissez faire economics, but we have seen the failure of communism and capitalism. Ms Rand never addresses the corruption of wealth or corporate welfare. An interesting read to explore elitist economic policy, but an insult to contemporary readers who have witnessed the failure of big business to take responsibility of their actions and treat consumers in an ethical manner.

  • Troyanne

    Don't start this on CD if you're the type who gets distracted while listening. Each disk is a single track, so if your car player is like mine, the only way to "rewind" is to start each disk from the beginning. THe book was excellent, but this technological glitch was hard to overlook.

  • mercury

    This book is very well written and keeps you interested and captivated thoughout the story. And though the scenarios are a little naive and don't reflect a working society, the ideas come across crystal clear (eventually) and they will make you think about how you live your life. There is no room for the downtrodden or those that struggle in this book, but I guess that's the world she is trying to bring about .. I just wish everyone was as talented as her heros in this book, and if so, I think we'd have a better world.

  • Charles

    Good through the first 3/4ths then it gets very boring. Sent back early.

  • Anonymous

    The storyline is not bad: dedicated and industrious businessmen build innovative companies and are thwarted at every turn by incompetent, professional bureaucrats. It could have been an interesting morality tale if the plot and character development had any plausibility. But every character is a caricature and none have any subtlety or depth. The dialogue is often preposterous. The worst part of the book is the incoherent radio broadcast/speech of John Galt defending an egoist philosophy. Now plenty of smart folks have defended something like the views espoused here (Nozick, Friedman, Hayek), but Galt (Rand's) big philosophical statement is incoherent. It is psychobable that wouldn't earn a student a 'C' in philosophy 101. I have heard a lot of people state that they were profoundly influenced by this book as college sophomores. If they came to value hard work and self-reliance good for them. But beyond that this book is purely sophomoric.

  • David A.

    I didn't realize this would be an abridged version. A lot has been left out to fit it into 10 CDs. I love the book and have read it already a few times - it's good to listen to this for a review of the book but certainly should be read in its entirety the first time.

  • Anonymous

    This is an awesome book, I am glad that I have actually read the unabridged version of it before reading this, this abridgement is horrible, it cuts out a LOT of very relevant information and causes the book to lose its full impact, I think it must have been abridged by a looter!!!! Get the full version, it is 100 times better.

  • Nathan

    Sit down when you read it because if not it will knock you over. Fantastic book. If you don't like it you are probably one of the "looters" instead of a "producer."

  • Daniel Max

    Rand powerfully conveys they virtues of a capitalist system. Although it was written in the middle of the Cold War Era, it is still as relevant as ever when examining the role of government in society.

  • LC

    This book was phenomenal. Absolutely brilliant, especially for the period that it was written. I have been meaning to read it for years and can't believe it took me so long. loved it, and actually now that I am finished, I miss it.

  • Lyndsay Wright

    I was excited to read this book as it's a legendary piece of literature. I was fascinated by the stage Rand had set amidst a civilization razed by a severe industrial crash with dwindling natural resources. As much as I am intrigued by these apocalyptic scenarios in literature, I am left somewhat disappointed with Atlas Shrugged. I was unable to take her ‘Objectivist’ philosophy seriously. Its mantra is basically: “Communism bad; Capitalism good” while the two groups presented in the story are polarized and unlikely. The Capitalists, or the ‘men of the mind’, are drawn as the ‘righteous and ingenious’, while the Communist-like government are destructive, bumbling buffoons. It’s possible that I’m missing social or cultural cues that may have been more relevant during the era Rand was writing, but I get the impression that even 50 years ago Objectivism was a bit extremist and frankly; selfish. Having said that; it’s a hard nut to crack. It's a good story. I would recommend reading it.

  • Ward Kelly

    I can't believe that it took me so long to read this book. As a conservative I found the general storyline to be fascinating and thought provoking. The story itself had some flaws in its presentation in that some of the action seemed to be far-fetched. The meaning behind the actual story is what is most important though and I was not distracted by the storyline's flaws from seeing the brilliance of the overall story. Can it happen? Yes I believe that it can and will as America slowly pushes past the point of no return where the takers out number the producers. Americans have learned that they can vote for candidates that will return their loyalty with freebies. The politicians concerned only with maintaining power are more than happy to accommodate the voters demands. How long will it be before the greatness of the capitalistic system which has made America the richest nation on earth is anyone's guess...but it may not be as far off as some would imagine. Great book.

  • John Lawrence

    I enjoyed reading this publication years ago and enjoyed listening to it this time. The story is exciting with an excellent plot and interesting philosophy. It is too bad we do not have a John Galt around today.

  • Trevor Copeland

    Everyone should read "Atlas Shrugged." At the very least, every person who will ever vote, hold a job, invest in a company, or desire to contribute to society in any meaningful way should have to read the book; it should be mandatory reading in every law school, business school, graduate school, and social work program. Although Rand's characters are often 2-dimensional, and some readers may find the sermonizing to go on too long, the theme and content of the book hold an important message about the power of the market to maintain freedom, and the tendency of the truly selfish toward self-destruction by leeching off the work of others while not creating/contributing anything themselves. I disagree with Rand's view of religion and a godless world, but find her positions to be well-reasoned, and - if tempered by acknowledgment that Godly love is the greatest value/virtue - universal adoption of her approach would make the world a far better place.

  • Adam

    Great works stand the test of time--and this is a great work. It is as relevant today as when it was first written.A textbook on the virtues of Capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    Classic that is beginning to sound a bit dated. Still, the message is a powerful one and the book worthwhile. Audio version of this book worked fine for me except that each CD was over one hour with no tracks.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly - this did not translate well to audiobook. Which is unfortunate - as it is an excellent book and should be on everyone's reading list. The message is as relevant today as it was when written, perhaps more so, but the actual telling of the story has dated somewhat. Hard to explain. "Who is John Galt?"

  • Mark Rose

    What an incredible book. This was recommended to me, but not strongly enough. Wow!

  • Anonymous

    Although the context is getting a bit dated, the story line is just as relevant today as it was when this book was written. It is filled with classic dialogue that supports capitalism's relationship to democracy and the inherent failings of socialism. Filled with insight, the narration is also excellent.

  • Gordon Imms

    Outstanding. I read this book a long time ago but revisiting as a talking book was outstanding.

  • Anonymous

    This Liberal loved it. What if celebrities and dunces were elected to political office and imposed measures that protected "old" industries (like oil) at the expense of new technology? This book gives you the answer. What if all the educated, innovative, smart people disappeared from society? Americans worship stupid fluff like reality TV and sports and celebrities at their peril. Smart people on strike! No Engineers for you!

  • Emma Tsai

    Excellent novel, well-written, eloquent, interesting, complex.

  • Anonymous

    I would give this book 10 stars if I could. I could not believe it was written 50 years ago since it has a contemporary feeling of political urgency. I wish there was a sequel. I only read this because I use "ayn" so frequently in crossword puzzles. I am loading up on her other audios now!

  • James Walsh

    I read this book about 15 years ago. It made such an impression that I had to read it a second time. Listening to the audio version was like visiting an old friend. When I first read this book I felt then, and still do, that this is the greatest novel ever written. If you ever want to explore ideas that expose and challenge the liberal mindset of "collectivism" this is the novel for you.

  • Anonymous

    Actually have both the book and the abridged CD (narrated by Edward Hermann). The novel is outstanding. I had a boss 20 years ago tell me to read this book and I would understand his philosophy in life. It made a huge impact on me to this date. As for the audio version, it was very entertaining and illuminating; however, as excellent an actor as Edward Hermann is, it is difficult to distinguish one character's voice from another. Several times I had to rewind to find out who was saying what. And as a previous reviewer of yours indicated, the format of these 70 minute sections on each CD is annoying to say the least. Aside from this all, Atlas Shrugged is a fabulous book and an eerily accurate portrayal of today's world. Remember, this was rewritten in an era of the Cold War.

  • Keith Charles

    A book that keeps your interest and makes you think. This is a must read (listen) for all.

  • Pyffe

    I enjoyed the heck outta this book. Although the author is very one-sided in her support of her way of thinking, the presentation, character development, and story line are top notch. I found myself making additional time just to finish a CD when normally I'd leave off to the next day. The best part of this book was the fact that it makes you THINK. She presents a unique storyline where the men and women who are the thinkers and doers get fed up and go on strike against the lazy bums who are abusing/using their talents. Most of us have had jobs where there was one person who did most of the work while the rest sat back and watched and took credit! These characters DO something about it. Inspiring!

  • Angela Jones

    What a great thought provoking book. I found myself sitting in the parking lot at work or stores not wanting to stop the book. Her philosphy is top notch where would we be without money? This book stimulated me to think about many things, I highly recommend it!

  • Anonymous

    I had heard many glowing reports of Ayn Rand from acquaintances whose opinion I could not trust, so I thought there was no alternative but to check out some of her fiction. I was wrong — there was an alternative — I should have just not trusted them. Rand's plot is initially engaging, but her characters have no depth, her science fiction is inept, and her philosophy is poorly argued. In a quasi-future with few cars when rail travel is the last major industrial success story, Rand's business-political imaginings pace the story well. However, the characters are one-sided, do not grow or change, and have bullish, narcissistic romances that are convenient to thematic development but have no emotional tug. Everything in the book is convenient to the thematic development rather than literary excellence or verisimilitude. Rand's philosophy, for instance, is argued by making all non-ur-capitalist characters literally moronic. I forced myself to listen, but shouldn't have.

  • Don Karlander

    This is the type of book that I subscribed to this service to receive. It would have taken me a little longer to read this book than it did to listen to it, and that is why I get audio books. I found myself listening in my car, even after I got to where I was going. The book re-affirms that it is okay to make money. Not only is it acceptable, it is necessary. I am getting copies of this book as gifts for the future.

  • T.R.

    The story and the philosophy are absolutely brilliant. The narration is excellent. It will hold your attention from start to finish. This book should be required reading in every high school in the country, or at least every college economics class.

  • Henry Morgan

    The book gets 5 stars. The 70-minute, single-track CD's get zero stars. If you change vehicles mid-CD or don't own a CD deck that picks up where it left off, you will find the huge tracks quite annoying. If you love Ayn Rand, this won't stop you from enjoying this condensed version of her classic.


    THIS IS TRUE GREATNESS! Don't miss this work of art. As for Rand and Alan Greenspan try "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" (Signet Books), by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan & Robert Hessen. Truth be told, her husband knew she was having an affair. He knew she could out-think him, but had no intention of ever losing her; they loved each other that much.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this book, even more than The Fountainhead. She really gets you to think about your place in the world as well as others around you. Could be that Ms. Rand has used some of her first hand knowledge of living in such a society where you are taught what to think or not think at all. Well, I recommend that you listen and then think.

  • cdfmg

    I heard that Alan Greenspan used to attend Rand's cult meetings in NY, so I intended to get some insight into him through this book. What a shock. You may not like her philosophy, but you'll greatly enjoy the manner in which she introduces you to it and the implications of the alternative. Why aren't more people warning that we're becoming like Rand's future vision? More prophetic than Orwell's 1984.

  • Eric Ervin

    She is truly brilliant, I only recently found her work and I am an absolute fan. I am now devouring everything she has ever written.

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by Ayn Rand

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Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
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This title is due for release on May 25, 2000
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