I'm not a follower of Ayn Rand's philosophy, however this small and poignant book has remained with me since I first read it 21 years ago as a sophomore in high school. I've read Atlas Shrugged. I've read The Fountainhead. Much of her work seems plodding and bogged down in tome-like parables of miserable people trying to elevate themselves by finding ways to do miserable things to other miserable people. This is not the case in Anthem. In fact I often wish she'd just left her exploration here.
Like many others, I've felt that for much of the past decade, America has lived under a shroud of darkness and ruled by the politics of fear. The dissenting opinion, so vital to our survival as a species has been stamped out by the boot of like minded individuals who seek to serve the lowest common denominator of our thinking society and elevate mediocrity to the norm. In doing so, the creative spirit has been replaced in our schools with the need to pass tests that serve not to expand knowledge, but to ensure that the knowledge of the many is passed on. All avenues for creative exploration are cut first in an attempt to balance budgets. No Arts. No Humanities. No athletic competition. What will allow our children and our future to have pride in individual accomplishment? Human beings need the opportunity to develop self esteem not through the daily ablutions of sycophantic parents, but through individual achievement.
This is intended to be a review, not a rant. This book is as important and powerful today as it ever was, perhaps more important.
The narration is top notch. If the goal of theatrical elocution is to take the words that are written and speak them as the true words of a living breathing person, Paul Meier succeeds with mastery and aplomb. He inhabits the words as they inhabit his soul, making us feel the narrators spirit and transformation throughout his journey. Bravo Mr. Meier. Bravo!
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