Yergeny Zamyatin’s 1921 novel We is not the first dystopian novel. There was The Iron Heel (1905) by Jack London and The Sleeper Awakes (1910) by H.G Wells, Russian translations of which Zamyatin edited. It is, however, regarded as “the archetype of the modern dystopia”—or so says the back cover of my Penguin Classics, 1993, Clarence Brown edition. We is fundamentally a political satire of the nightmare of total control. Its dreamlike scene shifts, fantastic imagery and atmosphere of confusion and apprehension set it apart from those earlier novels. And it introduces what have become standard dystopian themes: rule by authoritarian rationalism, hyperbolized technological advancement, love as a catalyst of dissidence, and, as a final outcome, the crushing of that dissidence, literally, under the cast-iron hand of authority.