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“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C. S. Lewis

As far back as 1920, Russian writer Yevgheniy Zamyatin wrote We — the novel Ursula K. Le Guin called “the best single work of science fiction yet written” — the book that inspired 1984, Brave New World, Anthem, and the whole new literary genre of dystopia.

Digit D-503 is a proud and happy citizen of the United Nation, where people live in identical glass houses and think identical transparent thoughts, equal among themselves and equally happy to be cogs in the machine of the most perfect society that ever existed on earth. The designer of the Integral, the United Nation’s first spaceship, meant to carry “mathematically error-free” happiness to other forms of intelligent life “possibly still existing in the primitive state of freedom,” D-503 is a True Believer in the path of the United Nation until he is mugged by reality that comes in the guise of love for a beautiful, cynical woman who rejects state-sponsored happiness and delights in leading a rebellion.

Yet the rebels’ only virtue is their rejection of the authority of the Do-Gooder, the annually unanimously reelected leader of the United Nation. Their revolution is but for its own sake, and their attitude toward “human slivers” is just as utilitarian as that of the United Nation: to either group, an individual life’s worth is measured only by its usefulness to the cause.

We, the mother of all dystopias — more relevant than ever in today’s political climate — is now available in a new, XXI-century literary translation into readable, idiomatic, contemporary American English.

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trade paperback
5.25" X 8.25"
208 pp.
list price $16.75

ISBN 978-0-9728321-3-7