By: Ayn Rand
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 16 and up
Those thick door-stops (aka books) by Ayn Rand, everyone’s favorite Russian-American political philosopher, have never been high on my list of books I must read before I die.
I get it…socialism, bad. Individualism, good. I don’t need to read Atlas Shrugged to get the point.
But when my high school sophomore was assigned Ayn Rand Lite–86-page Anthem–I figured it was a perfect opportunity to see what I’ve been missing out on.
Turns out, Ayn Rand wrote a pretty compelling story.
Anthem is about Equality 7-2521, the identifier of a member of a collective society who can’t surpress his need to be an individual. Of course, this rubs everyone the wrong way, and suddenly there are philosophical lessons to be learned everywhere.
I didn’t need the story to tell me that collectivism is a less desirable method of societal structure, but I can definitely see why this book is tailor made for a high school lit class.
It was interesting, thoughtful, well written, age appropriate, and short. I even felt compelled to underline a few things for future pondering.
I’m still not interested in reading The Fountainhead, though.
Best for 16 and up. Unless your 14-year-old is really ambitious.