Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. Atlas Shrugged includes elements
of science fiction, mystery, and romance, and it contains Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction.
The book depicts a dystopian United States, wherein many of society's most prominent
and successful industrialists abandon their fortunes and even the nation, in response to aggressive new regulations, whereupon most vital industries collapse. The title is a reference to Atlas, a Titan described in the novel as "the
giant who holds the world on his shoulders". The significance of this reference appears in a conversation between the characters Francisco d'Anconia and Hank Rearden, in which d'Anconia asks Rearden what advice he would give Atlas
upon seeing that "the greater [the titan's] effort, the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders". With Rearden unable to answer, d'Anconia gives his own response: "To shrug".