Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mocking Bird, A Separate Piece, Great Expectations, 1984, The Red Badge of Courage, The Odyssey. Is your former high-school self weeping yet? The financial crisis has caused a new book to enter this esteemed rank of “books that we read as freshmen.” Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, is now being brought into the class room to stir the minds of the recession children.
The novel is an allegory for Rand’s stance on balls-out capitalism, the virtue of selfishness (there is!), and, of course, self-interest as man’s greatest moral responsibility. Some teachers oddly preface the teaching of the book with “I don’t agree with this, but you should hear it.” Don’t let the naysayers steer you away; the book, though radical, makes much more sense than Rand’s moral philosophy does at face value. And c’mon, who doesn’t want justification for being a greedy son-of-a-bitch? Get Atlas Shrugged here.