Idaho bill would require students to read ‘Atlas Shrugged’

The book — Rand’s fourth and final novel — is touted as her masterwork and explores her “unique vision of existence and of man’s highest purpose and potential in life,” according to the California-based Ayn Rand Institute (ARI).

In a symbolic move to teach “personal responsibility,” an Idaho lawmaker has proposed requiring every high school student in the state to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”

State Sen. John Goedde introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require Idaho secondary students to read and pass an examination on the iconic 1957 novel touted by conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh.

The lawmaker, though, says the bill is meant more as a statement than an actual proposed policy. Goedde, in a statement to, said media outlets have thus far “totally missed the point” of the bill — he described the bill as a protest to a state Board of Education decision to roll back online class requirements.

“Traditionally in Idaho, the State Board of Education sets graduation requirements in rule,” Goedde wrote in an email Thursday. “They recently repealed a rule dealing with online class requirements and failed to move another rule forward dealing with administrators demonstrating proficiency in evaluating teachers. I felt both were important and wanted to remind them that the legislature could also set graduation standards.”


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