Looking Backward

Looking Backward By Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward First published in Looking Backward was one of the most popular novels of its day Translated into than languages its utopian fantasy influenced such thinkers as John Dewey Thorstein Veblen
  • Title: Looking Backward
  • Author: Edward Bellamy
  • ISBN: 9780486290386
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback
  • Looking Backward By Edward Bellamy, First published in 1888, Looking Backward was one of the most popular novels of its day Translated into than 20 languages, its utopian fantasy influenced such thinkers as John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, Eugene V Debs, and Norman Thomas Writing from a 19th century perspective and poignantly critical of his own time, Bellamy advanced a remarkable vision of the future,First published in 1888, Looking Backward was one of the most popular novels of its day Translated into than 20 languages, its utopian fantasy influenced such thinkers as John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, Eugene V Debs, and Norman Thomas Writing from a 19th century perspective and poignantly critical of his own time, Bellamy advanced a remarkable vision of the future, including such daring predictions as the existence of radio, television, motion pictures, credit cards, and covered pedestrian malls.On the surface, the novel is the story of time traveler Julian West, a young Bostonian who is put into a hypnotic sleep in the late 19th century, and awakens in the year 2000 in a socialist utopia In conversations with the doctor who awakened him, he discovers a brilliantly realized vision of an ideal future, one that seemed unthinkable in his own century Crime, war, personal animosity, and want are nonexistent Equality of the sexes is a fact of life In short, a messianic state of brotherly love is in effect.Entertaining, stimulating, and thought provoking, Looking Backward, with its ingenious plot and appealing socialism, is a provocative study of human society as it is and as it might be.
    Looking Backward By Edward Bellamy,
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    About "Edward Bellamy"

    1. Edward Bellamy

      American author and Christian socialist.His novel Looking Backward is a widely regarded work of socialist Utopian fiction and was referenced in many Marxist publications of the time When it was first published in 1888, its success was behind that of only Uncle Tom s Cabin and Ben Hur A Tale of the Christ It inspired a less successful sequel entitled Equality that was of a political tract than a novel and generally spurred socialist movement both in the United States and abroad At one point, there was even a Bellamy Party in the Netherlands.

    713 thoughts on “Looking Backward”

    1. In Bellamy s Boston in the year 2000, many things have changed from how they were in 1887, and the consensus among the book s characters is that they have changed for the better I do not imagine many people would argue the merits of the eradication of poverty and war But when one looks closely at gender roles, utopia becomes a bit blurry.The fact that women have jobs outside the home is exciting and progressive However, they are still treated as quite secondary to men Being inferior of strengt [...]


    2. This was another Literary Birthday challenge title, and the last one I will be able to complete for March Edward Bellamy was born on March 26, 1850 This book was published in 1888 and according to the GR author bio was third in popularity behind Uncle Tom s Cabin and Ben Hur A Tale Of The Christ Bellamy takes the Rip Van Winkle idea and cranks it up a few notches Our hero Julian goes to sleep in Boston one night in 1887 and wakes up in a most unusual place Boston in the year 2000 The main body o [...]


    3. As a novel, this book isn t much That isn t a mark against it, though the story serves as a light frame to build an explanation of socialism around, and it does that very well.Looking Backward is the best and clearest way I have ever seen socialism presented although that is not hard, since I have never seen socialism presented in any light other than a negative one , and in almost every way it seems better than capitalism It raises questions in me that I have never had occasion to consider Why, [...]


    4. A book that has been stranded on the island of forgotten classics for far too long Foreshadowing many of the technological advancements we take for granted this is a look back that will also provide a vantage point for looking forward as we are all caught in the ebb and flow of technoethics and technoetics.


    5. As a historic work, this isn t without interest As a piece of art, it reads like a lecture from someone who can t stop pontificating Edward Bellamy was trying to craft ideas for the perfect society, but it is hard to stomach in a post Freud, post World War I and II and post Soviet Union world I ll take an anti utopian novel like 1984 any day.


    6. Proto scifi utopian snoozefest Looking Backward was a blockbuster hit in 1887 according to the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom s Cabin and Ben Hur This is mystifying because it s basically a boring socialist tract For context I am a socialist It is frustrating to me that most socialist books suck Does it then really seem to you that human nature is insensible to any motives save fear of want and love of luxury, that you should expect security and equality of livelihood to l [...]


    7. Man, what a crappy socialist utopia Americans would figure out how to make a socialist utopia as saccharine and colorless and authoritarian as possible, wouldn t we So, I read this out of historical interest, because it was a landmark work in American leftism, sold millions of copies in the 1890 s, etc I kinda wanted to know what got early American leftists excited Evidently, it was very thinly novelized half informed hectoring about proto Marxist political economy He sketched just barely enough [...]


    8. This is a great book about a man from 1887 who finds himself in the year 2000 It was actually written in 1887 and the author, Edward Bellamy actually predicts some things such as radio and credit cards In the year 2000 he finds that all social class differences have been erased and there is a Utopian society I thought his view of what the year 2000 would be like was fascinating and some of his ideas of how to implement a Utopian society were thought provoking This is one of my favorite books.


    9. Started off hopeful, but ended leaving me wanting .This is the story of Julian West, a man from the year 1887 who falls into a trance and wakes up in the year 2000 It basically provides an outline for the makings of a perfect society, which, in the novel, is exactly what is created in the year 2000 Dr Leete is basically the spokesperson for this new society, which by the way is a very radical version of Socialism Leete explains to Julian the industrial workforce, and all of the inner workings of [...]


    10. When the popular bookshelves are filled with dystopias as far as the eye can see, sometimes it s nice to try the opposite perspective And though most utopian works tend to age badly, Bellamy s actually seems to get better with age, because it was both incredibly far sighted for its time and best of all, still feels like it might just be achievable.The frame story is mostly for show our protagonist goes to sleep in 1887 and wakes up in the year 2000 to a completely changed world The Industrial Re [...]


    11. in the year 2000, humanity will enjoy harmony, happiness and worldwide peace in a universal socialist utopia, and this is how we will fall in love In her face, pity contended in a sort of divine spite against the obstacles which reduced it to impotence Womanly compassion surely never wore a guise lovely Such beauty and such goodness quite melted me, and it seemed that the only fitting response was just to tell her the truth I had no fear that she would be angry She was too pitiful for that Don [...]


    12. Forget Nostradamus Bellamy predicted shopping malls, credit cards and cars in his fictitious time traveling story written in 1887 and looking forward to the year 2000 In the Year Two Thousaaaannnnndddd the Year Two ThousAAAAANNNNDDDD While some of his optimistic and Utopian fantasies aren t realized by modern society and Bellamy s writing drags a bit in places, it s fun and carefree without the bitter aftertaste of 1984 or Brave New World looming over like storm clouds.


    13. Edward Bellamy s socialist utopian novel Looking Backward tells the story of a Boston man who is placed in a mesmeric trance in 1887 and awakens in the year 2000 While he was entranced, the United States and much of the world has undergone major transformations, chiefly in economic and social organization Most of the book is exposition, as the protagonist, Julian West, learns about the new, improved Boston from his rescuer, Dr Leete The Boston of the future is a utopia of organization, equality, [...]


    14. I started reading Edward Bellamy s classic utopian novel Looking Backward on a three hour train ride back home It was night, dark outside, and my eyes flitted from the screen of my e reader to the dark void outside and back I like to peer out at the towns the train passes so furtively, reduced by speed, distance and time of day to a few lights strewn across the landscape When I sit in a train and look outside, I cannot help but turn into the stereotypical dreamy passenger The reflective surface [...]


    15. Edward Bellamy is a distant relative of a friend of mine Until my friend sent me a link to a article about Uncle Ed, I d never heard of him But I thought I d take a look at one of his books, which I was to learn was one of the most popular, most influential books of late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century America Indeed, all over America it spawned Bellamy clubs devoted to promoting Edward Bellamy s social theories.Looking Backward was written in 1887 By the magic of imagination, it looks ba [...]


    16. In college, I took a class on Political Literature a class designed to expose political and historical thoughts and feelings through literature This would have been an excellent addition to such a class s curriculum, as I feel it is political commentary disguised as fiction than it is fiction about politics.Looking Backward is the story of a man who goes to sleep in 1887 Boston, and wakes up in 2000 Boston It is fiction, remember so this kind of jump can happen He awakens and learns of the incr [...]


    17. 19 y zy l n i ren li ini, 21 y zy lda ya yor olsakta hala o igrencligin devam ettigini g steren ok g zel bir topyayd 20 y zy l kurgulayan bir topya olu u ve 21 y zy la gelmi olsak dahi de isen hi bir eyin olmamas ok z c 1880lerden beri de i en hi bir ey yok, hala sefalet hala a l k hala sava lar hala birbirlerinin kuyusunu kaz p zenginle meye al an bir ton insan.


    18. Boy, Bellamy was idealistic Of course, I have the advantage of truly Looking Backward the year 2000, in which this book takes place, was eighteen years ago Bellamy s 1887 predictions, therefore, seem utterly implausible and laughably optimistic, although I also offer my opinion that his blueprint for utopia is also horrendously unattractive and restricting.Even though I have the privilege of living in his future, I don t think a lot of my issues with the book depend on my futuristic knowledge it [...]


    19. Julian West was an insomniac Unable to sleep, he used his wealth to construct a fabulous sound proof light proof underground bedroom that only his servant Sawyer knew about He hired an animal mangetist to put him to sleep with the understanding that he would be awakened by Sawyer in the morning Unfortunately his house burned down in the middle of the night No one awakened him He was safe in the room that no one knew about but was presumed dead One hundred and thirteen years later, a man doing co [...]


    20. Looking Backward, while written over 120 years ago, is about what the author envisioned the 21st century could have been like if the USA had embraced Socialist principles Very popular when it was written right up there with Uncle Tom s Cabin and Ben Hur , it is about a young 19th century upper class white man s surprising re introduction to society when he wakes up from a 113 year nap at the dawn of the 21st century Similar to Washington Irving s Rip Van Winkle and Woody Allen s Sleeper in plot [...]


    21. I listed this under fiction It is also considered by some science fiction but actually, there is very little of interest to the sf fan here.Basically, after 113 years sleeping, our hero wakes up in a future Boston, and the books lectures at length on Bellamy s idea of social and political utopia.I read it becase of its historical listing as an early attempt at science fiction, and found it very slow moving indeed Quite dated quite shallow and lots of economic and political chit chat with very li [...]


    22. Julian West falls into a hypnosis induced sleep in 1887 and wakes up in the same place Boston, MA , but in the year 2000 Living in the home now is Dr Leete and his wife, and their lovely daughter, Edith As Julian tries to accept his new reality, the Leetes offer their assistance by explaining the changes which have occurred since Julian first went to sleep in the late nineteenth century The result is a utopian novel written in 1888, well ahead of its time Bellamy suggests a socialist society muc [...]


    23. One may easily, and with just reason, I think, quickly slough off Looking Backward as a rather mediocre, banal utopian novel employing a rather kitschy love story Further, I find that Looking Backward does not satisfy me as a piece of political theory indeed, Bellamy writes with far too many presumptions and hand waves in order for Looking Backward to qualify as such However, I still find Looking Backward a worthwhile read First of all, and the weaker reason, I think, Looking Backward sold hugel [...]


    24. This might be the dumbest book I ve ever read I respect and understand what Bellamy was trying to do, but for mercy of the reader, don t try to deliver something like this in a fictional setting if you re not going to bother making your characters anything than endlessly chattering names without agency or thought or reflection or personality, who only recite the philosophy of the writer And don t make it fiction if you don t have a plot or a story or action or development of some basic activity [...]


    25. With books one can never go wrong Whether one is reading or writing, his views will always remain true on paper Of course one will receive criticisms from various quarters That alone does not make the writer s view wrong On the other hand, a person who insists on passing his ideas orally has no audience All people can do is listen and if they do not agree with what the speaker says they shut it out Looking Backward was written by Edward Bellamy in the nineteenth century In it he expresses his vi [...]


    26. Looking Backward is a fantastic work of utopian literature Bellamy s purpose was to educate the 19th century audience about the pitfalls of current social and economic systems in place Bellamy uses a fictional 20th century audience to present his work not as a book of fiction, but as a map, a historical document, so people are able to improve society Coming from a Nationalistic point of view bordering on Communism, Bellamy manages to present clear cut Utopian themes that will blow your mind.




    27. I listened to the LibriVox recording of this book, narrated by Anna Simon librivox looking backwardI had originally heard of this book in my High School American history class since the book was a bestseller when it came out in 1888 the third largest bestseller of its time according to and touted as quite influential The listing goes on to explain some things that are quite important for the prospective reader to know It influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of [...]


    28. I really looked forward to reading this book, being quite interested in speculative sci fi and having read about Bellamy and the way the book inspired the growth of a nationalist cult in the turn of 19th century America Quite a hackneyed plot in which a young man is hypnotised and wakes up a century later in a much changed Boston but it was probably quite new at the time of writing in 1887 Bellamy focusses very much on the social, economic and political structural changes in society which in the [...]


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