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We the Living

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Published in 1936, We the Living was Ayn Rand's first novel. Like many first novels, it was rejected by a number of publishers before Macmillan Company agreed to pick it up. Unfortunately, they issued only 3,000 copies. When reviews were bad (it was not a good time to be publishing anti-communist novels) and sales were not strong initially, they destroyed the type. After Rand's success with her later novels, a revised edition of the novel was published with great success. The rare first edition is now an expensive collector's item.


In the hostile conditions of 1920s Soviet Russia, a young woman struggles to preserve her values -- including the man she loves. In pursuit of this goal, she undertakes an affair with an idealistic Communist soldier, and the consequences change all of their lives.


We the Living is divided into two parts with unnamed, numbered chapters. There are 17 chapters in Part One and 16 chapters in Part Two.

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Reviews, Criticism and Analysis

As Rand's first (and not very successful, at the time) novel, We the Living received few reviews upon its original release. Because it is less well known than Rand's other novels, there are relatively few essays or retrospective reviews related to it. The following perspectives on this book are available online:

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand, We the Living by Ann Rand, critical analysis, critical reviews, commentary

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