We the Living portrays the impact of the Russian Revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives. At its center is a girl whose passionate love is her fortress against the cruelty and oppression of a totalitarian state.
Of this book, Ayn Rand said, “it is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. The plot is invented, the background is not. I was born in Russia, I was educated under the Soviets; I have seen the conditions of existence that I describe. The specific events of Kira’s life were not mine; her ideas, her convictions, her values were and are."
We the Living is not a story of politics, but of the men and women who have to struggle for existence behind the Red banners and slogans. It is a picture of what dictatorship-of any kind-does to human beings. What happens to the defiant ones? What happens to those who succumb? Who are the winners in this conflict? For those who found Ayn Rand’s blockbuster Atlas Shrugged a powerful voice raised in defense of the individual, this book continues the theme of an individual’s right to the pursuit of his or her own happiness.