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The Driver (novel)

The Driver is a 1922 novel by Garet Garrett. It tells the story of a brilliant financial speculator named Henry M. Galt who, through his own vision and work ethic, takes over a failing Great Midwestern Railroad during an economic crisis, turning it into a hugely productive and profitable asset for the benefit of himself and the rest of the nation. The country's economy is restored, but the Galt acquisitions and fortune continue to grow. Instead of celebration, there is envy and distrust among those who marvel at but fail to understand Galt's genius. His enemies, along with the federal government, set out to destroy Galt and topple the empire he has built.

Justin Raimondo has observed similarities between The Driver and Atlas Shrugged, a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand, which has a railroad executive as its main character and another character named John Galt.[1] In contrast, Chris Matthew Sciabarra argued Raimondo's "claims that Rand plagiarized...The Driver" to be "unsupported",[2] and Stephan Kinsella doubts that Rand was in any way influenced by Garrett.[3] Writer Bruce Ramsey observed, "Both The Driver and Atlas Shrugged have to do with running railroads during an economic depression, and both suggest pro-capitalist ways in which the country might get out of the depression. But in plot, character, tone, and theme they are very different."[4]


  1. ^ Raimondo, Justin (1993). Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement. Center for Libertarian Studies. ISBN 1-883959-00-4. 
  2. ^ Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (March–April 1999). "Books for Rand Studies". Full Context. 11 (4): 9–11. 
  3. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (October 2, 2007). "Ayn Rand and Garet Garrett". Mises Economics Blog. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  4. ^ Bruce Ramsey (December 27, 2008). "The Capitalist Fiction of Garet Garrett". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved 2009-04-09.