A powerful dystopian novel from a writer who experienced firsthand the dehumanising conditions of Soviet Russia, Ayn Rand's Anthem includes an introduction by Leonard Peikoff in Penguin Modern Classics. Equality 7-2521 is a man apart. Since The Great Rebirth it has been a crime in his world to think or act as an individual. Even love is forbidden. Yet since his childhood in the Home of the Infants, Equality 7-2521 has felt that he is different. When he is sent by The Council of Vocations to work as a road sweeper, he ...
A powerful dystopian novel from a writer who experienced firsthand the dehumanising conditions of Soviet Russia, Ayn Rand's Anthem includes an introduction by Leonard Peikoff in Penguin Modern Classics. Equality 7-2521 is a man apart. Since The Great Rebirth it has been a crime in his world to think or act as an individual. Even love is forbidden. Yet since his childhood in the Home of the Infants, Equality 7-2521 has felt that he is different. When he is sent by The Council of Vocations to work as a road sweeper, he stumbles upon a link to the old world that gives him the spur to break free. First published in England in 1938, Ayn Rand's short dystopian novel crystallizes the ideas of individualism and competition that would make her name. Ayn Rand (1905-82), born Alisa Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia, emigrated to America with her family in January 1926, never to return to her native land. Her novel The Fountainhead was published in 1943 and eventually became a bestseller. Still occasionally working as a screenwriter, Rand moved to New York City in 1951 and published Atlas Shrugged in 1957. Her novels espoused what came to be called Objectivism, a philosophy that champions capitalism and the pre-eminence of the individual. If you enjoyed Anthem, you might also like Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, available in Penguin Classics. 'She created a new credo for all individualists' The Times Literary Supplement
I bought this with Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, on a whim. It was a pleasant surprise! A nice jewell of a book. An easy read, really different than anything I've read before.
Jul 10, 2008
I didn't know what to expect of Ayn Rand. When I was young, her books were considered rather risque. Today I see them mentioned in libertarian blogs. I decided to see what they were all about, and ordered every title I could find. Anthem is a short work of speculative fiction set in a post-Apocalyptic world. Rand, who left the Soviet Union as a young woman, had experienced the sacrifice of the individual to the collective will at first hand. An easy read reminiscent of the Star Trek episode about Landru and of Soylent Green -- or perhaps I should say that they are reminiscent of Anthem, since Anthem was published in 1938.
Jun 10, 2007
Anthem: The Power of Ego
They exist only to serve the greater good. From bundle to ashes their whole lives are controlled, from the Palace of Mating to the Home of the Useless. There is no individual ?I? only the great ?WE?. In her 3rd novel, Ayn Rand fills Anthem to the brim with enough oppression and forced cohesion to your fellow comrade to start another USSR. After a devastation that destroys most of humanity, Equality 7-2521, just one man in the great ?WE?, is sent to work as a Street Sweeper. He is unlike his brothers. Equality 7-2521 is different, a despicable crime in this world of the possible future. But Equality 7-2521 goes about his day, endeavoring to be like his role-model Union 5-3992, a boy with half a brain. As Equality 7-2521 thoroughly sweeps his assigned portion of a street, he stumbles upon ??an old iron grill over a black hole?, within this aperture are remains of the Unmentionable Times. Here Equality 7-2521 learns things of science with a child-like curiosity, all leading up to his discovery of electricity. However without his noticing, he discovered another force, the blasphemy of individuality. In this The Island-like adventure, Equality 7-2521, like Lincoln Six-Echo, falls for Liberty 5-3000, or the Golden One as she will become known. In this late teenage rebellion of sorts, Equality 7-2521 decides to leave, after the Council of Scholars rejects his discovery of electricity, and takes his ?dearest one?? with him. In the forest they discover a home that had survived the Unmentionable Times and that is where they relearn the lost skills of men. With adventure, drama, and challenging philosophy, this novel is for the philosophical reader, the advanced reader or a person just looking for a rousing read. As Ayn Rand delivers another powerful, magnificent novel, she proves the power of ?the word which will not die? which can never die on this earth?? the word from which ego springs.
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