We the Living / LESSON 1
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We the Livinglesson 1

Ayn Rand and the Writing of We the Living

Ayn Rand fled Communist Russia and vehemently rejected its collectivist ideology. Why then did she set her first novel in the Soviet Union? What kind of story did she want to tell and what ideas did she aim to communicate? In this lesson, you’ll learn about the background to the writing and publication of We the Living, exploring Rand’s goals in writing the novel, her reasons for calling We the Living “as near to an autobiography as I will ever write,” and the obstacles she faced getting the book published during America’s “Red Decade.”

Spoiler alert: This lesson assumes that students have read We the Living.

Lesson Outline

Lead Instructor

Onkar Ghate
Onkar Ghate

Onkar Ghate is the chief content officer and a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the Institute’s resident expert on Objectivism and serves as its senior trainer and editor.

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