Ayn Rand was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher. She was an uncompromising advocate of rational individualism, and vociferously opposed socialism. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. Anthem was her second novel. She died in 1982.
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