Ayn Rand, in this book written in 1937, expertly refutes collectivists schemes; such as, Communism and Fascism and shows the utter peril that collectivism poses to individual freedom. This is a short novel about a man who escapes a society from which all individuality has been squeezed. Written a full decade before Orwells 1984 Rand expertly shows how collectivism is destroying individuality and is being practiced throughout the world including the New Deal programs in the United States. During this time in world, history people are becoming serfs to the state as F. A. Hayek, the noted libertarian economist would put it. Rands philosophy is really quite simple; planning is a synonym for collectivism and collectivism is a metaphor for Communism. Rands literary style is easy to read and understand, youll love how she uses the third person plural in the book until the hero finds his ego at which time she switches over to first person singular. Its final two chapters are (according to Rand) the anthem--the celebration of the human ego. This is not done in logical terms, but in pure emotional exultation. Rands writing throughout the book is skilled, passionate and evocative, but in the last two chapters she really shines. For presentations of Rands philosophy, Objectivism, in logical form, read Atlas Shrugged. For a ruthless, beautiful evocation of the emotional aspect of Rands philosophy of egoism, read Anthem. If you have socialist leanings, or simply have always assumed the many is more important that the one, the book may disturb you greatly. It will change the way you feel, and Rands later work will change the way you think. This is a book that should be read by all who wonder what role the government should have in our lives. Highly recommended. This book is often misunderstood, but if you read it with the understanding that it is a poem, and not a book, your understanding of it will be enhanced.