Many consider Atlas Shrugged, which Rand began in 1946 and first published in 1957, to be her greatest accomplishment as a fiction writer. It is her longest and most elaborate novel, and it was her last fictional work. In the novel, she traces the lives of several individuals who are involved in big business in the United States, exalting their will to succeed and self-centered egoism. Atlas Shrugged fleshes out the philosophy Rand had been developing all her life, the beginnings of which are introduced in the concluding chapters of Anthem . The world depicted in Atlas Shrugged is modeled closely on America in the 1890s, during the height of free markets and governmental nonintervention in business.
But it sounds inconsistent because she makes the argument that she has been coerced to do something she doesn’t want to do and that she doesn’t value (tax for welfare). But she has always had the choice to move to a nation where the small government she aspires to is closer to reality. And she didn’t. So it seems to me that she accepted the contract and was never in the position of having something stolen from her, so shouldn’t see accepting welfare as taking back what was hers. It would be different if she lived in North Korea, but she didn’t.
Technical Comments: Paragraph numbering has been added next to text of the novel. These are formatted with a chapter number followed by sequential numbers for each paragraph within that chapter. (The chapter "number" for the Author's Foreword is 'F.') Paragraphs with annotations are marked with a [*] next to the paragraph number. HTML links are available for each paragraph and for the notes. Authors wishing to reference or link to a specific paragraph simply need to format the URL as follows: "http:///orc/texts/anthem/#A " -- where "" represents the chapter and paragraph numbers. Links can be made to the headings of each chapter (the Roman numerals) in the same way, using '0' (zero) as the paragraph number. Links to the notes use the chapter and paragraph numbers, followed by a lowercase letter 'n' -- for example "" is the designation for the note related to chapter one, paragraph seven.