“I SWEAR BY MY LIFE AND MY LOVE OF IT THAT I WILL NEVER LIVE FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER MAN, NOR ASK ANOTHER MAN TO LIVE FOR MINE": FIRST EDITION OF AYN RAND'S ATLAS SHRUGGED; INSCRIBED BY HER TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO PUBLICATION
Item Number: 96042
New York: Random House, 1957.
First edition of one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century. Large octavo, original green cloth, frontispiece stamped in gilt, spine stamped in black and gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper two months prior to the publication date, “To Ray and Betty Nelson (and to Ev Suffens) – – affectionately – Ayn Rand 8/22/57.” The recipient, Ray Nelson (who went by the on-air name ‘Ev Suffens’) was the host of the late night jazz radio program Midnight Jamboree on radio station WEVD. Rand’s assistant and close personal friend, Barbara Branden wrote of Rand, “…jazz had a kind of symbolic significance to Rand…Rand once said that what she would love more than anything is to never have to think about politics, because it wouldn’t be necessary. She loved what she saw as the frivolous in America, that this was a country where you didn’t have to be concerned whether you were going to to starve to death before tomorrow, or freeze to death, or to be put in prison, or sent to Siberia. You could be concerned with things like lipstick and silk stockings. And jazz.” An excellent example in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by George Salter. An exceptional association copy.
“From 1943 until its publication in 1957, [Rand] worked on the book that many say is her masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged. This novel describes how a genius named John Galt grows weary of supporting a society of ungrateful parasites and one day simply shrugs and walks away. He becomes an inspiration to like-minded men and women, all of whom eventually follow his example, until society, in its agony, calls them back to responsibility and respect. Again [as with Rand’s novel The Fountainhead in 1943] reviews were unsympathetic, and again people bought the book” (ANB). The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence." The book explores a number of philosophical themes that Rand would subsequently develop into the philosophy of Objectivism. By 1984 more than five million copies of Atlas Shrugged had been sold, and in a 1991 Library of Congress survey Americans named it second only to the Bible as the book that had most influenced their lives. It is the basis for the trilogy of film adaptations subtitled Part I (2011), Part II (2012), and Part III (2014).