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Anthem is closer in length to a very long short story (or novella, as these are sometimes called) than a novel. The first edition was published in England in 1938, when Rand was unable to find a publisher in the United States. After the success of Rand's next novel, The Fountainhead, a revised second edition of Anthem was published in the United States in 1946. The 50th anniversary edition includes the text of the revised edition and a facsimile of the first edition with Rand's editing marks.


Anthem is written as the diary of Equality 7-2521, a young man living in a future in which people have lost all knowledge of individualism, to the point of not even knowing words like "I" or "mine." Everyone lives and works in collective groups, with all aspects of daily life dictated by "councils" -- the Council of Vocations, the Council of Scholars, etc. His curiosity leads him to forbidden discoveries and eventually to exile, where he makes the greatest discovery of all.

A detailed summary with spoilers is available.


Anthem is divided into 12 unnamed, numbered chapters. See the chapter summaries for more information on each chapter.

Related Links

PDF Links followed by this symbol are for documents in Adobe PDF (Acrobat) format, which requires Adobe Reader for viewing.

The complete text of Anthem is available online in several forms:

Readers from outside the United States should be aware that Anthem is still under copyright protection in many countries, although its US copyright has expired.

Other links:

Reviews, Criticism and Analysis

The following perspectives on this book are available online:

The following are parodies or humorous treatments of this book:

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand, Anthem by Ann Rand, Antem, critical analysis, critical reviews, commentary

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