Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtues of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.
The difference between this long-forgotten exercise in paranoia and other futuristic visions of a world controlled by the state, such as Aldous Huxley's or George Orwell's, is the extremist tone of Rand's story. The author lived in a black-and-white world in which things social or communal are evil and things individual and selfish are exalted. This "anthem" culminates in a hymn to the concepts of "I" and "ego," where the rebels are those who resist group action; the oppressors are government officials and others who attempt to provide a safety net for the less fortunate. The production is not improved by the theatricality of narrator Paul Meier, which is reminiscent of a ham Victorian actor intoning an overwrought melodrama. Not recommended.-Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC
A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly. ("The New York Times")