In response to the most recent of several recommendations over the years, I’ve finally picked up a copy of Atlas Shrugged and dug in for what I’ve been assured will be a well worthwhile 1166 pages of reading. (I’ve only made it up to page 232 so far, so no spoilers, please, as I’m muchly enjoying the story!)
Among my favorite passages thus far, this bit of insight into protagonist Hank Rearden in a moment of crisis (p. 214):
He saw for the first time that he had never known fear because, against any disaster, he had held the omnipotent cure of being able to act. No, he thought, not an assurance of victory — who can ever have that? — only the chance to act, which is all one needs. Now he was contemplating, impersonally and for the first time, the real heart of terror: being delivered to destruction with one’s hands tied behind one’s back.
Well, then, go on with your hands tied, he thought. Go on in chains. Go on. It must not stop you. . . .
The passage definitely struck a chord with me, as the mere opportunity to act of my own accord, even if sometimes in error, is all that I have ever asked, and all that ever seemed truly necessary to me.
I look forward to enjoying more such gems if what I’ve read so far is representative of what’s in store.