Talk:Atlas Shrugged

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"The working title throughout her writing was The Strike. According to Barbara Branden, the change was made for dramatic reasons––Rand believed that titling the novel 'The Strike' would have revealed the mystery element of the novel prematurely."

She did this with all of her novels, giving them titles that would help remind her what the central theme was, but then changing the titles to something that would not be understood by the reader until after the novel had been read. This is explained in Anthem Centennial Edition with Introduction by Ayn Rand (ISBN-10: 0452286352 ISBN-13: 978-0452286351), at least.

The above sentence makes it appear it is a quality of the book, while it should emphasize it was really a quality of the author's style.

For example: Airtight became We The Living Ego became Anthem Second Hand Lives became The Fountainhead

Small suggestion to an excellent article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 18 September 2009

South Park citation[edit]

In the episode "Chickenlover", number 3 of season 2 of the South Park cartoon, the book is stated to be boring and to steal from readers the will to read books in general. This is the opinion of an almost an-alphabet police officer though, so maybe the authors of South Park intended this opinion to be stupid. Should we add a trivia or citations part for that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

No. Being mentioned in a cartoon is not an important fact about the book, and trivia sections are generally a bad idea. --RL0919 (talk) 23:39, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
agreed, i propose we remove the text. Darkstar1st (talk) 11:59, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
At this point, we have a high-quality secondary source which confirms that this mention was notable. MilesMoney (talk) 05:56, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

literary critic, Paul Krugman?[edit]

of all the Atlas critique, is an economist the best source, perhaps would could find a literary critic instead? Krugman didnt even write the snipe, instead copied the "classic quote" from a blog posted 3 years ago, and is described in the wikipedia article as "oft-quoted" which is at best wp:OR as few quote unknown bloggers like John Rogers. Krugman does not seem to understand the book,, which is actually referring "interest rates" as the "price" that wants supporting. some may defend this as sarcasm, yet John Galt refereed to people using government to profit as looters, a point lost on Krugman. Darkstar1st (talk) 09:52, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

So, she was a socialist who believed intellectuals should go on strike, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:03, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

@Darkstar1st - Thank you for your comments - my recent edit revert may be summarized in a more complete (orig trimmed for space) "edit summary" as follows:

"reverted edit deleting text/refs - the original edit seems well-cited (including NYT ref) by notable sources Paul Krugman and John Rogers (writer) - per WP:BRD, WP:CITE, WP:NOTABILITY & related."

I *entirely* agree w/ you - other well-cited and notable edits (including from worthy literary critics of course) seem appropriate (and welcome) for this Praise and Criticism section as well - in any case - Thanks again for your comments - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 18:11, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

great :). in the meantime, would you agree we can at least remove the Krugman part and attribute the Fantasy novel comparison to it's actual author, himself notable chiefly as a failure for winning the 2004 worst screenplay award? certainly criticism from such a source is ill-thought when so many other notable critics have opinions on this novel, i look forward to seeing your improvements to this section. Darkstar1st (talk) 11:36, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments - as before, the Krugman edit and related (see below) seems well presented, well sourced and includes several substantial notables - the present edit seems worthy and appropriate for the Atlas Shrugged article - thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:51, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Copied from current version (August 9, 2013):

Acclaim has not been unanimous. Nobel Prize-winning economist and liberal commentator Paul Krugman alluded to an oft-quoted quip< ref name="KFM-20090319">Rogers, John (March 19, 2009). "Ephemera 2009 (7)". Kung Fu Monkey. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2013. </ref> by John Rogers in his blog: "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."< ref name="NYT-20100923">Krugman, Paul (September 23, 2010). "I'm Ellsworth Toohey!". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2013. </ref>

Besides Paul Krugman, conservatives, such as William Buckley, Jr., strongly disapproved of Ayn Rand and her objectivist message.< ref name="Heritage-2010">Edwards, Ph.D., Lee (May 5, 2010). "First Principles Series Report #29 on Political Thought". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved August 8, 2013. </ref>< ref name="NationalReview-1957">Chambers, Whittaker (December 28, 1957). "Big Sister Is Watching You". National Review. Retrieved August 9, 2013. </ref> Russell Kirk called objectivism an “inverted religion”,< ref name="Heritage-2010" /> Frank Meyer accused Rand of “calculated cruelties” and her message, an “arid subhuman image of man”,< ref name="Heritage-2010" /> Garry Wills regarded Rand a “fanatic”< ref name="Heritage-2010" /> and Whittaker Chambers considered the story of Atlas Shrugged "preposterous, its characters crude caricatures, its message 'dictatorial'".< ref name="Heritage-2010" />< ref name="NationalReview-1957" />

glad you posted the text, i will run thru the current errors:
  • oft-quoted quip, OR/Not in source given. John Rogers is virtually unknown, his quip is even more obscure.
  • Acclaim has not been unanimous, Wikipedia:Attribution. the paragraph is referring to a quip is by John Rogers, not Krugman. Krugman has no comment about the novel, rather states the following about the author which would be a different article: best line I’ve ever heard about Ayn Rand’s influence.
linking the NYT/Krugman as the source of the quip/line is incorrect, the actual source is a 250 word blog post reviewing the films Better Off Ted , TV shows like Lost, services like Dropbox,
actors such as Wil Wheaton, games like Dungeons and Dragons, in the same paragraph as his notable, well-sourced, relevant literary opinion of Atlas Shrugged. actual source here:[1].
  • POV, a disparaging quip/line from a blog about martial arts and monkeys is not WP material. i seriously doubt this would be considered a RS on any topic in WP and suspect the material was originally added only to malign the book without offering any useful critique of the work. when so many notable errors exist within Atlas Shrugged, how could one possibly offer this tripe in exchange? Darkstar1st (talk) 06:26, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your opinion - the Paul Krugman edit above, referring to several WP:NOTABLES (ie, Paul Krugman and John Rogers) in a WP:RELIABLESOURCE (ie, New York Times), seems *entirely* ok - additionally, the edit may help balance the Praise and Criticism section of the Atlas Shrugged article - which, at the moment, seems to be slanted more toward Praise than not(?) (Wikipedia strives to be WP:NEUTRAL - and not a WP:SOAPBOX) (to better balance this section, other edits, critical of the novel including those from worthy literary sources, are welcome of course) - several related points:

  • Paul Krugman refers to the John Rogers quote *because* this quote represents Krugman's view of the novel ("best line I've ever heard about Ayn Rand's influence," according to Krugman) - this seems *entirely* ok - and appropriately attributed to me.
  • the "oft quoted quip" phrase seems ok and justified - several casual internet searches gave the following:
Google Web Search of the *entire* quote (in quotations) gave 2,880,000 results?
Google Web Search of "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged." gave 626,000 results?
Google Book Search of "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged." gave 202 results?
Google Scholar Search of "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged." gave 15 results?
Google Web Search of "atlas shrugged orcs lord of the rings" gave 136,000 results?
Google Book Search of "atlas shrugged orcs lord of the rings" gave 480 results?
Google Scholar Search of "atlas shrugged orcs lord of the rings" gave 32 results?

in any regards - thanks again for your opinion - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:57, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Google searches are original research. If there is not a reliable source describing this as being frequently quoted, the claim should be removed. Also, since the claim has been in this article for some time, it should be a source that pre-dates its addition here, to avoid WP:CIRCULAR. --RL0919 (talk) 22:28, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done - @RL0919 - Yes, I understand and *entirely* agree - decided to adj the phrase - from "an oft quoted quip" to "a quip" instead - maybe better? - thanks for the comments - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
this quote represents Krugman's view of the novel WP:syn, the quote is referring to Ayn Rand's influence, not Atlas Shrugged. WP:QUESTIONABLE The main problem here is it would be hard to consider this a serious critique of the work, rather a joke at the book's expense in a short blog post about a myriad of unrelated topics. what is most confusing is why a direct quote is not directly attributed to it's original source , a short self-published biased online blog WP:sps, neither fact checked nor controlled by an editor. WP:RS. To ensure accuracy, the text of quoted material is best taken from (and cited to) the original source being quoted. please correct the source of the quote you re-added, or revert. Darkstar1st (talk) 04:40, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Krugman specifically mentions the book, not the author. While the quote is humorous, much like Chambers' review, it is nonetheless representative of how serious observers view the book. TFD (talk) 05:50, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
TFD, you have it exactly backwards, Krugman mentions the author, not the book, The best line I’ve ever heard about Ayn Rand’s influence. Darkstar1st (talk) 09:08, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Atlas Shrugged is a book purporting to make economic claims, which Paul Krugman is certainly qualified to evaluate. I agree though that a literary take would be a good inclusion. A few years ago I tried to incorporate the thoughts of science fiction author John Scalzi, who liked the work but with the caveat that you can basically make any claim with fiction. I was not successful. The challenge was that Scalzi used vulgar language in his blog for the purposes of humor: when I quoted him in the wiki piece it was jarring. It's probably worth another try. Scalzi makes some economic claims in his piece, so I'll link to him via Professor Bradford DeLong's endorsement: The point is not whether Atlas Shrugged is good, bad, silly or serious: rather it is to present a range of common reactions to this culturally significant work. Measure for Measure (talk) 19:42, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

good points all, the problem is Krugman does not mention the book, rather the author. Darkstar1st (talk) 07:03, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
FWIW - seems the Randex website presents numerous Paul Krugman quotations/references mentioning the "Atlas Shrugged" book (and related) and consistent with the Paul Krugman example presented in the "Atlas Shrugged" article - see => < ref name="Rx-PaulKrugman">Staff (March 16, 2013). "Randex - The latest news and commentary on Ayn Rand and Objectivism". Retrieved September 24, 2013. </ref> - in any case - hope this helps - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
doesn't help the source in question which mentions the author, not the book, perhaps you could replace it with one that mentions the book? Krugman doesn't appear to have understood the book very well by this comment, "By the way, who built the roads in Galt’s Gulch?". the property, including the existing roads were purchased by Midas Mulligan. Darkstar1st (talk) 13:15, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
AFAIK, and as before (see above), the Paul Krugman edit is well-sourced, includes notables, and is *entirely* ok for the "Atlas Shrugged" article as presented - nonetheless, Thank you for your comment - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:20, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

1. I'll note that the quote itself contains the name "Atlas Shrugged", so technically Krugman does mention the book, albeit through someone else.
2. Moving to other issues, here's a citation for "Oft quoted" quip: Paul Krugman (again!): "As a widely quoted internet meme says, the unrealistic fantasy world portrayed in one of those books can warp a young man's character forever; the other book is about orcs." (I see he softened the language for an English family newspaper!) Second citation, from a 2011 book by Gary Hayden:
3. So "oft quoted" is factual and cited by two third parties. But does it add to the article? I included it years back because I wanted to emphasize that Krugman was not the originator of the quote. Now the alleged John Rogers author has been tracked down and placed in article. So: what are the advantages and disadvantages of keeping those two words? Maybe a better wordsmith than myself could help out.
4. I'm pretty sure John Rogers wasn't the first to make that joke: older version date to the 1980s. But I have no citation for that and maybe I'm misremembering. I'm just mentioning this because there's a decent chance of a later edit on this topic.
5. Whew! Thanks for the feedback. Measure for Measure (talk) 02:46, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

i find it fitting that the best critic found for this book is noted only for his recognition as the worst in his field. (John Rogers won worst screenplay of 2004) I withdraw my opposition to including his opinion of the book. Darkstar1st (talk) 08:43, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

"100 best novels of the 20th century" blurb should be removed [uncredible source].[edit]

The source being used is an Internet poll:

Which is highly sensitive to 'blitz voting', which is also why non-professional reviews on Metacritic are rarely used, and even looking at that list 4 out of the top 10 are Rand books, and 3 out of the top 10 are Hubbard's, showing a very high Libertarian slant. It's not nearly as subject-varied as the professional list on that same page (which doesn't include the book in its top 100). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 23 September 2013‎ (UTC)


I've just tagged a few paragraphs for sourcing issues but could tag many more. For example, we say that John Galt expresses Rand's personal opinion but we don't seem to have any verification of that: he is just a character in a novel. Novelists create many characters, some traits of which may reflect the writer's own opinion while other traits may not; or none may be a reflection; or (in rare cases) all may be a reflection. We cannot interpret primary sources, such as the book itself, because that constitutes original research. - Sitush (talk) 11:35, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I've just tagged the entire "Theory of sex" section as OR. The rationale should be obvious. - Sitush (talk) 17:46, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Rand refers to and quotes from Galt's speech in her philosophical essays, confirming that his words reflected her views. There's not interpretation required, so no possibility of original research. MilesMoney (talk) 05:58, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Reason magazine[edit]

We currently say "... the title of the libertarian magazine, Reason: Free Minds, Free Markets, is taken directly from John Galt ...". That is unsourced, although a quote from Galt is present. What concerns me more is that a look at Reason (magazine) and in particular at the image shown in the infobox there suggests that Free Minds, Free Markets is a strapline, not a title. The article title itself seems to bear that out, so perhaps this sentence needs to be tweaked as well as sourced? - Sitush (talk) 17:03, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Based on, it's a strapline, albeit one that's used consistently and prominently. It's also found in it's self-description at I don't believe there's any doubt that Rand is the source of the quote. MilesMoney (talk) 06:12, 23 October 2013 (UTC)