Looking Backward: 2000-1887 / Edition 1

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Overview

Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1888) is one of the most influential utopian novels in English. The narrative follows Julian West, who goes to sleep in Boston in 1887 and wakes in the year 2000 to find that the era of competitive capitalism is long over, replaced by an era of co-operation. Wealth is produced by an "industrial army" and every citizen receives the same wage
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
First published in 1888, Bellamy's utopian novel concerns a 19th century Bostonian who awakes from a sleep to find himself in the year 2000 in a world of near-perfect cooperation and prosperity. Historian Daniel Borus adds a 28-page introduction, a chronology of Bellamy's life, a selected bibliography, and questions to consider when reading the novel. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Richard Fox University of Southern California
"There is no better book than Looking Backward for understanding the intersecting private and public spheres in Victorian America. This is easily the best edition on the market, thanks to the fine introduction that puts Bellamy in the sweep of utopian writing, the nice selection of contemporary responses, and the excerpts from Bellamy's 'Religion of Solidarity' and Equality."
Lyman Tower Sargent
"This edition is set apart from all other editions by Alex MacDonald's excellent introduction and annotations and an excellent selection of related texts."
Ruth Levitas University of Bristol
"This edition is extremely welcome. The introduction is clear and accessible, and both situates the text historically and stresses its continuing relevance. Above all, the additional texts provide supporting material that makes this edition a truly invaluable resource."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312105914
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 11/15/1994
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Bellamy (26 March 1850 - 22 May 1898) was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, set in the year 2000. He was a very influential writer during the Gilded Age of United States history. According to Erich Fromm, Bellamy's novel Looking Backward is "one of the most remarkable books ever published in America." It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. In the book, Julian West, an upper class man from 1887, awakes in 2000 from a hypnotic trance to find himself in a socialist utopia. The book influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. "It is one of the few books ever published that created almost immediately on its appearance a political mass movement." "Bellamy Clubs" sprang up all over the United States for discussing and propagating the book's ideas. This political movement came to be known as Nationalism. His novel also inspired several utopian communities. Although Looking Backward is unique, Bellamy owes many aspects of his philosophy to a previous reformer and author, Laurence Gronlund, who published his treatise "The Cooperative Commonwealth: An Exposition of Modern Socialism" in 1884. Bellamy's second utopian novel, Equality, published in 1897, continues the story of Julian West as he adjusts to life in the future. Although Equality was less successful commercially or culturally than its prequel, a short story "The Parable of the Water-Tank" from Equality, was popular with a number of early American socialists, reprinted in various editions as a propaganda pamphlet. Several hundred additional utopian novels were published in the US from 1889 to 1900, due in part to the popularity of Looking Backward. Bellamy died from tuberculosis at his childhood home in Chicopee Falls.
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Table of Contents

Introduction by Cecilia Tichi
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
LOOKING BACKWARD

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