This book explores Ayn Rand’s monumental work, Atlas Shrugged, which presents a revolutionary new philosophical system in the form of an inspiring novel. Edward W. Younkins explains how Rand’s masterwork is one of the most influential books ever published, impacting a variety of disciplines including philosophy, literature, economics, business, and political science, among others. Exploring Atlas Shrugged analyzes the novel’s integrating elements of theme, plot, and characterization from many perspectives and on many levels of meaning. The chapters in this book are accessible and rewarding, offering fresh insights to both new readers and to scholars who have studied Rand’s masterpiece over many years. It is also a valuable resource for teachers and students who use Atlas Shrugged in their classes. Such a rich and complex novel warrants and rewards additional study and critical analysis. The author explains how Atlas Shrugged expounds a radical philosophy, presenting a view of man and man’s relationship to existence and manifesting the essentials of an entire philosophical system of metaphysics, epistemology, politics, and economics.
Edward W. Younkins is professor of accountancy in the department of business at Wheeling University.
Chapter 1: Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged
Chapter 2: Atlas Shrugged as Philosophy and Literature
Chapter 3: Economics in Atlas Shrugged
Chapter 4: Business in Atlas Shrugged
Chapter 5: Atlas Shrugged and Social Change
Appendix: Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Objectivism
Ed Younkins is perhaps the most thorough and insightful commentator on the work of Ayn Rand. In this book he focuses his attention on Rand's literary magnum opus. Whether one is new to the novel or thoroughly familiar with it, one will find Younkins's discussions helpful. The breakdown of the novel into thematic headings is particularly helpful for understanding and analyzing this great literary work. I expect that Younkins's book will immediately become the standard reference source for readers of Atlas Shrugged.
Ed Younkins provides us with a splendid survey and wonderfully accessible re-reading of Atlas Shrugged—an appreciation of its value as both literature and philosophy. Younkins traces the provocative implications of the book for our understanding of contemporary political economy and the nature of genuinely radical social change. Superb!
Ed Younkins has provided us with a marvelous work that examines the economic, literary, and philosophical dimensions of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. This work will be valuable to those unacquainted with Rand’s thought, because of its clarity and thoroughness, and likewise to those familiar with her thought, because of its attention to various nuances. Most importantly, Younkins captures the moral power of Rand’s vision and its potential for creating social change. He has mastered his subject matter superbly.
The most important literary/philosophic task of our time is to bring Ayn Rand’s revolutionary writings to the attention of professional intellectuals. Kudos to Ed Younkins for this succinct and incisive volume on Atlas Shrugged that does exactly that.
Rand's masterwork, Atlas Shrugged, works both as an exciting and character-driven novel and a statement of moral philosophy. That's why it is revered by so many people, across generations. Younkins takes a fresh look at Atlas, providing a road map of the arguments and insights for the novice, but also making a contribution to professional interpretation. I consider myself to be a scholar of Rand, and of Atlas. But Younkins made me think in ways that made it all fresh again, as if I were reading it for the first time.
Veteran professor Ed Younkins ‘s new book on Atlas Shrugged provides a comprehensive and insightful overview of the novel which includes discussion of its literary devices, philosophical themes, and ramifications for political economy. In clear and precise writing, Younkins guides the reader with a nuanced take on the many facets of Rand’s work. This will make a valuable secondary source for both scholars and new readers.
Professor Younkins has illuminated many fascinating facets of Rand’s magnum opus: it’s aesthetics, its philosophy, its politics, its psychology, its economics. That’s a lot. In academia we call it a “multi-disciplinary” effort – and it’s damned difficult to do. But he’s done it, and done it well, as few could, because he’s a careful and scholarly polymath. Bravo!
Everyone interested in Rand and her final work of fiction will find a treasure trove in this thorough and lucid reading of Atlas Shrugged. Ed Younkins does his usual job of clarifying and illuminating the text.
Exploring Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand’s Magnum Opus by Edward W. Younkins is a masterful look at one of the most influential novels ever written. Younkins explains how Rand integrates “elements of theme, plot, and characters” to demonstrate the inextricable link between her philosophy of Objectivism and human flourishing. The richly referenced five-chapters with an Appendix on Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Objectivism are revised and expanded versions of earlier Younkins book chapters and journal essays. The newly written introduction provides a clear and powerful overview of how Atlas Shrugged can be understood as a sophisticated and multilayered tome on economics, business, and social change. It is fair to say that Younkins’s book, which he refers to as “an exploration and a celebration of Rand’s monumental work”, is itself a tour de force and a crowning achievement of his years-long admiration and study of Rand’s literary masterpiece.
With polls showing that 7 out of 10 millennials would vote for a socialist and the rising popularity and influence of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "Exploring Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus" could hardly come at a better time. This book will lead those who have read Atlas Shrugged to engage fully in the battle of ideas and explain the philosophical, moral, and economic benefits of market capitalism. It will inspire those who have not read the novel to do so.
Younkins clearly demonstrates how Atlas Shrugged can be integrated into economics and business classes, something that I had not thought about but now intend to do. Exploring Atlas Shrugged is an important analysis of a classic literary work that should be read by those who are familiar with Ayn Rand’s work and those who have yet to read her.
Sixty-four years after its publication, Ayn Rand’s philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged today can be called an American classic—though it is more than that. In his new book "Exploring Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand's Magnum Opus", Ed Younkins skillfully summarizes, interprets, and analyzes the work as both literature and nonfiction. As Younkins demonstrates, Rand’s novel is comprehensive and sweeping in her integration of the branches of philosophy with additional issues in economics, business, and society, all in the confines and requirements of plot and character development. An excellent primer on Rand’s nonfiction ideas and introduction to her magnum opus.
In this masterful work, Ed Younkins explains that Atlas Shrugged has made a lasting impression on so many readers because it appeals at many different levels. It is more than just an adventure story with honorable heroes and a moral message in defense of capitalism. Younkins makes an important contribution in discussing how the theme of Atlas Shrugged is connected to the role of the mind in human existence.
Ed Younkins has become one of the most prolific authors writing about freedom, liberty, and literature. "Exploring Atlas Shrugged", his latest contribution, is an invaluable resource to students and scholars of Ayn Rand that will both edify and entertain.
I first read Atlas Shrugged as an Iowa farm boy in 1966, and Ed Younkins's fine exploration of Rand's largest and last novel is the literary equivalent of the meat and potatoes I grew up on.