Monday, March 23, 2009

Atlas Shrugged tops Amazon best-seller list

Here's a recent press release from ARC (The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights):

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2009--Earlier this year Ayn Rand’s prophetic novel Atlas Shrugged was selling at triple the rate it sold at in the beginning of 2008. Now the novel is soaring to even greater heights, and its trade paperback edition is currently in first place in the Classics category on’s best-seller list for sales in the United States. The 50th anniversary mass-market paperback edition of Atlas Shrugged ranks as #2 and the trade paperback Centennial edition ranks as #3.

For several weeks Atlas Shrugged has been holding steady in the top 10 best-sellers in the broader United States Literature and Fiction category, and as of the writing of this release, different editions of the novel stand at #3, #5 and #6 in Amazon’s ranking.

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, explained the parallels between Atlas Shrugged and today’s events.
“In Atlas Shrugged, Rand tells the story of the U.S. economy crumbling under the weight of crushing government interventions and regulations. Meanwhile, blaming greed and the free market, Washington responds with more controls that only deepen the crisis. Sound familiar?”

Brook also stressed the importance today of the book’s often overlooked message that capitalism cannot be properly defended without morally defending profit and self-interest: “. . . only an ethic of rational selfishness can justify the pursuit of profit that is the basis of capitalism -- and that as long as self-interest is tainted by moral suspicion, the profit motive will continue to take the rap for every imaginable (or imagined) social ill and economic disaster. Just look how our present crisis has been attributed to the free market instead of government intervention--and how proposed solutions inevitably involve yet more government intervention to rein in the pursuit of self-interest.”

Those interested in understanding the morality of capitalism can learn more in Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness--which, at #12 in the Classics category, is setting records of its own.

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