Irina's Reviews > Anthem

Anthem by Ayn Rand
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Dec 04, 07

Read in November, 2007

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'

"...man will go on. Man, not men."

"I am. I think. I will."
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Irina,

Thanks for your perspective. America does such a poor job of educating our people to think and for some reason we seem to have no historical memory from generation to generation. I've been reading Ayn Rand reviews on this site and no one seems to remember the cold war, stalinism and the soviet regime. It sort of amazes me. It wasn't so long ago! I need to talk to my 27 year old daughter tonight and see if she knows anything about world history in the last 50 years. Her name is Kira, after Rand's We the Living.


JoAnn I couldn't have put it better. Thank you. I wish others could understand as well.


Rhea i definitely agree. i know this course just had us read this book a little while ago and many were confused about it. i love this book and enjoyed it greatly. i like your perspective and i think it has opened my eyes to even more things in this book. i must read it again! by the way, my favorite quote is....
"It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth."
in chapter 10. i really like this chapter in the book.


message 4: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Martin For once someone understands this book. I read some other reviews and it appears as though those individuals were hoping for uneducated entertaining fiction. Rand is incredible. I loved her descriptions and was blown away by her symbolic references. Thank you for posting this!


Julie Thoughtful review.


message 6: by Andi (new) - rated it 1 star

Andi T I completely agree that the type of society represented in this book is a dangerous and unhealthy one. Individualism should be honored and respected. However it is just as dangerous and unhealthy to go to the other extreme where we have no thought or compassion for those who need help. We as intelligent thinking and feeling beings should strive for a balanced society. We should not accept that there are people who have more than they could ever hope to use in their lifetime while others starve to death. I respect your position and understand we come from different backgrounds. I hope for a world were there is balance - were the 'I' is still important in the collective 'we'.


Alix Laing I loved this book and the end brought tears to my eyes. I noticed that while I was reading it I would appreciate my sense of freedom as a person so much more. I finally had a way to look at what the phrase "it could be worse" was really about. The only thing I disagreed with was the way that it seemed men and women were not at all equal. I loved hearing my but not the way that the golden one just follows him and he is just superior automatically. She is made to look less powerful.


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