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I Won!/Read Atlas Shrugged!

By: Ross

I Won!

I am very pleased and proud to announce that my entry into the 13th Annual Essay Contest on Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, won first place, with a cash prize of $10,000.  The results of the contest can be found here, along with the complete text of my essay.   My congratulations go out to the other finalists in the contest.

I enjoyed the process of writing the essay from beginning to end.  I love Atlas Shrugged and I loved having one more reason to think and write about it.

I thank everyone for their congratulations and I especially thank the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) and all donors to ARI for making opportunities like this possible.

Read Atlas Shrugged!

My essay contains references to major content from the end of the book, so do yourself a favor and don’t read my essay if you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged.  If you want to read my essay (or even if you don't want to read my essay), I really encourage you to read Atlas Shrugged.  Think you don’t have enough time to read?  If you have an audio device or a CD burner, there may be a way around that.  Audible, an excellent online company that sells audio books, runs a great deal through which you can get your first month of their service for free.  This amounts to getting 2 free books which you can listen to on a compatible device (e.g., iPod or other mp3 player) or burn to CD for listening on your car stereo.  If you don’t think the service is worth the cost (lowest plan is $15/mo.) you can always cancel the service before the end of the month, you’ll be able to keep the 2 free books, and you won’t be charged a cent (I happen to think that many of you will think the service is worth the cost).  You can digest Ayn Rand’s masterpiece while you’re driving to and from work, or doing housework.  [If you do download Atlas Shrugged from Audible, I really recommend that you download the unabridged version narrated by Christopher Hurt, rather than the unabridged version narrated by Scott Brick].

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  1. Ross, I just read your excellent essay at: You did a great job, and I very much enjoyed your writing style. My best regards, Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician & economist

    • Thanks for reading it and thanks very much for the compliment!

    • B-Daddy, great write-up. There is a lot here upon which to comment, so I’ll try to keep them short.Because I can, I’ve lwaays made objectivity a bit more malleable than perhaps most objectivists would care for.Re: Salvation through Christ vs. your own being. Even if you decided to seek salvation through Christ that was your choice. You owned it lock, stock and barrel. And every day, even though you seek counsel and guidance from teachings and life of Christ, those decisions are your own and you blame no one else, Christ included, for any such negative consequences for your actions.It’s all about ownership and whether you are a Christian or an atheist objectivist, from a political standpoint, you own the decsions you make as well as the consequences of those decisions.

  2. Very nice essay!

    I see you are a student at Temple. Not sure how much time you have to get up to NYC from Philadelphia, but we have a merry little band of twenty- and thirtysomething Objectivists up here, and I’m often the one who plans social gatherings for our group. If you’d like to be included on invitations, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

  3. Funny, I actually just read your essay yesterday and then stumbled upon this post. I thought it was wonderful — dishearteningly wonderful, actually; I question how I could compete this year if the winner is at such a high standard!

    • Hi Lesath,
      I’m flattered by your compliment, but also a little dismayed that you feel discouraged to enter the contest. The prompts are already up for the upcoming contest ( and it’s not due for 9 months–that’s plenty of time to prepare an excellent essay (and even to bone up on your writing if you think you need to). I really encourage you to submit for next year’s contest and I hope to see your name on the list of winners!

  4. Thanks a lot for being the lecturer on this area. We enjoyed your own article quite definitely and most of all cherished how you handled the issues I widely known as controversial. You happen to be always quite kind towards readers much like me and help me in my lifestyle. Thank you.
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  5. The Atlas Shrugged movie was terrible from retpty much every perspective. Whoever put the rich corporate executives in cheap suits should be fired. And only a blind Ayn Rand fan would love her despicable characters and ignore her complete lack of understanding of how the American corporate system worked then (or now, for that matter). The absolutely worst part was the incomplete updating. The filmmakers refused to make it a period piece, so we were shown a near future in which the internet exists but is never, ever used. Rather than being held in suspense during Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden’s cross-country search for John Galt, I just wondered why they didn’t do a Google search.

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