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Anthem (Centennial Edition)

Anthem (Centennial Edition)

4.3 147
by Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—that anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

They existed only to serve the state. They were conceived in controlled Palaces of Mating. They died


Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—that anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

They existed only to serve the state. They were conceived in controlled Palaces of Mating. They died in the Home of the Useless. From cradle to grave, the crowd was one—the great WE.

In all that was left of humanity there was only one man who dared to think, seek, and love. He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to love the woman of his choice. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization, he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: He had stood forth from the mindless human herd. He was a man alone. He had rediscovered the lost and holy word—I.

“I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.”—Ayn Rand

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The difference between this long-forgotten exercise in paranoia and other futuristic visions of a world controlled by the state, such as Aldous Huxley's or George Orwell's, is the extremist tone of Rand's story. The author lived in a black-and-white world in which things social or communal are evil and things individual and selfish are exalted. This "anthem" culminates in a hymn to the concepts of "I" and "ego," where the rebels are those who resist group action; the oppressors are government officials and others who attempt to provide a safety net for the less fortunate. The production is not improved by the theatricality of narrator Paul Meier, which is reminiscent of a ham Victorian actor intoning an overwrought melodrama. Not recommended.-Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Centennial Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Rand’s unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtues of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 2, 1905
Date of Death:
March 6, 1982
Place of Birth:
St. Petersburg, Russia
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd, 1924

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Anthem 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ANTHEM is a moving novel that makes you think about everything around you. Ayn Rand shows the reader a completely different world. That doesn't know the word I they only know we and they always think of the greater good. It especially makes you think about your freedoms and rights. Equality 7-2521 is an example of a person without rights or freedom in a world where everyone is equal and a few select people are allowed to think and use their creativity. The setting in the novel is in a world where there is no technology. Equality is a street sweeper who isn't allowed to you his intellectual abilities. When cleaning one day Equality finds a tunnel and in this tunnel are a light bulb and a circuit breaker which have electricity. Equality then feels like he has discovered something that the world has never known about. Ayn Rand uses this because it is the privilege in which we take most advantage of and she shows use a world without electricity. Can you imagine a world without electricity? No computer, television, air conditioning, and most importantly no lights. Just like in the novel where they have no lights instead they use candles because in their society lights are banned. Another event that changes the story is when Equality and the Golden One (the girl he falls in love with) find the vacant house in the Forbidden Forest. This house is special to the story because it is filled with modern day amenities such as lights, beds, bathrooms, and other things that we take for granted. The largest impact of this house is that she points out the flaws of society and how we have so much that we don't need or even waste. But in the house Equality finds things that are left from the society that we have today and he learns to be able to think and try things and even have ideas of his own. When Equality is reading a book in the house he finds a word that he had never heard or seen before and it's the word I. Which to us doesn't seem like much but in a world where there is no "I" and everything is "we" it is a big deal. After learning this word he starts to realize its power and how it helps people and life grow, so he decides to start a new life with the Golden One and in this new society everyone will know the power of the word I.
Susie_Derkins More than 1 year ago
Some people find the society Ayn Rand creates in Anthem to be extreme. That being said, one must consider the perspective of a teenage girl in Soviet Russia whose father's pharmacy was taken by the communist government. The notion that everything belongs to the collective "We" and that one exists solely for the good of the state would surely lead to intense feelings of helplessness, anger, and frustration. Hence, Anthem. Told through the eyes of Equality 7-2521 in a society where there literally is no I in Team, the hero attempts to break from the herd and discover what once was, fueled by the mystery of the Unspeakable Word. An interesting choice for book groups!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anthem is a very fast read. It says a lot, in few words, beautifully written.
S-T-O More than 1 year ago
This book is a book that will leave you wanting more.
You'll read it, and re-read it. And re-read it.
I recommend you this book, jist to get you thinking or for a thrill of being in somone else's shoes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book! I love this story and I read it again from time to time. Rand really covers so much in just 100 pages. I liked it so much that the next book I read was her 1000 page novel "Atlas Shrugged". Another excellent book! Anyone who only gives a one star rating is a flaming commie -- it's as simple as that.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Anthem" a book I wish I had read in my youth .I can see this society happening in the not too distant future,for the good of mankind forget I and just think of We,what nonsense.Thank you Ayn Rand,you may have saved mankind
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
In some futuristic, dystopian type of collectivist culture in which the use of the word "I" is a capital offense, a 21 year old young man known as Equality 7-2521 is cursed with a desire to learn more. He wants to be assigned to the Home of the Scholars, but instead is sent to the Home of the Street Sweepers. He soon discovers a hidden and long forgotten tunnel where he secretly begins to spend a lot of time alone, something forbidden, and experiment with many of the objects found there. Also, while on the job, he meets a woman, Liberty 5-3000, whom he calls the Golden One, even though another forbidden thing is for men to take notice of women. While in his tunnel, Equality 7-2521 actually makes a new invention, but when he tries to show it to the Council of Scholars, he is jailed. He manages to escape, but where will he go? What will happen to him? And will he ever see the Golden One again? I probably would never have had any desire to read this book, which was originally written in 1937 but apparently not published, at least in the United States, until 1946 and anticipates the themes which Rand explored in her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, except that when our son Jeremy was at Florida College, this was the book chosen for all students to read as part of their community conversation, or whatever they call it. I’m just glad that the college didn’t have such clap-trap when I was there. Based on the description, I was predisposed not to like Anthem, but I found that I did like it. Along with George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and even Lois Lowry’s The Giver, it shows the repulsiveness and the danger of a planned authoritarian or totalitarian society, and I think does a better job because it has less objectionable material. There is a short discussion about the “Time of Mating,” but nothing vulgar or salacious. The term “damned” occurs a few times but only in its proper usage rather than as a curse word. It is especially interesting to see how the protagonist goes from “we” to “I.” Author Ayn Rand has an appeal to conservatives because of her libertarian, laissez-faire views, but she opposed anything that she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion. “Man has rights which neither god nor king nor any other men can take away from him.” This would be true concerning the pagan gods of superstition, but for the Bible believer it is not true of God. However, one does not need to agree with all the implications of her extreme individualism to appreciate her opposition to the kind of collectivism advocated by Communists, Socialists, and Fascists. “But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, that men did not whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word ‘I,’ could give it up and not know what they lost.” I wonder too, but it seems as if 21st century America is headed in that direction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any freewill loving human with their own thoughts should read this book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Ayn Rand's work. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are two of my favorite novels. I never really understood all the fuss about economics. But in this short novella, I understand how thinking for yourself could be a problem in a world that dismisses that. I see hints of the crucifixion here, of the needs of the many and the needs of the one, and of how scary the idea of thinking for yourself might be to a "collective brain". A short work at 59 pages, it can and has had some lasting effects. I challenge you to read this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did i find a new rp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alone res one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in slowly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks around still humming a nice tune
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is back
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heyooo peeps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks him in the eyes laughs nooo stop haahahay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yay!! Thank u!! * hugs u*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah...the week of august first or second im going back to cali so i probs wont have wifi then
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She looks at Erin. "That was a horrible movie."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*She starts throwing rubber character figures at people from various animes and other fandoms.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*trots around throwing random pies in random people's faces* >:3