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Anthem Paperback – Unabridged, December 1, 1999
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From the Back Cover
In this classic novel that anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Ayn 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, all traces of individualism have been wiped out. But the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in Equality 7-2521, a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, he dares to stand forth 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".
This provocative book is an anthem sung in praise of man's ego.
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.
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The short novella, Anthem by Ayn Rand was published in 1938. Ayn submitted it two an American and an English publishing firm, but in the end the publishing firm Cassell located in England published the book. This book contains 52 pages. This book follows the life of Equality 7-2521 as he tries to survive in the dystopian society he was born into.
Equality 7-2521 is the main character of the book. He has two friends, Union 5-3992 and International 4-8818. They found an entrance to an old tunnel in their assigned work area. Equality 7-2521 is a street sweeper. He is a very intelligent man, however he learned things too quickly and asked too many questions. As a result, the Council of Vocations assigned him the job of street cleaner as a punishment for his intelligence. With this newly discovered tunnel, he started preforming scientific experiments. He stole some paper and started writing his findings in a journal. While cleaning the streets Equality 7-2521 meets a woman with the name, Liberty 5-3000. The two discover that they love each other, however in their society you do not love each other, man and woman cannot even talk to each other. In his experiments Equality 7-2521 rediscovers electricity. He decides to take his finding to the World Council of Scholars, in the hope they will be impressed and amazed by his discovery. However, this is not the case. They sentence him to death. Before they could catch him, he runs into the Uncharted Forest, where he is joined by Liberty 5-3000. They live their lives together in the forest and discover what they can about life before their dystopian society.
Throughout most of the people refer to themselves as “we” instead of “I.” In this society they removed the words “I,” and “You.” They believed that individuality was a sign of ego. The fact that the society, thought referring to yourself with “I” would get rid of a person’s individuality is absurd. A person’ individuality comes from the way a person acts. For example in the book, Equality 7-2521 expressed his individuality through his scientific experiments. Yes, he could not state that he, himself accomplished his experiments. But he still did it himself. It was not a group of people doing these experiments. Therefore, he was still expressing his individuality. The society did not successfully take away a person’s individuality, just by removing the words, “I” and “You.” Equality 7-2521 still found a way to express himself in his own way.
This book was an enjoyable read. I liked the dystopian society. I would recommend this book to young adults. I liked that this dystopian society took a way the words “I” and “You.” While they thought that this would take away a person’s individuality it did not. I liked that the viewpoints switched from First Person to Third Person throughout the story. It provided a unique perspective. Also, I liked that the focused of the story stayed on Equality 7-2521. Yes, he feel in love with a woman, but it did not become a love story. The book stayed focused on the dystopian society and the issues that Equality 7-2521 found wrong in the society.
Review for the other version we bought on amazon: I think that amazon's system does not allow a separate review for each item ASIN/SKU. I am not intetested in doing a literary review on this book, but merely a product review. This slighly more expensive version is more suitable for making annotations due to having more pages (42), which is a must have for the class my daughter is taking
First and foremost, this story is a fantastic tale about a man struggling with his individuality in a dystopian communist society. It should be required reading for everyone, as to the dangers of group thinking and how it can inhibit innovation and creativity. I won't give too much away, but the unusual writing style captures the reader at the very first paragraph and takes them on an immersive journey.
Having said that, this is a terrible publication. The production quality is terrible. The color cover is low-resolution and full of JPG compression artifacts. While that doesn't detract from the story, it's a sign of the amateur design that extends to the text. The real problem is inside. The margins are huge. That may be useful for some readers who want room to annotate, but the person doing the layout went with an absurdly small typeface. I measured it: its 7 points high. By comparison, most books are 10-12pt. Some books may go down to 9pt but 7pts is just ridiculous. The book is quite thin at 42 pages of 6x9 inch paper, so I can't find a compelling reason to make the point size so small. Given that the story is a quick read with short chapters, the publisher could have gone up to 10pt type and reduced the margins to something reasonable and not added any pages to it. It's completely unnecessary and renders the publication unreadable to many readers.