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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Book: I Am John Galt

Comments (28)

A few weeks ago my dad said “Brad, you have to read the book I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It. You’ll love it.” That’s all the recommendation I needed – it went to the top of my Kindle reading list.

I read it the other night in a jet lagged haze on my couch. I was wide awake at 2am without the book, but it had me consumed for a few hours. The author, Donald Luskin, is polarizing, as evidenced by his wikipedia page and entertaining conflict with Paul Krugman (who he skewers in the book).

If you aren’t an Atlas Shrugged fan, this book isn’t for you. But if you are, go grab it now – you’ll love it. Luskin does the biography of the following nine men by lining them up with characters in Atlas Shrugged. He does a magnificent job of deconstructing the people in the context of the Altas Shrugged character, while writing an original narrative on the character and biography on the person being referenced.

  • Steve Jobs – Howard Roark
  • Paul Krugman – Ellsworth Toohey
  • John Allison – John Galt
  • Angelo Mozilo – James Taggart
  • Bill Gates – Henry Rearden
  • Barney Frank – Wesley Mouch
  • T.J. Rodgers – Francisco d’Anconia
  • Alan Greenspan – Robert Stadler
  • Milton Friedman – Hugh Akston

My only disappointment was that he didn’t tackle a character for Dagny Taggart.

 

  • http://www.mailgun.net twakefield

    Definitely will check this out.  Isn’t Howard Roark in Fountainhead…is he in both?

    • Bmwales66

      Howard Roark is in just the Fountainhead. A struggle of power between Roark and Rearden would be great to see though.

  • Larry Hope

    Atlas Shrugged is the most influential book I’ve ever read.  I put this one instantly on my Amazon wish list.  My vote for Dagny Taggart is a combination of Penelope Cruz and Margaret Thatcher!

  • http://globalsitesecrets.com Russell Lundstrom

    Gotta read that one. Angelo is James, that is a great one…

    Wonder who Bernake matches?

  • http://globalsitesecrets.com Russell Lundstrom

    Gotta read that one. Angelo is James, that is a great one…

    Wonder who Bernake matches?

  • Anonymous

    Sir I love your book recommendations and super excited for your next one to come out. Keep thinking how phenomenal Do more faster is, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Love the recommendation – getting the book now. 

    Tangentially – am I the only “Atlas Shrugged” fan out there who was sorely disappointed by the film?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Fountainhead.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Fountainhead.

    • Geoffrey Hamilton

      I’d say yes. The only thing disappointing about the film was that it wasn’t put out as a triple feature.

  • http://twitter.com/12sided Max Effgen

    Funny, actually reading this now. It is as good as Brad says.

  • Todd

    Anyone the skewers Krugman is worth a read. 

  • Guest

    I have to say I’m a bit surprised to hear that you’re a fan of Atlas Shrugged. The book was recommended to me by several people and I finally tried to read it a year ago. I found it so heavy handed and filled with straw man arguments that I couldn’t finish it. Because of its large following I keep wondering if there was something I missed (possibly in the last quarter I didn’t read) about the book that couldn’t have been summed up in just a few pages. Would someone on here who disagrees with me be kind enough to straighten me out?

    • http://www.mailgun.net twakefield

      I really liked Atlas Shrugged but I can see where you are coming from.  I thought Fountainhead was much better written and a more enjoyable read.  It was more subtle with its philosophical and political messages and I enjoyed the characters more.  Maybe it was just because I read Fountainhead first so the message was more fresh.

  • Guest

    I have to say I’m a bit surprised to hear that you’re a fan of Atlas Shrugged. The book was recommended to me by several people and I finally tried to read it a year ago. I found it so heavy handed and filled with straw man arguments that I couldn’t finish it. Because of its large following I keep wondering if there was something I missed (possibly in the last quarter I didn’t read) about the book that couldn’t have been summed up in just a few pages. Would someone on here who disagrees with me be kind enough to straighten me out?

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  • Dan Green

    It’s obvious:  Meg Whitman — Dagny Taggart.

  • Mr. Wonderful

    Now that Luskin has written a book addressing who, in real life, is Howard Roarke, John Galt, etc., I look forward to his next effort, in which he tackles who in real life is Batman, The Joker, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman.

    Meanwhile, readers who recognize Atlas Shrugged for what it is will appreciate this:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54707

  • Mr. Wonderful

    Now that Luskin has written a book addressing who, in real life, is Howard Roarke, John Galt, etc., I look forward to his next effort, in which he tackles who in real life is Batman, The Joker, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman.

    Meanwhile, readers who recognize Atlas Shrugged for what it is will appreciate this:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54707

  • Anonymous

    +1

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