Friday, September 21, 2007

Atlas Shrugged at 50

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's great Objectivist novel, turns 50 this year. The NYT marked the event with a story by Harriet Rubin, who founded the Currency imprint at Doubleday and made it one of the leading business book publishers of the 1990s. (Read it here.)

Rubin dug up some notables in the business world who I hadn't realized were among Rand's devotees. One of them is Jack Stack, author of The Great Game of Business, whose turnaround of Springfield Remanufacturing Co. was a primary inspiration for the open-book management movement. He says,“Atlas helped me pursue this idiot dream that became SRC” and “It’s the best business book I ever read.”

Al Vogl at Conference Board Review wrote a feature on the book -- even yanked a couple of quotes from me. In it, he explores the continuing popularity and relevancy of the novel. I liked his opener: "By all rights, Ayn Rand should be the patron saint of American business." The article isn't online, but it's titled In Search of Atlas and it's in the magazine's Sept/Oct 2007 issue.