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A book by Ayn Rand

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Great Fictional Introduction to Rand's Vision of Individualism

  • May 22, 2006
Anthem is short novel (only 88 pages) foreshadowing what is to come in Rand's better known novels--Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Because this fictionalized work is brief and lacks the voluminous speeches found in the aforementioned novels (e.g. John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged), it's a more accessible work.

I've long wondered why mediocrity is so celebrated, with "tall poppies" often being cut down by the puveyors of the status quo. It is because of the "forbidden word"--the last word in Anthem--that the collectivists, New Agers, and "global village" demonize those who worship individualism.

As one who has been a part of New Age thought, it gives me pause to consider what can be lost with the "all is one" mentality.

My favorite Rand quote aptly sums up this gem of a novel:

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

If you'd like a simple introduction to Rand's philosophy of individualism, Anthem is a great place to start. Those who have read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead will likely enjoy this straightforward book about a man who dares to think and discover for himself--and what this decision costs him in a world ruled by the "we".

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More Anthem reviews
review by . October 31, 2010
We Are Lemmings Being Led By the Least of Us
 read this book for a graduate class in political philosophy.      Ayn Rand (1905-1982), in this book written in 1937, expertly refutes collectivists schemes; such as, Communism and Fascism and shows the utter peril that collectivism poses to individual freedom. One of my favorite historians, Lord Acton, warned us in the 19th century "that socialism is slavery."      This is a short novel about a man who escapes a society from which all individuality …
review by . July 24, 2010
A friend of mine demanded I read something by Ayn Rand. I looked and they were written in like the early-ish 1900s. This was the shortest one, so I decided why not. Wow. This was just weird and bad and bizarre. It was way too short for the story. And I think it could have been great. The concept was exceptionally well thought out, but it wasn't executed well. The story was too deep, yet too simplistic all at once. It was rushed, yet too slow. I'm not sure if my review makes any sense, but I think …
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About this book


Rand's dark portrait of the future was first released in England in 1938 and reedited for publication in the United States in 1946. This 50th-anniversary edition includes a scholarly introduction and a facsimile of the original British version, which bears Rand's handwritten alterations for its American debut.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10: 0452281253
ISBN-13: 978-0452281257
Author: Ayn Rand
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers, Nonfiction
Publisher: Plume
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