Previous Great Books

“If a story touches you, it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” – Neil Gaiman

atlas srhugged book stack

Title: Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Year Published: 1957


Now that it is December, I am very pleased to release this month’s AWM great book. It’s the epic novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This is a powerful book and one that completely changed my life. I first read it when I was a freshman in high school. I’ll never forget the many hours I sat in a chair in my parents music room intensely focused on this gripping story of government versus individualism, of tyranny versus freedom. In some ways, my own life becoming an adult has been philosophically rooted in trying to create my own version of Galt’s Gulch. Given the destruction of liberty over the last two decades and overreach of people who tell us they’re the smartest folks in the room, this seems like a great pick to pore over this month while sipping a glass of wine (or two).

fourth estate cover

Title: The 4th Estate
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Year Published: 1996

In a stunning display of the art of storytelling, reminiscent of his blockbuster novel Kane and Able, Jeffrey Archer creates two extraordinary protagonists, whose life stories could have been taken from today's headlines, and pits them against each other as each strives to be the first to establish a global media empire. Archer plots with skill and keeps you turning the pages.--Boston Globe.


Title: Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
Author: Milton Friedman
Year Published: 1980
About: One of the most influential Americans in modern times was an economist named Milton Friedman. Many AWM clients will likely remember him and his commitment to teaching people about capitalism and wealth creation. Nowadays, there is a lot of misinformation in the press about the topic, that is for sure.

Arguably his most famous book, “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement,” is our October selection for the AWM Great Books program. During his years in the public eye, and certainly since, there have been many accusations that capitalism only benefits the rich. However, Professor Friedman argues that free capitalism benefits everyone as it is a system of voluntary exchange where wealth is only created when all parties feel they are made better off by the transaction.



Title: Red Storm Rising
Author: Tom Clancy
Year Published: 1986
About: Tom Clancy was one of the most masterful storytellers of all time. His ability to bring multiple storylines together into a crescendo was the hallmark of his writing style. While primarily known for his Jack Ryan series, “Red Storm Rising” stands apart as the penultimate “book for guys” and is this month’s end-of-summer Great Books selection.

Michael first read “Red Storm Rising” decades ago as the Cold War was winding down. As unthinkable as it might be today of a conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, it was a genuine possibility back then. “Red Storm Rising” tells the story of how this might have played out in a macro sense and the individual stories of key characters in the tale.


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Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Year Published: 1945
About: A scathing, darkly comic fairytale, George Orwell’s masterpiece of an idealist utopia’s descent into totalitarianism is as riveting today as when it was first published.

When a group of overworked and mistreated farm animals join together to rebel against their human owner, they set out to turn their once miserable farm into a paradise where all animals are equal, happy and free from the humans who would oppress and control them. However, it quickly becomes apparent that paradise is not so easily found or maintained. Equal parts illuminating and devastating, “Animal Farm” has as much to offer today as it did in 1945.

book cover comc

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Year Published: 1844
About: Betrayal. Romance. Revenge. One of the most widely read novels of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo offers intrigue for all readers.

Betrayed by his friends and enemies, falsely accused of treason, dashing young hero Edmond Dantès has been doomed to spend his life in a secret dungeon deep in the Chateau d'If. What follows is the story of his long imprisonment, dramatic escape and carefully wrought revenge. Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, Dumas' weaves a grand tale of mystery and intrigue, painting a vision of France that has become immortal.

1984 book cover

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Year Published: 1949
About: Science fiction, Political fiction, Social science fiction, Dystopian Fiction that offers intrigue for all readers.

In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith wrestles with oppression in Oceania, a place where the Party scrutinizes human actions with ever-watchful Big Brother. Defying a ban on individuality, Winston dares to express his thoughts in a diary and pursues a relationship with Julia.

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