An Apple Books Classic edition.
What happens when feelings get in the way of order? What is the price of perfecting society? Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, like many of the dystopian novels that came after it, plays on our fears of being watched and controlled, of human emotions being criminalized. A lively critique of authoritarianism, We holds the honor of being the first book banned by the Soviet government. Zamyatin managed to get a copy of his novel to the United States, where it was published in 1924.
We is set in a future world where there are no individual names—only numbers. The book opens with D-503 sharing the news that the spaceship he’s been building is complete. The United State, which rules Earth, can now find other planets with which to share their “mathematically infallible happiness.” But then, D-503 meets I-330, and despite not being assigned to her, he falls in love. It makes no sense: I-330 smokes, drinks, encourages imagination—all very illegal acts that would result in public execution. So, what will D-503 say when I-330 asks for help with mounting a rebellion against the United State? Pick up a dystopian novel that predates bestsellers like 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Brave New World.