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This Famous Heroine Knocked Ayn Rand Out of Top 10 Books

A new survey of women's favorite books suggests they would rather have it all than change the world.

It's a truism in the publishing business that novels are where readers live out their fantasies.

With that in mind, a recent Harris poll reveals that the most popular book among women remains "Gone With The Wind," while Ayn Rand's magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged," dropped out of the top 10 list.

"Atlas Shrugged" tells the story of Dagny Taggart, a hard-driving businesswoman (and thinly-veiled avatar of the author) who gets involved in ultra-libertarian politics in order to change the world.

"Gone With The Wind," of course, is about Scarlett O'Hara's quest for the just-so-totally-wrong-for-her Ashley Wilkes and her inability to see that the dashing Rhett Butler is the true love of her life.

Not that Scarlett is a slouch as when it comes to business. By the last third of the book, she's built her own construction empire. Scarlett is smart, savvy and she still gets the huge engagement ring and Clark Gable.

All Rand's heroine gets is some schlump named Hank Rearden.

In other words, Scarlett successfully manages to "have it all": brains, beauty, wealth, friends, family, a nanny, a city mansion, a country home, a career, and two sexy men who are madly in love with her. She encounters her share of heartache, sure, but still...

No wonder most women would rather be Scarlett.

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IMAGE: Corbis
Last updated: May 7, 2014


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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