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Celebrate Atlas Shrugged Day: Give a copy to a student through Free Objectivist Books

by Jason on September 2nd, 2012

It’s September 2, Atlas Shrugged Day. What better way to celebrate than by giving a copy to a student who wants to read it?

Right now on Free Objectivist Books, there are over 120 students looking for donors to send them copies of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and other Objectivist books. A few minutes and a few dollars can put a copy in their hands.

Here are a few examples of students who want Atlas Shrugged:

Liam Connelly, studying political science at the University of Southern Maine: “I hear references to Rand’s work all the time now, especially Atlas Shrugged. Cliffs Notes summaries and Wikipedia entries can never approach the knowledge gleaned from reading the text myself.”

Kelsey Baker at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX: “I’m a student starting a Students for Liberty club at my university and I wanted to do some background reading/have books available for other people.”

Steven Sunding at Francis Lewis High School: “I have been a victim of leftist indoctrination by our public school system, my relatives, and the culture in general…. Considering the political bias that’s rampant among the teachers in my particular school, I’m afraid the only books I’ll be exposed to in English class are anti-capitalist novels such as The Grapes of Wrath…. Also, despite becoming more politically conservative, I’ve been quite disturbed by religious conservatives, whom I feel don’t truly care for freedom outside the realm of economics.”

In case you haven’t heard of Free Objectivist Books, it’s a website for the purpose of giving away copies of Objectivist books to students who want to read them. Students sign up with their name and school, and say what book they want to read and why. Donors choose which students they want to sponsor, and then send them the books directly. As a donor, you’ll get a personal thank-you from the student, and when they finish reading the book, you’ll get to hear their reaction. It’s a simple, easy, direct form of activism that is unusually motivating and rewarding.

Sign up to donate today at

For more about the project, check out the slides from my info session at OCON.

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  1. Philip Coates permalink


    I just signed up with freeobjectivistbooks. Unfortunately, I just spent a frustrating half hour being unable to send books to ~any~ of the three students I had spent some time selecting:

    (1) student in Zimbabwe – Amazon tells me “can’t sent book(s) to this address”. [In addition, if I could it looks like one of the man continents I would like to send books to — Africa — seems to have approx. a fourteen dollar surcharge per shipment and a seven dollar surcharge per book.]
    (2) A student in Finland and one at Stanford: Neither one of them bothered to provide an address!

    I may not be alone in being about to give up in frustration. The project will be more successful if it is less arduous. Could you do this:

    a) Do not allow someone to put in a request without a mailing address. b) for students, especially college — who often have a different address during the school year than the rest of the year or who move around — ask them to click on a box which says what kind of address (residential, commercial, school, etc.) & what months or dates that address is effective.
    c) Either research (or at least ask some of your donors who have donated overseas) what they’ve encountered, especially the rates and policies and ‘can’t send to this address’ issues they’ve run into. {Amazon has some info but it runs for pages and is often non-specific}

    Philip Coates

  2. Jason permalink

    Hi Philip,

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m sorry you had a frustrating experience trying to donate on the site.

    Regarding students with missing addresses: Yes, we don’t require students to enter an address when they sign up. However, as soon as someone chooses to donate, we immediately contact the student to add their address. Then we alert you, the donor, and you can complete the donation. In fact, the student from Finland you chose has already entered her address; if you hadn’t canceled your donation you would have gotten a notification about this. (You can go back to the site now and choose her again if you like.) I’m sorry if this process wasn’t clear.

    The goal of this is to get more students to sign up—you can imagine that some students very reasonably think twice before entering their home address into a website they just found out about. I don’t know about you, but personally, I would be much more likely to enter my address once the site told me that a donor had been found.

    Regarding overseas addresses: Yes, Amazon has problems with some of the addresses. You can send the student a message and ask them to break out their address for you into the fields that Amazon requires. I’ve done this with students in Eastern Europe and Africa. Often you don’t have to get it exactly right in order for the shipment to arrive.

    And yes, it’s true that overseas shipping costs more. One trick for this is to look on some of Amazon’s foreign websites (,, etc.), or other book sites in the student’s home country, or a country closer to them. Another donor suggested to me: “I have been buying the books second-hand through, and can usually get copies for under $5. Then I use the USPS small flat rate boxes which cost approx $16 for international postage. This way I am only spending around $20/book.”

    I hope all that helps. Feel free to email me at with any other questions or feedback.

  3. i didn’t receive the book

  4. Jason permalink

    Hi Uday, I think the book is just taking a long time to ship because it has to go overseas. It should probably arrive in a few weeks.

    Furthermore, I tried to reply to you by email, but your email address bounced with the message “This account has been disabled or discontinued.”

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