Anthem: Anniversary Edition

Anthem: Anniversary Edition

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Anniversary, 75th Anniversary Edition)

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Anthem is 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451191137
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1996
Edition description: Anniversary, 75th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,011
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

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: Anniversary Edition 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 211 reviews.
aiala More than 1 year ago
Anthem by Ayn Rand, was an incredible book. It was interesting on how the author made the future go back to the basics, like the world had completed a cycle and started again. It's fascinating to me how Rand viewed the future. Most people, including me, probably believe that the future is full of flying cars and advance technology. This is the normal view of the future, but Ayn Rand had it that our generation was destroyed along with all our technology and history in a huge war. This was captivating because she her view is very different from the normal. The humans left then created a new government and a whole new lifestyle, one that was harsh and random. In a new world where no one was considered an individual, one man found a hidden tunnel in the middle of the forest. He was intrigued by it, and secretly figures out how to make electricity! He was sentenced to death, but ran away. He even found love, which was forbidden. This book was amazing in delivery. It always made me think and I loved how it made me view the world and the future. This book is very different, but also very good. I would read it again and again. I'd look for the details I missed because even though I closely read it, I would love to understand it more! I don't think I could ever get enough of this novel. It intrigues me on every page, and I one hundred percent recommend you to read it. It is so much different than other books, which makes it purely mesmerizing to read. I loved it because it was something totally different and made me think. It made me think more of how the future might be. Hopefully, it won't reverse like how it did in the Anthem. I also liked how Rand wrote it, she was frank but also it had a bit of a mysterious and forbidden feel. This was an awesome book! READ IT! YOU WON'T BE SORRY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In an age of dwindling Individualism, Rand's words can inspire hope. It's much simpler reading than Atlas Shrugged as a first taste of her thinking. Given her immigration to USA from Russia, she saw firsthand the awfulness of communism and collectivist thinking. She spent a great deal of her life trying to communicate how important and wonderful capitalism and individualism are. Presages Logan's Run for sci-fi fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very interesting, but in my opinion, it is too short. The book's book plot is easy to get into, but the pronouns are confusing. I know that the characters have to use "we" since it is part of the story, but it is still confusing at first. Good descriptions. I liked the ending. I would reccomend to someone who likes their books to come with something to ponder for a while.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ayn Rands dystopic novel Anthem is a short yet, thought provoking and powerful piece of literature. This story portrays an extreme society in which the people¿s lives are completely controlled by others. It is so extreme that in this society they believe it is even a sin to think the thoughts that no others think. It is a tragedy that they live this way but because they have never known any different they are not aware of how mistreated they are and the great joys life has to offer. No one in the town questions their existence¿ they are given minimal schooling then at fifteen are given a job to do until they are 40 when they are considered ¿useless¿ until they die around the age of 45 or 50. This novel is a journal of one man in the town who desires more from life. He questions and explores. He finds out that there is more to life then just living day to day. He invents things, makes discoveries and even falls in love. However, when he decides to take one of his inventions to the Scholars of the town there is an unexpected twist and things do not turn out as he thought he wanted them to. This novel makes you think hard about the freedoms we have and how awful it would be to live in a society like this. Ayn Rand is a very political and philosophical writer so even though the novel is very good she does plug some of her extreme ideas into the story. This is not necessarily a bad thing but may be obnoxious to some readers. The story overall is wonderful and powerful. You finish it appreciating your own life and feeling victorious for the characters. I have read this multiple times and find it a fascinating story that I cannot put down once I start it. Every time I read it I discover something new and interesting.
MSZL More than 1 year ago
“Anthem by Ayn Rand was a novel published in Cassell London 1938. In this novel the author presents social and cultural issues of concern experienced in society. These themes include love; equality, freedom, and individuality which take place in an unspecific time and place were all these themes are prohibited. Equality 7-2521 who is described as a “six-foot tall young 21 year old man” is a Street Sweeper of the city; however Equality 7-2521 has always been interested in the science of things and nature. Because of his restlessness in discovering new things he is considered to be evil and lewd since he thinks differently from everyone else. One day while sweeping the streets he came across this tunnel from the unmentionable times, which represents the period before the present society. He then used this tunnel every day to sneak and practice experiments with the hopes to make discoveries. He hid there every night for two years. As the novel progressed, this character continued to break the laws of his restricted society by falling in love with Liberty-3000. According to the author the notion or feeling of love was forbidden between men and women since nobody in this society were expected to feel desire or love for anyone. The plot thickens a little more when Equality wishes to change the social perspective in this society while opening the eyes of his brothers to the world around them. This was not an easy task to do, since the leaders of the society known as the Word Council, tried to forage his thoughts and execute him from their society. All these characters and the novels plot is actually a reflection or representation of the authors own life experience. During this time, Ayn Rand was going through a hard time in Russia, her homeland where people were restrained from being different and they lived under a collective society. Rand knew that they were wrong. She knew that no person or group of persons can ever know enough to be successful in planning others people’s lives. “How do you plan a welfare of everyone when you cannot decide what is right for any particular person?. ” It wasn’t until she moved to the U.S and took the time to write the most famous novel “Anthem” where she found freedom from society through the actions of her Equality 7-2521. The phrase “I am, I think, I will” is an expression used by the author to underline the importance of the self. Rand refers to it in chapter XI when Equality 7-2521 utters these words after he discovers the word “I” and concludes his journey in achieving individualism in a collective society. -S. Zavala
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book because it was not just philosophical jibberish. It actually had a story line and a good plot. It was a little confusing at first, with all of the third person. It was fun to read because it was short and to the point.
KObooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pulled this out of an old box of books that belongs to DH. While I can appreciate the concept of individualism, this was a little over the top. I'm also not a fan of her atheistic views.
uselessbeauty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Orwellian but much shorter and less wordy.
Alixtii on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rand's description of a socialist/communist dystopia and the story of a man and a woman who somehow manage to regain their individuality within it nonetheless. Is it fair to Marxism? Probably not, but it's true that the theory's weakest point is the vagueness of its eschatological vision, and so I can well believe that this is what Rand took away as believing the "collectivists" were arguing for.Politics aside, the problem is that as a writer, the premise doesn't really allow her to shine: her best books, like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are ones where the focus is on characters which, if not quite fully realized and three-dimensional, are at least fun to read about, like Dagny Taggert and Dominique Francon. Watching these characters debate philosophy while running around like Nietzschean ubermenschen can be entertaining even if one doesn't agree with the position she is pushing, but here there really isn't anything left but the didacticism.Rand's misogyny and anti-feminism are in full presence here as elsewhere in Rand's work. The story is told from the male's perspective, with the female character being silent throughut the work, denied a voice of her own. While one of the male's most triumphant moments is when he gives himself a name, this is denied to the female; he names her too. Maybe these are the kinds of things Rand herself looked forward to and saw as providing hope that utopia would rise from dystopia, but I don't think most women would find them so.
davidpwithun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a poem about the greatness of man and what it means to be human. Unfortunately, it is also an ode to selfishness. This book, I think, is a good example of the wealth of possibilities inherent in Rand's philosophy, but which Rand herself, in her attempts to justify continuing her adolescent attitude of selfishness and disdain for others, was unable to bring to the fore and to develop fully. Just as her philosophy would have been a great philosophy had she eventually outgrown this selfishness, this book would have been a great book had it not taken a nearly satanic turn. Rand, in her delusion, rather than extolling the greatness of man as mankind, extols instead the individual, man in the singular. Her language throughout is pervaded with biblical allusion and metaphor and a constant use of the word "sacred" and its synonyms. Unfortunately, however, all of this is employed in order to make a virtue -- even a holy duty -- of selfishness and of the first sin: pride.
JosephJ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eh. Not sure what everybody sees in her work. It all seems very similar - a single guy living in a "utopian" society realizes he has no individuality and rails against the machine. Anthem was ok, but I guess I've just read too many books with similar premises. Not bad, but nothing spectacular.
Alera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Man is individual, unique. It is the mind that makes each person different from another. When the mind is twisted, warped, centered on the 'we' as opposed to the 'I' something gets lost. That is what Anthem is about. It's about the heart of man, the spark of the individual. It's about how one life means more than the betterment of the whole. That's not to say one should choose their life over the whole, but merely that they should have a choice because it is their life. The last two chapters are the declaration, the anthem, of what it is to simply be.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly suggested for anyone -- perhaps should be required for anyone advocating collectivism.
snuffles_lib on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nice read... And it completes Ayan Rand for me... But don't read this book if u haven't read the other titles of Rand. I don't want this to be your first impression... its somewhat like 1984, but as opposed to that, has a happy ending
theresa2011 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Rand's shortest fiction work, it's probably the easiest read. I'd recommend it as an introduction to Rand's fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anthem is a distopian fiction novel written by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 published for the first time in 1938 in England. It takes place at an unnamed future date when humans have entered into another dark age characterized by irrational ideas and actions, collectivism, and socialistic thinking. Technological advancement is carefully planned and the idea of individuality has been eliminated.Equality 7-2521 is a man who is set apart from his society. Since the "Great Rebirth" it has been a crime in this world of his to think or act as an individual. Even love is forbidden. Yet, since he was a young child 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 street sweeper, he stumbles upon an old tie of the old world that gives him the push he needs to break free. The book title is perfect because you could say it is anthem of individualism. Ayn Rand's Anthem is a short but sententious exploration of the dynamism of the words ‘we‘ and ‘I‘. It shows how much each of these words can elicit congeniality leading to maltreatment that could prove unpropitious to humanity. Although the subject might sound urbane,Ayn Rand’s skill is in that the prose is extremely accessible. Not one word is used unnecessarily. The facile and esteemed missive of Anthem is that the care for others must be carefully balanced with care for proprium, and one cannot unequivocally exist without the other.
Beatriz_VB More than 1 year ago
     The novella, Anthem is an interesting and different book. The book was written by Ayn Rand, a Russian-American novelist, and was published by Signet. It was published in 1938 in England. Anthem is a good book because it shows a communist society that does not have individualism, but someone is willing to change that.      This book is about a futuristic and communist civilization that does not have any individualism, nor has any independence. The main character, Equality 7-2521, is a twenty-one year old street sweeper and is also the narrator of the book Anthem. He lives in the time where decisions were already made for everyone by the leaders of the council. Equality 7-2521 discovered old inventions from the “Unmentionable Times”, a period before the Great Rebirth, and tries to make a difference and change the way things work in this society.      Ayn Rand decided to create a communist world. She shows how civilizations would be if this were to happen in the future. To me, she had created a dystopian society because there is no freedom of speech  and the citizens of the society cannot choose what their future would be.      Ayn Rand does something really distinct that is different from other books. In Anthem, she showed that there are many different meanings of equality to many people. To the leaders of the council, the meaning of equality is that they need to dictate the lives of the citizens in order for everyone to be treated the same and to have the perfect society. To other people equality means that everyone is treated well and no one compares anyone to another person. The leaders in this society try to cover the uniqueness that the denizens have that make them different.     In conclusion, this novella, Anthem, is a great, interesting, and a well-written book. It is very different from other books, because there is something about Ayn Rand’s work that makes people have a connection to what she writes in her books. Ayn Rand puts in a lot of meaning to just a simple word, for example equality. I would give this book a rating of four out of five stars because even though it is fascinating, it could have been a little more clear on what had happened towards the end of the story. Overall, this is a magnificent book to read and it is unique.
BenjaminC More than 1 year ago
“Anthem” by Ayn Rand is a book published in America by Pamphleteers, Inc in 1946. This book isn’t of our time and lacks real plot and development of its characters. Its cliche main protagonist, Equality 7-2521, an individual with ideals different from his society. Just from that single description of him, you can tell the storyline and its plot. Nowadays, there are novels filled with with romance, action, and mystery, while Anthem has not much of any of this. It dwells too much on philosophies and trying to symbolize them in the almost every part of this story. The new generation has gotten used to the current style of writing and Anthem simply drifted out of the flow. Most people know it as the book they were forced to read during their school years. The story’s plot is about a man born into a society in which the word, “I”, literally did not exist. Individuality had been wiped out ever since huge world wars wiped out most of Earth’s population and sent them back into the caveman ages. Everyone is brainwashed to believe they are working as one for the state. However, Equality is different; he doesn’t follow the society’s rules and isn’t distracted from his goals while others have none and work till they die. He is naturally curious of the world and wants to discover new secrets and how the world functions. This leads him to rediscover a crucial invention of humanity and the society reacts by trying to execute him. This man versus society plot has been used in numerous stories, such as “The Giver” and “1984” and follows an overused plot of an individual going against his/her society and eventually abandoning it. Ayn Rand creates these perfect, one-dimensional characters who speak and think in short, declarative sentences that bore  you quickly. The story’s setting is simple and vague; it is flat and its lack of diversity makes it very hard to “live’ in. Everything about this book is tailored to reveal Rand’s philosophies of extreme anti-collectivism. The people of the collectivist society are weak, dull, and dumb while Equality is tall, beautiful, and smart. All of the society’s faults and rules allows Equality to pursue and achieve his goal with much difficulty. Just ask yourself, what did Equality have to overcome to attain his goal? The romance in this story was also dry and simple; it simply stated that Liberty 5-3000, who was also a perfect, unrelatable character, loved him undyingly and no more. It showed her as a subservient slave who had no intentions of her own and existed only for Equality. Its lack of action or real conflict between him and the unknown state left us bored and confused of what Equality really was going up against, lest the idea of collectivism itself. This simple, undeveloped, and outdated book is a front for Rand’s propaganda and should be duly rated as 2 out of 5. 
Hayden_Hoang More than 1 year ago
The novella Anthem by Ayn Rand is an interesting book. It is published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The publisher Signet is an imprint of New American Library. It was first published by Signet on September 1961. Anthem is written as Equality 7-2521’s diary; he is a twenty-one years old young man living in a time in which people lost all knowledge of individualism. In this society, each person refers to himself or herself as "we." Everyone works together for the good of the whole community. The whole novella points out the good and the bad of individualism and collectivism through the actions of everyone in the society and Equality 7-2521, the protagonist. Overall, Anthem is a captivating book. People will get a new understanding of the outside word after reading this book.  The plotline of the book carries on the story. There are interesting events that makes one wonder, what will happen next? For example, the novella starts out by stating that "IT IS A SIN TO WRTIE THIS" (17), which only makes one wonder, how so? In our society, writing is not a sin; knowing how to read and write proves that one is not illiterate. Illiterate people are not as well-respected as people who are literate. There is another part when Equality 7-2521 mentions that "men are forbidden to take notice of women, and women are forbidden to take notice of men" (38). In my opinion, this makes no sense whatsoever. We all judge people when we see them, whether we admit to it or not; thus how are the people in this society able to suppress this judging characteristic of all human. I find adding this aspect to the story makes it even more fascinating. No matter what, I still have to admit the book was confusing to read at first. The usage of "we" in replacement of "I" threw me off. I didn’t understand the book until I substituted the words "we," "us," etc. to "I," "me," etc.  The characters are rather unique. Each person has a distinctive description. Equality 7-2521 was described as a twenty-one years old young man who is six feet tall. He has a "quick head," which is why he understands the lessons before the teachers started teaching. He takes interest in certain subjects and dislike others. He is curious by nature; thus he really enjoys science, unlike the other boys his age who, for instance, only know how to live in fear without saying anything except express it during sleeps by yelling in the middle of the night. There is Union 5-3992. He is a "pale boy with only half a brain" (21). Another character is International 4-8818. He is Equality 7-2521's only friend. He is a "tall, strong youth and [his] eyes are like fireflies, for there is laughter in [his] eyes" (29). Not only ae the character descriptions distinctive, the names are also special. I feel like the names are the opposite of who the people really are. Equality7-2521 is the opposite of what his name means. He does things for his own liking. He doesn't think about others when he does things. He only states that he shouldn't be doing it, but he still does it anyway. As for Union 5-3992, he only has half of his brain. I don't see how hat is unity. However, I can't think of why Ayn Rand would name International 4-8818 that name; I don't see the correlation. Thus, I was hooked on to find out if the other characters mentioned would also have a name that is the opposite of who the person truly is.  Anthem is a book everyone must read at least once in his or her lifetime. The plot is very interesting and the characters are the next best things. After reading the novella, each person's understanding about individualism, collectivism, and society in general will greatly broaden. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anthem's main plot was so predictable there was no point in reading the rest of the novel once you've read the first few chapters. The book is about a twenty-one year old man named Equality 7-2521 who was born into a society that treats him as a pariah bcause he is so different from his brothers. Ayn Rand drops so many hints as to what will happen in the first chapters tht we already know how he'll end up at the end of the story. The story of the man, the candlees and the forest already gives a subtle hint as to what Equality will do in the future and what he discovers. The book was simply boring and quite repetitive.  
EtherealFlower More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my sophemore English class last year. The idea of the world was fascinating.  The book was interesting, despite the fact that even after I knew he was one person  I spent most of it imagining the narrator as a pair of identical twins,  and his girlfriend as well for that matter. But what I didn't like? The narrator. Well, actually I liked him fine until about the end of the book. When he was daring to fall in love,.and running away he seemed brave and good.  But at the end of the book he seemed arrogant and cowardly. One might think that after escaping oppression you would seek to help those still oppressed, or if you were too afraid to want to help them, at least just leave them alone and live in peace. But not Prometheus, who as soon ass hrs free, immeddiately declares himself a god, and decides he wants to "raze the enslaved population", not help the oppressed people, destroy them  (except for his friends, of course). Honestly that  line of the book disturbed me more than any of the horrible things of the dystopian society, because "Prometheus", is supposed to be the good guy, the "hero".  I love dystopian fiction and I'm all for individualism and freedom, but I find this particular individual despicable.  If "Prometheus" is the representative of free humanity, its little wonder that  the government of his time thinks its better to oppress people, then to let them live free.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book to be introduced to Ayn Rand's existentialist philosophy. A quick read. Pick up Atlas Shurgged! That is THE Ayn Rand book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago