Looking Backward: 2000 – 1887
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551114064 / 1551114062
  • 288 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Looking Backward: 2000 – 1887

  • Publication Date: January 2, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551114064 / 1551114062
  • 288 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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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.

This edition contains a rich selection of appendices, including excerpts from Bellamy’s Equality and other writings; contemporary responses (by William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and others); excerpts from utopian works by Morris and William Dean Howells; and an excerpt from Henry George’s Progress and Poverty.


“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.” — Richard Fox, University of Southern California

“This edition is set apart from all other editions by Alex MacDonald’s excellent introduction and annotations and an excellent selection of related texts.” — Lyman Tower Sargent, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Editor of Utopian Studies

“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.” — Ruth Levitas, University of Bristol

A Note on the Text
Edward Bellamy: A Brief Chronology
Looking Backward: 2000-1887

Appendix A: Why and How Bellamy Wrote Looking Backward

Appendix B: William Morris’s review of Looking Backward and Bellamy’s review of Morris’s News from Nowhere, plus periodical reviews of Looking Backward

Appendix C: Excerpt from “The Religion of Solidarity”

Appendix D: Passages from Equality Showing Development of Bellamy’s Utopian Ideas 1887-1897

Appendix E: A Victorian “Angel In the House”—Emma Bellamy

Appendix F: A Response to Looking Backward by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Appendix G: “The True Remedy” from Henry George’s Progress and Poverty (1897)

Appendix H: Excerpts from A Traveler From Altruria by William Dean Howells

Appendix I: An Excerpt on Education from William Morris’s News from Nowhere (1890)

Further Reading

Alex MacDonald is an Associate Professor of English at Campion College, University of Regina.