Paperback - 1995
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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. In a future where there is no love, no science, and everyone is equal and of one entity, one man defies the group to be his own person. That is a serious offense. Written with all the power and conviction that made The Fountainhead a classic of American letters, Ayn Rand's Anthem is a hymn to man's independent spirit and to the highest word in the human language - "Ego." First written in 1937, Anthem was published in England, but was refused in publication in America, for reason which the reader might discover by reading it for himself. In 1946, it appeared as a pamphlet, issued by Pamphleteers, Inc., of Los Angeles. This is its first American publication in regular book form. Anthem tells the story of a man who rediscovers the individualism and his own "I" - in a world of absolute collectivization, a world where sightless, joyless, selfless men exist for the sake of serving the State; where their work, their food and their mating are prescribed to them by order of the Collective's rulers in the name of society's welfare - a world which has lost all the achievements of science and civilization, when it lost their root, the independent mind, and has reverted to primitive savagery - a world where language contains no singular pronouns, where the "We" has replaced the "I, " and where men are put to death for the crime of discovering and speaking the "unspeakable word." The story tells of one man who rebelled, of his struggle and his victory. Assigned to the life work of street sweeper by the rulers who resented his brilliant, questioning, unsubmissive mind - he becomes a scientist, secretly, risking his life for the sake of his quest for knowledge. In the midst of collective stagnation, where men toil at manual labor by the light of candles - he discovers electricity. In the midst of eugenic planning and State-controlled Palaces of Mating - he discovers a personal love and a woman of his own choice. In the midst of brutal morality which proclaims that man is only a sacrificial animal to the needs of others - he discovers that man's greatest moral duty is the pursuit of his own happiness. He endures danger, denunciation, imprisonment, torture - but he breaks the chains of the Collective, he escapes with the woman he loves, to start a new life in an uncharted wilderness, and he reaches the day when he is able to predict that "my home will become the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake. "Anthem presents not merely a frightening projection of existing trends, but, more importantly, a positive answer to those trends and a weapon against them, a key to the world's moral crisis and to a new morality of individualism - a morality which, if accepted today, will save us from a future such as the one presented in this story.
Published: New York : Signet, c1995.
ISBN: 9780451191137
Branch Call Number: F RAN
Characteristics: 253 p. ;,18 cm.
Additional Contributors: Peikoff, Leonard


From Library Staff

The narrator bored me as a student, but interests me as an adult.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 04, 2018

A really stupid book, written for children, I guess.

May 23, 2018

some interesting articles about the author:
“The right’s Ayn Rand hypocrisy: Why their “religious” posture is a total sham – Conservatives booted atheists from CPAC, but love a raging anti-Christian. The reason has to do with economic greed”
by Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, posted February 28, 2014, at Salon
“Ayn Rand Argues That Believing in God Is an Insult to Reason on The Phil Donahue Show (Circa 1979)”
posted in Philosophy, Politics, Religion, November 19, 2010, at
Open Culture : The best free cutural & educational media on the web
“Ayn Rand: Conservatives' Abortion-Rights, Anti-Religion Inspiration”
by Frank James, posted November 14, 2011, at NPR

Jun 16, 2016

I love the way this story ends. In my opinion it's better than The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Apr 30, 2016

This interesting story is a good place to begin exploring Rand's ideas and work, and it's appropriate to do so given contemporary politics. The usual hateful, totalitarian suspects are resurgent under their old rubric, "Progressivism", and, true to their nature, they are striving to criminalize and to smother all dissident thought and speech. This shows that Anthem remains relevant to culture and American politics, and this in spite of Rand's mistaken notions about greed as expressed in later works.

Mar 25, 2014

It is a simple read w/ a simple message.

Dec 30, 2013

I picked 'Anthem' to get a feel for Rand's work before commiting to something as hefty as 'Atlas Shrugged'. I'm now delving into 'The Romantic Manifesto' and 'Shrugged'.
I really enjoyed this book but could be biased as I'm a huge fan of dystopian works.

I first heard of Rand while watching a BBC documentary called 'Watched Over By Machines of Loving Kindness' and became interested in this controversial woman and her work. A definite must-see if you're into this kind of stuff and the effect it has on society.

NanoEagle19 Jun 08, 2012

Most people complain that the we is confusing, wich I agree is very true. I am surprised I never heard of this book before. However, let's not let that take away from Rand's underlying mesage: Identity. In an age of technology we lose our identities wanting to be like the biggest celeb or the most popular artist. Yet, what if it goes to this extreme? Unlikely but we are kind of going there. And the other thing, we are living the opposite nightmare: egotisticity. Not sure that's a word... But the writing did get a little confusing, and the ending was ehhh. So my rating remains at a humble 4 stars.

Aug 10, 2011

I struggled to get thru this one, but my very good friend recommended it so I made myself finish it. The last chapter is probably the best chapter I have ever read in any book, ever

Jul 05, 2011

Although the book was hard to slip into at first, if you can imagine you're living in the 1940s, this book is thrilling with subtle intimate moments. It is short and sweet, but be warned that you are about to read a 65-year-old book. Some may feel that the ideas expressed here are old, obsolete, and almost cliché. However, if you've never read any book like this, I recommend this one.


Add Age Suitability
May 28, 2015

lukemdyer thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over

Mar 25, 2014

katrinalp01 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 17, 2013

raheelfamily thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
sithier Jul 17, 2014

i liked how the book was set up and the story line but it wasnt really my type of book


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DBRL

To Top