This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the worldand did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved?
What is the worlds motorand the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story. Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human lifefrom the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboyto the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destructionto the philosopher who becomes a pirateto the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumphto the woman who runs a transcontinental railroadto the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.
You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions. This is a mystery story, not about the murderand rebirthof mans spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense.
Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check. The books female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad amid the pressures and restrictions of massive bureaucracy.
Her antagonistic reaction to a libertarian group seeking an end to government regulation is later echoed and modified in her encounter with a utopian community, Galts Gulch, whose members regard self-determination rather than collective responsibility as the highest ideal. Encyclopedia of Literature