Podcast #36: Explore Atlas Shrugged, Session 19

 Posted by on 16 September 2010 at 1:00 pm  Podcasts
Sep 162010

For Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I posted a preview of my podcast and study questions for “Explore Atlas Shrugged, Session 19.”

The online version of Explore Atlas Shrugged – meaning, all 20 sessions of podcasts and study questions, plus other resources – can be purchased for just $20. The written materials are also available from Amazon in paperback and kindle formats, and purchasers of those editions pay just $10 for access to the podcasts. For more information, including previews of other sessions, visit Explore Atlas Shrugged.

Session 19 of Explore Atlas Shrugged covers:

  • Part 3: Chapter 8: The Egoist

Preview the Podcast

Listen or Download:

Preview the Study Questions

Note: The pagination of the hardcover, softcover, and kindle editions differs from that of the small mass market paperback. The study questions cite only the pagination from the larger editions. I don’t recommend using the mass market paperback.

Part 3: Chapter 8: The Egoist

Section 1 (1070-1076)

After John Galt’s broadcast, the looters in the studio – Mr. Thompson, Jim Taggart, Wesley Mouch, Eugene Lawson, Chick Morrison, Tinky Holloway, Floyd Ferris, Simon Pritchett, Ma Chalmers, Fred Kinnan, and Mr. Mowen – discuss how to respond publicly to it. Dagny Taggart urges them to give up power, and Mr. Thompson orders her followed after she leaves.

Core Questions

  • How do the looters react to the broadcast before Dagny speaks? What does that reveal about them? (1070-2)
  • What does Dagny say to the looters? How do they react to that? What does she learn about them as a result? (1073-6)

Extra Questions

  • What is the first comment made after the radio broadcast? Why is that significant? (1070)
  • Why does Mr. Thompson order “broadcasts as usual”? (1071)
  • How does Dr. Stadler respond to John Galt’s broadcast? What does he propose? What does that reveal about him? (1073-5)
  • What does Mr. Thompson propose that the looters do in response to the broadcast? What does that reveal about him? (1074-6)
  • Why does Mouch think that John Galt will not be open to a deal? Why does Mr. Thompson think that everyone is? (1076)

Section 2 (1076-1078)

Dagny Taggart and Eddie Willers speak as they walk through the streets of New York City after John Galt’s radio broadcast.

Core Questions

  • Why does Eddie say that he wouldn’t turn John over to the looters to save the railroad? What does that reveal about his loyalties? (1078)
  • What do Dagny and Eddie think will happen if Dagny quits? Why doesn’t she? What does she hope to gain by remaining in the outside world? How does Eddie’s opinion of the looters differ from hers? Who is right? (1078)

Extra Questions

  • Why does Dagny say that John was protecting and destroying the railroad – or neither – and that it doesn’t matter now? What does that indicate about her state of mind? (1076)
  • What does Eddie realize about John and Dagny when he reflects on his conversations with John? (1077)
  • Why is Dagny so concerned that John’s identity and whereabouts remain unknown? What does she fear? (1077-8)

About Explore Atlas Shrugged

Explore Atlas Shrugged is a series of 20 sessions of podcasts and study questions by me, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh. Each session covers about 65 pages of the novel, organized chapter-by-chapter and section-by-section. The podcasts are an in-depth look at the events, characters, and ideas from that portion of the novel. The whole series contains over 22 hours of lively and engaging discussion in podcast form. The study questions will help you better understand the novel on your own – or help you lead an engaging reading group. The series includes over 1400 questions, organized into “core” and “extra” categories.

You can preview the full series of podcasts and questions, as well as purchase access for just $20, here: Explore Atlas Shrugged. You can also purchase the series below.

Also, the written materials are available from Amazon in paperback and kindle formats, and purchasers of those editions pay just $10 for access to the podcasts.

Purchase Explore Atlas Shrugged

Access to the online version of Explore Atlas Shrugged costs just $20. It’s half off – just $10 – for purchasers of the paperback and kindle editions of the book version. Also, if you contribute to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar via recurring weekly or monthly contributions (or the equivalent), please email me for free access.

Terms of Sale: (1) You may share the podcasts with members of your household, but not beyond that. (2) You may share the study questions with members of your household, as well as with participants in your online or in-person Atlas Shrugged Reading Group. (3) Do not ever post the podcasts or study questions in any public forum.

Items: Course: Explore Atlas Shrugged ($20)
Course: Explore Atlas Shrugged (Half Price Discount) ($10)
Note: This half-price discount is only available to purchasers of a paperback or kindle edition of Explore Atlas Shrugged. Please email me a screenshot or picture as proof.

Praise for Explore Atlas Shrugged

The response to Explore Atlas Shrugged has been overwhelmingly positive, including the following remarks:

I require students to read Atlas Shrugged in my introductory economics class. Dr. Hsieh’s Explore Atlas Shrugged podcasts were an essential tool to help communicate the novel’s lesson and hold effective class discussion. Do not attempt to teach the book without consulting the podcasts first!

— Bailey Norwood, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University


Thank you, thank you, thank you, Diana – our GLO Atlas Reading Group is going so very well. We have about 12-13 people attending, and it is truly the most fun we’ve had in a long time. So much rewarding fun comes out of your ideas and organization. Can’t thank you enough for your efforts!!!


I just wanted to send you a quick note and thank you for your efforts on Explore Atlas Shrugged. As part of the Charm City Objectivists Society we used your questions and podcast to help kick off our reading group yesterday for session one. We had epiphanies all around the table from someone who is a firm student of Objectivism to a person who had read Atlas Shrugged but is new to Objectivism. I know that neither Ray (our moderator) or myself could have undertaken this kind of thing without the wonderful resource you have created. You have helped me make a difference in my community and I thank you for it.


The other day, I began listening to your Explore Atlas Shrugged podcasts. I have read and listened to the book several times, but it has been admittedly too long since the last time. Although I can not adequately express how much experiencing your podcasts has meant to me and the extent to which they have reinvigorated me, I did want to thank you…Thank you.

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Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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