Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand | The Caxton Printers, Ltd. | 9th Printing (September 1982)

hardcover anthem by ayn rand front cover
Anthem by Ayn Rand front cover

Title: Anthem
ISBN: 087004124X
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: The Caxton Printers, Ltd.
Date Published:
Edition: 9th printing, September 1982
Language: English
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Classic, Philosophy

I bought this book from, an online store selling used cheap books. It cost me $6.18 and this book is in Good condition. The cost may vary depending on the book's physical condition. If you think I got it cheap, you're wrong because I'm not living in the US. They offer free shipping in the US if your order is above $10 else you'll pay the shipping cost of around $5 per book.

More of my review, just continue scrolling below / click 'Read more'

hardcover anthem by ayn rand back cover
Anthem by Ayn Rand back cover

hardcover anthem by ayn rand book spine
Anthem by Ayn Rand book spine

anthem by ayn rand without dusk jacket
Anthem by Ayn Rand without dusk jacket

anthem by ayn rand book edge
Anthem by Ayn Rand book edge and dusk jacket flap

hardcover anthem by ayn rand caxton 9th printing
Anthem by Ayn Rand Caxton 9th printing

* you might find some spoilers in the book review below

Since I don't read any synopsis or any introduction about this book, I find the story of Anthem odd. I find the first Chapter odd because the main characters are calling themselves Equality 7-2521 and they are using the personal pronoun 'we' instead of 'I' where I think something isn't right. I find the plurality in this novella mysterious and makes me want to finish the book in one seating because I want to find out why the oddity of their plurality. You can finish the book in one seating as it's only 105 pages.

The science & technology of the world where Equality 7-2521 lives in is way behind to what we have in our modern world. Set aside the age of this book but the story tells our modern world was left behind because mankind kind of reached a certain consequence which resulted to their demise. They called those times the Unmentionable Times. It's like the World is reset but not totally back to the stone age. People live accordingly to the work given to them by the Council. Everything is organized / regulated. It's like they're already fated to do specific jobs upon their birth. Like Equality 7-2521, their job is a Street Sweeper and they're only tasked to sweep the street and nothing else. Doing something else is a sin with corresponding punishment. They have been strip off from their individualism.

One must know what Collectivism and Individualism are, to fully understand the significance of the story. To brief you what Collectivism is, I'll just give you some examples (see below):

  • the Government of North Korea is very centralized where people are required to abide the law of their state. They are a self-sustained country where people have their own respective roles in life like in farming, military, etc. (see more info. about the country of N. Korea here)
  • nationalism is collectivism too; when our country is in the brink of war and emergency (Philippines), we have the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) where trained & reserved candidates are obliged to help our countrymen to fight in War; sense of nationalism for the disputed islets, denouncing other countries for their forced claim to one of our territories. We are voicing it out as one, we act as one nation, collectively.
While as an Individualist you can be like the following:

  • you're not easily influenced with other's, ideology, opinions, fashion, etc.
  • you are unique and distinguished
  • you give importance to individual freedom
  • you are a free man
  • liberalism - ideas of liberty and equality

The two topics above are important for you to relate with the story. The story will give you the importance of being an individual. Anthem is pro Individualism and the antagonist is Collectivism. But it doesn't mean you need to hate the moral stance of Collectivism. If you've read the story, mankind ended up in a Collectivist world as the Unmentionable Times implies, something was mess up in the past. There might be a Nuclear War in the past? Holocaust? It's easy to guess what it could be if you are aware of what's happening in other countries, like terrorism & some territorial dispute which could ignite to another world war.

I highly recommend to all humans to read this book. Read books like Anthem. It may give us a moral stance, a new ideology or philosophy which we can use in our life.

My rating for this book is: 5.0 / 5.0

End of my review.

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Would you like to buy a similar edition of the book I reviewed? Buy it at (see direct link below):

Or buy it from BookDepository (Free Delivery Worldwide):

Anthem 75th Anniv. Ed. (Paperback)

Rare old copies may be sold-out from the above store. You can continue book hunting the old/rare copies on AbeBooks.





  1. I went straight to the rating because I might find myself reading this book one day and I don't want to read any spoiler. :)

    That's a high rating. Impressive book.

  2. Sounds like you really enjoyed the book. I hope I will too. Based on your review, it sounds perfect for my philosophy class. I could use some perspective. Thanks. :)

  3. Looks intriguing. Might need to get one and just read it by myself. Let's see where the perfect rating will touch me.:)

  4. Very informative review! I think I will finally pick up my copy and have a read.

  5. It's been a while since I last finished a book. That book looks interesting and intriguing at the same time. And you gave it 5 of 5? I bet that's one great book.