Who was Ayn Rand, and what inspired her dystopian vision of a society so dominated by collectivism that it no longer has the word “I”? In this lesson, you’ll explore the background to Anthem — from Rand’s initial idea for the story as a schoolgirl in Soviet Russia to her writing of the novella in 1937 to its publication in America in the aftermath of World War II. With communism and fascism on the march, and a world on the verge of war, Rand sought to understand the cause of totalitarian collectivism. What philosophical ideas led to these political evils? And what ideas could stop such evils from arising again?