Rebirth of Reason

Favorite EditSanction this itemWe the Living by Ayn Rand
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Sanctions: 15
Sanctions: 15
We the Living
This is my favorite Ayn Rand novel. Not as overtly philosophical nor as monumental in scope as her later works, strictly as a novel qua novel, it excels those later works. And compared to the work of other authors, it is monumental.
Rand tells us a love story set against the background of communist Russia in the 1920's. In part two, chapter 8, she creates the greatest description of romantic love that I've ever experienced anywhere. She succeeds magnificently in making romantic love concrete for the reader; and this while using minor characters in the novel.
Also, though I've long understood the evil of communism intellectually, Rand likewise makes this concrete for the reader, displaying it for the true human horror that it is. You not only understand the horror, you feel it.
Rand describes this, her first novel, on the back cover as "...as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. The plot is invented, the background is not...The specific events of Kira's life were not mine; her ideas, her convictions, her values, were and are."
One warning: Leonard Peikoff, in his otherwise wonderful introduction, gives away the ending. So read the intro last. And Leonard, maybe you should consider making your introduction an afterword, instead.
Added by Bob Palin
on 8/12/2004, 6:49pm

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