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|Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell|
Posted by Michael E. Marotta on 3/05, 9:51am
This first person narrative about combat in Afghanistan has three oblique referenences to Atlas Shrugged. Just as the author does not stop to explain the technical terms of the infantry - there's a glossary in back - he does not explain Atlas Shrugged or Ayn Rand, just as he assumes that the reader knows Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
In the platoon commanded by Lt. Sean Parnell is Specialist Randy Pinholt. Pinholt rails against the government postal monopoly. Parnell keeps him engaged by citing the obvious advantages to the post office. Parnell's motive is not to convince Pinholt, but to keep him talking as they patrol by vehicle over the broken ground and along the goat trails.
Three times in the book, after returning to forward base Bermel between patrols, Parnell finds Pinholt reading Atlas Shrugged. There is no other comment.
I found deeper reflection on the life lesson within Atlas Shrugged from an Army veteran in Love My Rifle More than You by Kayla Williams, which I reviewed for RoR here: