Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem (edition 1996)

by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Introduction), Leonard Peikoff (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,508157459 (3.62)168
Authors:Ayn Rand
Other authors:Leonard Peikoff (Introduction), Leonard Peikoff (Contributor)
Info:Signet (1996), Edition: Expanded 50th Anniversary, Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

Work details

Anthem by Ayn Rand

  1. 113
    1984 by George Orwell (MMSequeira)
    MMSequeira: Both 1984 and Anthem we're inspired by Zamyatin's We. Both are worth reading, as cautionary tales.
  2. 40
    Essays on Ayn Rand's Anthem by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Rand's novella through this unique collection of scholarly criticism.
  3. 63
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (myshelves)
    myshelves: Classic dystopian novel.
  4. 10
    Progress by Charles Stampul (Anonymous user)
  5. 54
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (coolsnak3)
    coolsnak3: more dystopia for you. :)
  6. 11
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (TaylorReynolds)
  7. 12
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (kxlly)
  8. 34
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Unionhawk)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 168 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Seductive & exciting. But the idea Rand promotes is as far-fetched a fantasy as the world the main character is reacting to & railing against. I appreciate what her ideas bring to a conversation. But how they take on a life as political philosophy is beyond me.
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
This is my first foray into Ayn Rand, not really knowing much about her philosophy except its focus on individualism vs collectivism. This is a dystopian novella, originally written in 1937, today's reader may find the story/plot cliched but one must remember those cliches came from these early writers of dystopia. It's a well-written story of a man finding himself rebelling against the post-apocalyptic world he's only known. He's being force-fed happiness and seeing through it now. It ends happily enough for him and a mate he meets of like-mindedness who escape. However, unlike dystopian books written today Rand had a purpose and agenda for writing her story. The last two chapters summarise what was wrong with this society they lived in (her thoughts on socialism) then continues with how the main character will build a better future (based on Rand's philosophy). I find her "individualism" to be similar to today's "libertarianism" and frankly disagree with all it stands for since they make man his own God. However, her observations on socialism and what have come to be predictions speak volumes on our world today where the "We" use "groupthink" to merge socialist ideas into realities in our present sorry society. I'm rather interested in reading more Rand, not that I agree with her individualistic, capitalist ideologies but I find her warnings of socialism prophetic and wonder whether I'll find her other observations while living through such an era enlightening to me as I continue my own fight against such regimes and ideologies. ( )
  ElizaJane | May 25, 2016 |
The first thought that crossed my mind when finishing this book was, "meh". The characters felt quite flat and not relateable. Once we move to the forest, it's as if Rand was in a rush to finish the story and make her point. The last several pages were just monologue about that point, which could have been made so much more enjoyable as a story, or a process to be enjoyed.

Am I the only one who sees the main character's discovery of self in direct contrast to the woman's continued "As you wish" line of thinking?! The disparity was uncomfortable.

It's a short read, but not one I need to own nor is it one I'd recommend to others. ( )
  MahanaU | Feb 26, 2016 |
Anthem is a novella written by Ayn Rand. Rand first developed her idea for the story during the early 1920s, before emigrating, but did not write the story down in its present form until the summer of 1937. Therefore, its publication was preceded by We the Living, and followed by her writing The Fountainhead.

The novella already contains all the major elements of Rand's philosophy. It has been suggested that she might have been influenced by Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel We, which was published in 1921, but the main consensus is that Rand independently conceived the idea for Anthem.

By the late 1930s, science-fiction was no longer a novelty, but the dystopian nature of Anthem, the idea of technological regression in the future and the social implications of the loss of civilization may have surprised readers. The story of the novella is fairly simple.

At the time of the story, people no longer have names. The main characters are identified as Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. Like their names, all other traces of independence and individuality have been erased. Children are raised away from their parents, and in youth there is no freedom of choice in careers. Thus, while Equality 7-2521's ambition was to become a scholar (i.e. scientist) he is assigned to serve the community as a street sweeper.

Outside the city, Equality 7-2521 discovers a place where he can withdraw, devote himself in self-study and develop his invention. He also meets a girls, Liberty 5-3000, with whom he falls in love. With the re-discovery of some lost technology, Equality 7-2521 hopes to impress the authorities, help humanity and be allowed to pursue his career as a scholar, but instead he is cursed. With Liberty 5-3000 he flees the city, to the Uncharted Forest, where is is pursued, but succeeds in hiding.

Especially to readers today, Ayn Rand's novella Anthem may seem little spectacular. However, as an early novella within the genre, Anthem may still be read. It also provides a very readable introduction to Rand's work, for readers who hesitate to take on the large tomes, such as The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

While not everybody is interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy, her fictional work has merit in its own right. It is stylistically pure, interesting and very well-written. The novels and early fiction of Ayn Randare classics of modern American fiction, with a unique perspective. ( )
  edwinbcn | Feb 23, 2016 |
Anthem is dystopian fiction published in 1938 in England.
"Macmillan turned it down; their comment was: the author does not understand socialism."
"Cassell published it in England under the title Ego."

Our protagonist, (Equality 7-2521) ,is introduced through a series of journal entries, as he, a street sweeper discovers Liberty 5-3000, a female gardener.
Difficulty arises as individualism has been eliminated in favor of 'collective will".

A revised edition of Anthem was published in the US in 1946 by Pamphleteers,

"The protagonist sits alone in a tunnel and writes down his feeling of rebellion against the collectivist society into which he was born"

4 ★ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ayn Randprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peikoff, LeonardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!
This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest.
Rather would we be damned with you than blessed with all our brothers.
The fortunes of my spirit are not to be made into coins of brass and be flung into the wind as alms for the poor of spirit.
I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Ayn Rand's legacy profile.

See Ayn Rand's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.62)
0.5 8
1 75
1.5 16
2 190
2.5 41
3 467
3.5 94
4 604
4.5 35
5 472


7 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451191137, 0141189614


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,940,756 books! | Top bar: Always visible