Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is set in the United States in an unspecified time in the future. Dagny Taggart is the vice president and responsible for the operations for the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. She seeks to rebuild the deteriorating track located on the Rio Norte Line that helps service Ellis Wyatt's oil fields, as well as the striving industrial sectors of Colorado. The entire country is undergoing a serious economic meltdown.The remaining countries around the globe have adopted a socialist approach and are destitute. Wyatt has invented an innovative way to extract oil from shale and as a result, Colorado has become the greatest and largest industrial center in the world. Dagny intends to provide Wyatt and Colorado with the railway service it needs, but is faced with a gruelling obstacle.
Who is John Galt? The world is occupied with finding out who he really is. in the midst of this mystery, a number of productive minds are disappearing without any traces. John Galt does seem like a likely suspect as a shrewd and mysterious figure. Unperturbed by this, Hank and Dagny have other concerns. A romantic relationship has blossomed between the two and they set off on a new quest - to found out who is behind the abandoned high-tech motor that could help in transforming the world.
The plot of the book is structured as a mystery story with binding elements of science fiction and romance and is stamped with Rand's trademark philosophical beliefs. A book of two mysteries, with the stories closely related, readers follow the journey of a steel magnate and railroad executive, as they attempt to solve both the mysteries in the collapse of an increasingly collectivist and irrational world.