Atlas Shrugged was inspired by the author’s fury that people wasted the one capacity distinguishing them from other animals: reason. Those who no longer asked “Why am I alive?” or “What am I going to do or create that can justify my existence?” were to Rand as good as dead.
Here is the way she defines her philosophy in the book Atlas Shrugged:
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
This book may be a very long one to read but like other great novels its a world you enter rather than a book you read. Atlas Shrugged holds a person’s greatest duty to be the appreciation of the joy of being alive.