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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Before Huxley's Brave New World (1932), Rand's Anthem (1938), Orwell's 1984 (1949), and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953), there was We by revolutionary Russian novelist and playwright Yevgeny Zamyatin. Originally published in 1920, this dystopian classic was written in response to life in Stalinist Russia and envisions a future world where the all-powerful One State controls everything and everyone.
In the completely dehumanized world of We, there are no names, only designations. The protagonist, a mathematic philosopher identified as D-503, is nearing completion of the Integral, the great State machine's most ambitious project yet: a spaceship that will carry the divinely ordered and rational message of the One State to those intelligent beings living amongst the stars still "living in the savage state of freedom." But as the launch date approaches, D-503 meets and falls in love with a female revolutionary identified as I-330. Through a series of highly illegal encounters, I-330 introduces D-503 to a breathtaking new world, one completely hidden from the One State and filled with tolerance, individuality, imagination, love, and humor. Will D-503 fulfill his civic duty by confessing to the Guardians his unlawful involvement with I-330, or will he become part of her revolutionary scheme to destroy the One State?
After reading We, readers will be amazed by how strongly Zamyatin's dystopic vision influenced the aforementioned classics. Timeless, powerful, and still profoundly relevant after almost a century, this is a classic among classics. Paul Goat Allen