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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