Google+ Reading Teen: Book Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

By Ayn Rand - Plume (1999)
 Paperback - 256 pages
 ISBN 0452281253


In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. 

 Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him -- a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd -- to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin.

 In a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word -- "I." 


Anthem is closer in length to a very long short story (or novella, as these are sometimes called) than a novel. The first edition was published in England in 1938, when Rand was unable to find a publisher in the United States. After the success of Rand's next novel, The Fountainhead, a revised second edition of Anthem was published in the United States in 1946. The 50th anniversary edition includes the text of the revised edition and a facsimile of the first edition with Rand's editing marks.


I really loved this book because there is no other like it. It was written in 1937 which in my eyes makes it a wonderful literary achievement because it includes problems we all face on the most extreme levels. What really makes the book so different is the author has such an anti communism base because it includes the authors own troubles growing up in soviet Russia. I love this book and I consider it a classic.


  1. Great review for your first time, Ezekiel. Give me another one soon.

  2. +JMJ+

    I read Anthem so long ago that I barely remember it, but I recently reread parts of Ayn Rand's longer novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Compared to them--and I don't just mean the length--Anthem seems like an objectivist "fable" or "fairy tale": which is not to disparage it, but to say that it contains, in seed and allegory form, all the things she wants to say in her fiction.

  3. I've not read Anthem but liked The Fountainhead and loved Atlas Shrugged. Though I don't agree with all of Rand's philosophies, I really like her writing and her ability to express her philosophy in fiction.


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