Teach with Anthem, a novel by Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand’s Anthem is her most widely taught novel in middle schools and high schools. 

It’s a short novel that deals with issues relevant to anyone growing up, because it challenges them to think about the kind of life they want to lead, the kind of person they want to become, and the kind of society that will allow them to flourish and be happy.

Simply put, it’s themes and characters engage students like few other books do.

Order free copies of this classic story today—and see for yourself why teachers keep returning to us to say the same thing⁠: that their students love reading Anthem.

“It is a sin to write this.”

Anthem is Ayn Rand’s “hymn to man’s ego.” It is the story of one man’s rebellion against a totalitarian, collectivist society. Equality 7-2521 is a young man who yearns to understand “the Science of Things.” But he lives in a bleak, dystopian future where independent thought is a crime and where science and technology have regressed to primitive levels.

All expressions of individualism have been suppressed in the world of Anthem; personal possessions are nonexistent, individual preferences are condemned as sinful and romantic love is forbidden. Obedience to the collective is so deeply ingrained that the very word “I” has been erased from the language.

In pursuit of his quest for knowledge, Equality 7-2521 struggles to answer the questions that burn within him — questions that ultimately lead him to uncover the mystery behind his society’s downfall and to find the key to a future of freedom and progress.

Anthem anticipates the theme of Rand’s first best seller, The Fountainhead, which she stated as “individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man’s soul.”

105 Pages

Print Length


Typical Grade Level

2-4 Weeks

Typical Unit


Original Publication

“The value is priceless”

Why Teach Ayn Rand

Since 2002, more than 70,000 teachers have received free copies of Rand’s novels for their classrooms. Here’s why:


Ayn Rand’s novels appeal to young readers like few other books do. They are rich with dramatic storytelling, strong and complex characters, and enduring themes. They also challenge students to think more deeply about the world, about the choices they make in their lives, and about the kind of person they want to become.


In addition to the books, we provide teachers with dozens of free resources to make it easier to incorporate the books into a curriculum and spark in-class discussion—from teacher’s guides and lesson plans to chapter lead-in videos and virtual classroom Q&As with our team of experts.

It’s Truly Free!

This program is made possible by the donors of the Ayn Rand Institute and especially the following individuals and organizations, who want to give students the opportunity to read and discuss Rand’s novels in school.


The Ayn Rand Institute offers a variety of educational experiences to promote greater understanding of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and, through the writing and speaking of our experts, advocates her principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism. Learn more about ways to support us.

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