Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Read Along With Allen West

Good news, bibliophiles! Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) has come to free you from the tyranny of the New York Times best-seller list and all other scholarly research surrounding popular reading materials.

During an interview with Edward Hudgins, the Atlas Society director of advocacy, West strokes the objectivist outfit by proclaiming Ayn Rand’s ideological opus “Atlas Shrugged” to be the near be-all and end-all of literary creation.

“I think the book ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is the most widely read book, second only to the Bible, which is a good thing,” West declares at roughly the 6:40 mark.

While this may be true around Chez West, we found no such record of Rand’s publishing dominance.

Author James Chapman corroborated half of West’s assertion via compiling his “10 Most Read Books in the World”:

James Chapman's Top 10 Most Read Books

(Courtesy Jared Fanning)

The Bible has the top slot locked down, just as West predicted.

But none of Rand’s scribblings appear to have made that cut.

Rand does show up on SuperScholar’s “50 Most Influential Books of the Last 50 (or so) Years” — just not as a leading contender. “Atlas Shrugged” is middle-of-the-pack material (33), somewhere between Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” (30) and Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” (36).

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