Atlas Shrugged Chapter 26: The Concerto of Deliverance

While the previous chapter focused on Dagny, this one focuses on Hank, tying up the final loose end that needs to be tied up before Galt can give his soliloquy.

Chapter summary: Hank faces a strike from the steelworkers’ union, led by agents planted by the government to cause trouble. He’s called to a meeting with the usual antagonists, where he’s told that the steel industry will be unified in the same way as the rail industry, and he notes that that basically means his success will be subsidizing Boyle’s failures. He storms out of the meeting, then goes to his mills, where the strike has turned violent. He happens upon the Wet Nurse, who has been shot and, bleeding to death, crawled up to the street to find someone. The Wet Nurse tells him of the plan he’s already learned about, then dies. Hank takes the body to the mill, where he’s attacked by strikers and saved by the new furnace foreman, “Frank Adams,” who is really Francisco. He agrees with Francisco that he’s done, and they go to Atlantis together.

This chapter was better written, in my view, than the previous one. I did feel the Wet Nurse’s scene went on too long, and that he was conveniently hale enough to live just long enough to deliver his tale. Overall, though, it was engaging and a quick, exciting read, a somewhat fresh change for the book (and a welcome calm before the plodding, though so far engaging, monologue of chapter 27).

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