This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We (original 1920; edition 1983)

by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Mirra Ginsburg

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,9351561,061 (3.87)1 / 396
Authors:Yevgeny Zamyatin
Other authors:Mirra Ginsburg
Info:Harper Voyager (1983), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Author) (1920)

  1. 260
    1984 by George Orwell (soylentgreen23, roby72, timoroso, MEStaton, 2810michael)
    timoroso: Zamyatin's "We" was not just a precursor of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" but the work Orwell took as a model for his own book.
  2. 240
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (tehran)
    tehran: Brave New World was largely inspired by Zamyatin's We.
  3. 50
    Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia by Alexander Bogdanov (leigonj)
    leigonj: As We (1920) is anti-communist Russian science fiction, Red Star (1908) is pro-communist Russian science fiction. They are equally superb.
  4. 20
    Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy (DuneSherban)
    DuneSherban: While thematically distinct from We, Aelita shares its problematic view of early Soviet society, and can also be read as a discourse on totalitarian society, revolution and Bolshevism (published originally in 1923).
  5. 20
    Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (hippietrail)
    hippietrail: an even earlier dystopia novel from 1908
  6. 20
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (myshelves, VictoriaPL)
    myshelves: Dystopian novel.
  7. 00
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Oct326, catherinedarley)
  8. 00
    Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2810michael)
  9. 212
    Anthem by Ayn Rand (myshelves)
    myshelves: Dystopian novel. Wikipedia says: "Ayn Rand's Anthem (1938) has several major similarities to We, although it is stylistically and thematically different."

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

English (149)  Spanish (2)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (156)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Arguably the first dystopian novel, written in the USSR in 1921 (!), it still packs a punch.
1 vote kencf0618 | Mar 19, 2019 |
It's kind of funny that I found myself reading this the night before and on July 4th. America's celebration of its independence is trivialized in some ways by our waving flags, sloppy parades and drunken fireworks, so it was good to read an intelligent author's vision of what the lack of freedom can mean.

Zamyatin's book is interesting, more interesting than Brave New World or 1984 (both indebted to this book, Huxley says he had never read We before writing BNW but he's a dirty liar) because the main character, D-503, is so wholly indoctrinated he is unable to see the true character of the One State or comprehend the actions of those around him, rebels or loyalists.

It was a quick-paced read, but I feel like it lost some coherency in the last third or so. This mirrored D-503's growing distress but it also made me groan and skim as he fluttered back and forth between his devotion to the One State and his desire for I-330.

The whole book is journal entries from D-503 in order to create a record glorifying the One State to join others as the cargo for the space ship he is in charge of building. The One State has supposedly completed its dominance of the earth and is out to impose order on the stars.

Worth reading if you're into this kind of thing.
( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This 1921 Soviet science fiction classic preceded similar books like 1984 and Brave New World. It describes a world of complete uniformity based upon mathematical principles where a few people are searching for freedom. I can imagine that its depiction of such a world was profound in 1921 but, as a modern reader, I found the book less than interesting and often confusing. ( )
  M_Clark | Jan 23, 2019 |
I was reading this book in the same course as I was reading "Brave New World." "Brave New World" did not hold my attention enough to read it fully. "We" did.

"We" is the narrator's letter of praise for his enlightened society, to be sent as cargo with a newly invented space craft to the other civilizations of the universe where the society intends to spread. Part of my preference for "We" over "Brave New World" was the dated feel of "Brave New World," and how We felt that much more estranged from society.

As a dystopian novel "We" struck me as being both alien and sinister. The new ideal society feels like such an affront to our current ideas of freedom, and to hear it spoken of as such a grand and wonderful system by the narrator, coupled with knowledge that the narrator's intention is to bring this society to us. That there is no real "out" in this society as there was in "Brave New World" makes it hit that much harder. ( )
1 vote WeeTurtle | Dec 9, 2018 |
This probably qualifies as a Book I Should Have Read Already. I'm not sure if I'd heard of it before seeing John Allen Paulos recommend it as having the best explanation of entropy he'd read.

I'd read that Orwell claimed he hadn't read this and I suspect that is probably true , given the history of the book. I have no idea as to the quality of the original language writing, but the translated version is very well written, or composed, ...or translated. Zemyatin was rather brilliant. The transition of D-503 through the book, to the conclusion I won't spoil (because I generally do not spoil fiction with any synopsis for other readers). I didn't make many notes, but I did ask in a note if the use of "idiotic" so much has significance. I don't know if it was.

As to that definition... Paulos might be a very good mathematics writer, and I am a mechanical engineer who is not, but who has taken a few thermodynamics classes as an undergrad and graduate student, and ... well ..., I think Zemyatin, through his character I-330, was wrong. I'll leave it to the reader of this "review" to find out why and form your own opinion. ( )
1 vote Razinha | Nov 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (147 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zamyatin, YevgenyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ClarenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drohla, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginsburg, MirraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glenny, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Gatto, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, RussellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randall, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, KitIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siegel, HaroldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sillitoe, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zilboorg, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Information from the Polish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Wir (1981IMDb)
Awards and honors
First words
I am merely copying out here, word for word, what was printed today in the State Gazette: In 120 days from now the building of the INTEGRAL will be finished.
The effect of that woman on me was as unpleasant as a displaced irrational number that has accidentally crept into an equation.
There is no final revolution.  Revolutions are infinite.
I do not want anyone to want for me--I want to want for myself.
I shall attempt nothing more than to note down what I see, what I think - or, to be more exact, what we think (that's right: we, and let this WE be the title of these records). But this, surely, will be a derivative of our life, of the mathematically perfect life of OneState, and if that is so, then won't this be, of its own accord, whatever I may wish, an epic?
A human being is like a novel: until the last page you don't know how it will end. Or it wouldn't be worth reading...."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The first dystopia ever, it started asking uncomfortable questions about individuals, collectives, revolutions, progress — and the collectives’ rights to individuals’ souls in the name of revolutions and progress.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140185852, Paperback)

A seminal work of dystopian fiction that foreshadowed the worst excesses of Soviet Russia, Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We" is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand. This "Penguin Classics" edition is translated from the Russian with an introduction by Clarence Brown. In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful 'Benefactor', the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity - until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, "We" is the classic dystopian novel and was the forerunner of works such as George Orwell's "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". It was suppressed for many years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, yet is also a powerful, exciting and vivid work of science fiction. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years' suppression. Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval engineer by profession and writer by vocation, who made himself an enemy of the Tsarist government by being a Bolshevik, and an enemy of the Soviet government by insisting that human beings have absolute creative freedom. He wrote short stories, plays and essays, but his masterpiece is "We", written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world. It first appeared in Russia only in 1988. If you enjoyed "We", you might like George Orwell's "1984", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The best single work of science fiction yet written". (Ursula K. LeGuin, author of "The Left Hand of Darkness"). "It is in effect a study of the Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again". (George Orwell, author of "1984").

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In a regimented future world under the all-seeing eye of the Benefactor, nameless survivors of a devastating war live out lives devoid of emotion.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.87)
1 14
1.5 5
2 75
2.5 28
3 274
3.5 97
4 491
4.5 95
5 338

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,086,118 books! | Top bar: Always visible