Free pdf AnthemAuthor Ayn Rand –

Anthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values Equalitylives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in hima passion which he has been taught to call sinful In a purely egalitarian world, Equalitydares to stand apart from the herdto 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 wordI

10 thoughts on “Anthem

  1. Matthew Matthew says:

    I cannot believe I just realized now I did not have this book marked as read! I read this back in high school and loved it!

    For those thinking about trying Ayn Rand, this is a good intro book considering it is only a little over 100 pages and her other popular titles (mainly talking about Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead) are quite daunting in their length.

    Now, in the past I have had trouble reviewing Ayn Rand because she is controversial. Usually this leads to people not being able to separate a review of a book from a political statement. Since I don't like arguing politics and figure everyone is entitled to their opinion, I will again attempt to avoid putting any sort of political spin on this one - but it may not be completely avoidable.

    For me, this book is in the same category as 1984 and Brave New World. It is a commentary on where we might be going if we are not careful. In this book, the main issue is loss of self in forced servitude to the larger governmental machine. The writing is creative and riveting enough that it is very easy to finish this in one sitting.

    Check out Anthem and read it with an open mind (even if it doesn't match your politics) and I think you will find an interesting, enjoyable, and thought provoking classic.

  2. mark monday mark monday says:

    a long day at work with a lot of that work left unfinished
    + happy hour drinks with colleagues, no they're more than that, with friends
    + I have to get around to reviewing a book by mutterfookin' AYN RAND of all things


    so I've been on a hiring spree lately, just hiring people left and right because yay my work is actually getting multiple contracts and that means we can actually hire people instead of everyone doing two jobs per usual nonprofit social services type staffing patterns, so anyway I hired this one young lady who is clearly super smart and super organized and super perfect for the job I hired her for, good job mark, yet again, but she is 21 and so I wonder sometimes if her big brain is the tail wagging the 21 year old, who is very, very much 21 years of age, or at least what I remember of myself when I was 21. namely, emotional. and critical. and all about RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. still, I'm pleased with the hire, she's great, I love her. and what does everything I just wrote even mean? in the context of this book? i dunno but it sorta made sense to me as I wrote it.

    anyway, she somehow found out that I am a quote unquote Reader, and so she loaned me one of her favorite books. namely, this book. Anthem. my reaction was decidedly undecided when she mentioned this was one of her favorites. I hate everything I know about Ayn Rand. I am the sort of ass who, way back when i was 21 and in college, actually broke up with a lady I was dating because it was clear that all of the Ayn Rand she was reading was influencing her, she was quoting Ayn Rand for crissakes, anyway it was too much because Ayn Rand's ME ME ME style of libertarian philosofuckery just drives me up the wall and I can't have that in someone I'm dating. so she turned around and started dating my roommate, so someone got that last laugh there and it wasn't mark monday.

    so my new staffer loaned me this book and i was all UH UH BUT AYN RAND SUCKS ARE YOU SERIOUS?? and she was all OH MY GOD JUST FUCKING TRY IT. so i did!

    if you are one of the unwashed masses who doesn't know what Ayn Rand is all about, and God bless you if you are, here are some things about her (that I despise):

    - totally against all forms of socialism because to Rand, socialism = the death of the individual

    - the most important thing about this curious concept called Self is Ego. Rand worships at the altar of EGO. per Rand, if you aren't your own #1, you may as well be dead. there are aspects of that mentality that I totally get and support, but Rand carries this to the point where concepts like altruism are inherently corrupt to her. an altruistic person per Rand is pretty much the definition of a total loser

    - you are the captain of your own ship; if your ship carries important supplies that could help other people, who gives a fuck, fuck them; your ship needs to sail alone unless people are happy to sail under your personal captaincy. e.g. if you are a brilliant architect who designs a brilliant housing complex and then finds out that that your design is being used for public housing, God forbid, then you are fully entitled to blow up said brilliant housing complex because it is being used for the public good rather than for what you intended. YOUR PERSONAL DREAMS ÜBER ALLES!

    which reminds me: one of my favorite films is King Vidor's insane adaptation of Rand's novel The Fountainhead, where what I just mentioned is the central struggle of the film (and I assume the novel). this over the top thing of beauty features a berserk plotline, berserk characters, a brilliant housing complex being blown up because God fucking forbid it may be used for public housing, and an incredible scene where architect Gary Cooper is drilling something and neurotic Patricia Neal is watching him drill and gets so worked up she uncontrollably starts beating the literal horse she rode in on, and then rides off, in a Randian heat over the studly I Am My Own Man-ishness of the Gary Cooper character. she gets so hot & bothered she actually delivers a smart slash of her riding crop before riding off. hot stuff!




    but back to this book, finally

    actual review:

    I was surprised at how much I liked it, at first. it is one of those dystopic post-apocalyptic books where we are experiencing the day-to-day life of some poor zombie sap who is slowly realizing that he is living in a world of sad automatons and he is one of the few who gets how pathetic his life is. because everyone is supposed to be like everyone else, and he is an actual someone. as always, this is an automatically enjoyable narrative to live in because who doesn't think that way, at certain points in their lives (or at certain points in their day, cough)

    the style and the prose itself impressed me. Rand is one of those surprising writers whose prose is stripped-down, clean, and neat while also being oddly poetic: phrases and sentences that are child-like, eager, but also full of longing and melancholy. she's a fully-formed writer as of Anthem, surprisingly only her second novel. even more impressive was her replacement of the word I with the word We which functioned as an implicit criticism of the communist mindset while giving the storytelling itself an excitingly declamatory feel. on a stylistic level, Anthem is a genuine pleasure to read.

    oh I just got a text from a friend that was a link saying typhoon pork bun woman and I think I'm just not going to check that out right now. whatever could that mean??

    anyway, this was turning out to be a from-leftfield 4 star book for me but then the last two chapters happened. there were hints before that, here and there, but I chose to ignore them. but Ayn Rand is gonna do Ayn Rand, and that's only bad news where women are concerned. per Rand, a person with a dick is a person who needs to make himself into his own man; a person without a dick should probably just follow and promise obedience to said dick.

    THAT IS FUCKING DISAPPOINTING. but I suppose not surprising. and yet I am surprised! I'm always surprised when a woman is all about freedom and rugged individuality and notgivingaflyingfuckeroo about what society says... but for men only! not for the womenfolk! apparently women should just support their man, they are incapable of forging their own hard-won individuality because EMOTIONS. I wish this was a unique perspective but God knows I have come across it many times, in literature and ugh in real life too. my own experience of my own uh experiences but also of my male friends is that I, and they, are all super fucking emotional. this is not just a female trait! argh. but more to the point: the sole female in Anthem shows her worth by declaring her obedience to her ruggedly individualistic, freedom-living man. that's just fucking gross and I don't get it. self-hate much?

    so anyway, looks like Survivor is on so time for me to end this review. also feels like I am going to have an interesting time reporting my findings to the person who loaned me this book. wish me luck!

  3. Irina Irina says:

    The book is about human identity and freedom, and how one can degrade under the chains of collectivism.

    A lot of reviews on this book, which are posted on this site, use the word “futuristic” events. I intentionally put the quotes around this word as I tend to totally disagree with the choice of this word. I used to live under socialist regime, a collectivistic society. So I can relate and completely understand the events described in the book, where the word “I” doesn’t exist, when it is a shame to stand out and be different from the rest.
    However, you don’t need to come from the socialist country to understand that this is about NOW, and not the future. We face this “phenomenon” (again I am using the quotes to underline that this actually is a normal event that we face every day), when we need to struggle to form our own opinions to think this is white, when everyone else thinks this is black. We struggle to stand up and not to get under the influence of the media propaganda and continue to act with the high integrity and high morals no matter what.

    This book is about the man, who stands out on his own and is not afraid to position himself against everyone else just to rediscover his “I”.

    My favorite quotes:

    My hands...My spirit...My sky...My forest.

    I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning
    Many words have been granted me,...but only three are holy: I will it!

    I am a man. This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before.

    “ I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.

    And now I see the face of god... . This god, this one word: 'I' will go on. Man, not men.

    I am. I think. I will.

  4. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    The baby version of Ayn Rand philosophy, heavy handed, unimaginative, and unfortunately assigned to my son for high school reading. I struggle with Ayn Rand because I agree with some of her points and I vehemently disagree with others. The point is that bad things happen when the left or the right gain too much control because we always seem to end up in the same place with the government oppressing individual freedoms. It is really stunning to think of the millions of copies of this book that have been sold. I would say skip it, but if your child is assigned to read it please do read it. I'm a firm believer that parents should read any book their child is assigned in school to read.

  5. Pete Pete says:

    Congrats, Aynnie! You've received my first single star rating! I read this in high school when I was reading a lot of dystopian future literature and thought it was by far the worst of the lot. Granted, if I'd read it when I was younger I might have liked it more, but saying that the even younger, less mature, more pretentious version of my teenage self would have liked something is hardly a glowing endorsement.

    As such I've steered /way/ clear of her door-stoppers. I don't think you really need to come up with some faux cerebral excuse to justify selfishness; if you're going to be self-centered your actions are ultimately justified by your own selfish inner drives, not your intellect. At best Rand was a shrewd self-marketed Cold War personality. At worst she's cynical, petty, pedantic, and most unforgivable of all, _boring_.

  6. Zora Zora says:

    The real tragedy of this book is that the billions of copies that have been printed could have been more appropriately used to build homes for people in third world countries. This book could not be more self indulgent if it came with a bottle of Absynthe and a membership to MENSA. Not only is it impossibly boring to read, the characters are so one dimensional that they put V.C. Andrews to shame. Do yourself a favor: set this on fire and use the fourteen hours that it burns to read Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series instead. You won't regret it.

  7. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Anthem, Ayn Rand

    Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella, by: Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in the United Kingdom.

    The story takes place at an unspecified future date, when mankind has entered another Dark Age. Technological advancement is now carefully planned and the concept of individuality has been eliminated.

    A young man known as Equality 7-2521 rebels by doing secret scientific research. When his activity is discovered, he flees into the wilderness with the girl he loves. Together they plan to establish a new society based on rediscovered individualism.

    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه آگوستسال 2011 میلادی

    عنوان: جمع خوانی، نویسنده: آین رند؛ برگردان نغمه رضایی؛ نشر تهران، نغمه زندگی، ‏1389، در ‏‫‏104ص، شابک: 9789642882656؛ موضوع: داستان‌های نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 20م

    معمار جوانی، که برای اصالت فکر می‌جنگد، فردیت خویش را نمی‌بازد.؛ سرزمین داستان نقطه‌ ای کور، و گمشده در تاریخ و جغرافیاست.؛ این داستان در تاریخ آینده، زمانیکه انسان وارد عصر تاریکی دیگری شده، رخ میدهد.؛

    تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  8. Conrad Conrad says:

    Definitely the only book by Ayn Rand I will ever need to read, unless I happen to be reincarnated as an asshole. When people start modeling their book covers after Mussolini-era Italian architecture, worry.

  9. Kamyar Kamyar says:

    Neither a science-fiction masterpiece, nor a futuristic predicament, ANTHEM is a personal reaction to the collectivist system, dominant in Soviet Union and its modernized colonies for more than seven decades. Assumed too much reactionary by leftist intellectuals for rather a long time, it depicts the apocalyptic chaos in a world ruled by collectivist thoughts in the same way that Orwell’s 1984 builds it (for instance, you can think of a world after a nuclear crisis and then come to the meaning of nothingness). But forgetting all about suspense and action, it defines what it means to forget individuals for the sake of a system. Discovering the word “I”, when every ruler in any part of the world assumes all the individuals his own nation and labels them with the word “we”, appears to be a necessity – a necessity for preventing a disaster like a great world war.
    Needless to say that Rand is haunted by the symbols in a simple narrative in ANTHEM; but reading it as an enlightening manifestation – obviously written with hostility, contempt and anger – paves the way to get more familiar with her invaluable reflections on the modern world.

  10. Danny Salinger Danny Salinger says:

    Alright. If, for some reason, the values of individuality or independence are completely alien to you, you should read this book. Everyone else is better off skipping it. It has nothing else to offer and it's got a good chance of convincing that you're smarter or more enlightened than you actually are.

    Granted, I was a bit biased against Ayn Rand while reading this. But before reading this I had that sort of play-aversion that you carry around because it's fun to make fun of famous dead people. After reading this my contempt for her has become deep and far-reaching.

    The setting is simplistic and nonsensical. Unlike other dystopias such as 1984 or Brave New World, it's not portrait of a functioning oppressive society or a sad commentary on human nature as much as it is a vague, untenable strawman. Other dystopias are written with an awareness or sensitivity towards the human condition. 1984 dealt with our willingness to circumvent logic for a comfortable, patriotic lie. Brave New World dealt with our willingness to completely ignore issues and problems as long as we're entertained. Anthem on the other hand, deals with our willingness to sacrifice logic, comfort, entertainment, and freedom for the good of our neighbors.

    Oh wait... that doesn't make sense. In fact it flies in the face of the oldest, and most confounding problem in the social sciences, The Tragedy of the Commons. Biology and psychology have also found that self-sacrifice without compensation is an exceedingly rare phenomenon, and that animals (including humans) are ,as a general rule, selfish. Even the Soviet Union, a major influence behind this book, was only maintained by the general acceptance of the communist ideal for a short time before it was replaced with the KGB and the threat of the gulags. Considering how easy it was for Equality to escape from confinement, I'm comfortable saying that critical element was absent. This might be more excusable if it was meant to be a highly stylized hyperbole like The Giver, but Rand says herself in the introduction that this is not only the inevitable sum of collectivism, but what all socialists and collectivists secretly WANT.

    All this leads me to believe that a person who could seriously believe, much less write, this would have to be someone who saw their self-interest as unique, and imagined the majority of humanity a swathe of ambitionless drones. That, or a reader who's mouth salivates at the word individuality and who, when it comes to the affairs of the world, automatically equates cynicism to realism because it makes them look clever and critical.

    The writing's painfully overwrought as well. You have to understand this book is listed as half-read because despite my several attempts I can't finish it. I either get tired of self-indulgent prose and put it down or I start reading it out loud and I can't take it seriously (a friend and I did this to pass the time while waiting for a bus once.) The character thinks in short, declarative sentences that seem to rely on the reader seeing his struggle as novel and impactful. If you don't do this automatically there's nothing really there to MAKE you. The struggle in question, is a one-dimensional tug of war between We and I without the complexity or variability seen in actual human thought.

    Even the treatment of individuality once it's achieved is trite. After you figure out the I and the ego you're pretty much scott-free. You don't have any uncertainty about what you want to do or who you want to be, and you don't have to worry about things like self-deception, insecurity or over-confidence to mess with you. Congratulations, you are one of an elite few! Rand's portrayal of selfishness and independence as some miracle cure is sophomoric and overly simplistic, and it gets hammered into you from the beginning. It's not even as if calls to challenge, question, and break social oppression or embrace your individuality are hard to find, even in Rand's time, and a lot of these calls don't have to resort to strawmen or heady promises of perfection. Read Ender's Game, The Giver, My Side of the Mountain or any other young adult novel. Even song lyrics (Tilly and the Wall, Say Anything, Incubus) treat the topic of self-definition and social constraints with more intelligence. This book might have been revolutionary for its time, but we've moved on as a culture. We've gotten over the novelty of selfishness being a virtue and social control being a bad thing, and we've managed to produce far more intelligent treatments of the subject.