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10 thoughts on “Looking Backward

  1. Jessica Jessica says:

    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 looksclosely at gender roles, utopia becomes a bitblurry.The fact that women have jobs outside the home is exciting and progressive However, they are still treated as quite secondary to men Being infe 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 looksclosely at gender roles, utopia becomes a bitblurry.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 strength to men, and further disqualified industrially in special ways women work within an entirely separate labor structure 257 The men discuss it as if the women are playing at work Under no circumstances is a woman permitted to follow any employment not perfectly adapted, both as to kind and degree of labor, to her sex 257 Further discourse shows that rather than seeing women as deserving of work just as they are, men let them work as long as it does not interact with their serious industry Dr Leete says that they permit them to work at all only because it is fully understood that a certain regular requirement of labor, of a sort adapted to their powers, is well for body and mind 257 In other words, they permit them to work because it makes them prettier One sees the condescension evenclearly when Dr Leete explains, We have given them a world of their own, with its emulations, ambitions, and careers, and I assure you they are very happy in it 259 And finally, to see how little society s respect for women has progressed, we learn that their main role and value is still as producers of children In fact the higher positions in the feminine army of industry are intrusted only to women who have been both wives and mothers, as they alone fully represent their sex 261.Perhaps this is a challenge that no utopian writer has yet conquered creating a society that everyone thinks is utopian In Bellamy s future society, Dr Leete explains that we have nothing to make laws about The fundamental principles on which our society is founded settle for all time the strifes and misunderstandings which in your day called for legislation 208 Even if we concede that the elimination of money and personal property would obviate many laws, how can we be convinced that there are no legal or moral issues on which people disagree The yearning to create a perfect society has captured many artists, and will no doubt continue to do so But who decides what is perfect, much less what is better Who defines progress


  2. Jonathan-David Jackson Jonathan-David Jackson says:

    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 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, indeed, should we not all work together Why should one have so muchthan another, when all people are created equal Why waste so much manpower and economic power with endless duplication of enterprise Why should many of us live under constant threat of poverty and hunger, when the good earth is rich, and can support us all equally Five hundred million people live in poverty in Africa, one of the poorest regions on Earth Two hundred million in China Fifteen million in the United Kingdom Forty million people live in poverty even in America, the richest nation on Earth This past year the people on the Forbes 400 list have accumulated an additional two hundred billion dollars 200,000,000,000 , while at the same time median family income in America dropped by 4 percent.After reading this book, perhaps I might call myself a socialist For thirty years I had lived among them, and yet I seemed to have never noted before how drawn and anxious were their faces, of the rich as of the poor, the refined, acute faces of the educated as well as the dull masks of the ignorant And well it might be so, for I saw now, as never before I had seen so plainly, that each as he walked constantly turned to catch the whispers of a spectre at his ear, the spectre of Uncertainty Do your work never so well, the spectre was whispering, rise early and toil till late, rob cunningly or serve faithfully, you shall never know security Rich you may be now and still come to poverty at last Leave never so much wealth to your children, you cannot buy the assurance that your son may not be the servant of your servant, or that your daughter will not have to sell herself for bread


  3. Debbie Zapata Debbie Zapata says:

    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 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 of the story revolves around his host a doctor who brought him safely to a waking state sharing all the new and glorious details with Julian in the first week of being a citizen of this brave but strange new world.Apparently back in its day, this book was seen as THE blueprint for a utopian society I wasthan a little disturbed by the way the year 2000 was managed, though Julian asked my questions most of them pretty much right after I thought of them myself but he accepted the answers without digging much deeper I kept saying Yeah, but what about And of course I got no answers at all.In his talks with the doctor, Julian learns that the nation itself is now the provider of everything a man needs, that there is compulsory education to the age of 21, and compulsory service in the industrial army from then till age 45 with the first three years of that being in the unskilled sector, then you get to decide where you want to work for the rest of your productive time After age 45 a man gets to have his time for himself No money, no taxes, no debt, no servant crisis, no crime, no this no that On one hand it sounds wonderful But then there s that other hand.For one thing it took until Chapter 25 of 28 before Julian asked about the role of women in the year 2000 And then part of the answer was this We have given them a world of their own, with its emulations, ambitions, and careers, and I assure you they are very happy in it I wanted to smack that doctor upside the headduring Chapter 25 than at any other time in the book.This was a vehicle for Bellamy s vision of societythan anything else I would like to read some other title of his, just to see what his plain old everyday novels are like I was torn about the rating here It was interesting to see the ideas he proposed and to debate with him, but I kept expectingstory and less soapbox And he very nearly lost all of his stars with his final chapter, but luckily he switched gears again right at the end and did not finish his book Dallas style after all You know.it was all just a dream


  4. Riley Riley says:

    As a historic work, this isn t without interest As a piece of art, it readslike 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.


  5. Jon Nakapalau Jon Nakapalau says:

    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.


  6. Lorna Lorna says:

    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 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


  7. Alex Alex says:

    Proto scifi utopian snoozefest Looking Backward was a blockbuster hit in 1887 according to Wikipedia 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 equalit Proto scifi utopian snoozefest Looking Backward was a blockbuster hit in 1887 according to Wikipedia 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 leave them without possible incentives to effort 63 Unfortunately, it turns out that the answer to this question is yes.Falling into the standard trap of utopianists, merrily pretending that people are terrific because that s the only way utopias work, Bellamy mentions that all prisons have disappeared, those few criminal elements left consigned to asylumsbut then, A man able to duty, and persistently refusing, is sentenced to solitary imprisonment on bread and water till he consents 83 one of the book s very few hints at the dangers of an essentially totalitarian society While elections happen, the elected officials are allowed to do very little There s little plot and no characterization, and also almost zero accurate forecasting of the future It s credited har with inventing credit cards, but they bear zero resemblance to actual credit cards so I m not buying that haw Bellamy imagines the future economy with great, mind numbing detail, but it doesn t occur to him that music or art might have changed in the slightest He s prescient on one front, though He imagines a future where publishing is entirely egalitarian anyone who wants to can write a book, and if enough people like it then it gets published We re totally doing that now, and it s working out great This is not a very good book


  8. Czarny Pies Czarny Pies says:

    One reads this clunky, sci fi novel about the socialist paradise that America would supposedly become by the year 2000 so as to retain one important idea Socialism had many forms before the creation of the 2nd and then the 3rd international.Americans were open to the Socialism up until the 1950s when the Russians made it quite clear that they considered America to be their number one enemy In the late nineteenth century, there was no visceral hatred towards socialists who were considered be to One reads this clunky, sci fi novel about the socialist paradise that America would supposedly become by the year 2000 so as to retain one important idea Socialism had many forms before the creation of the 2nd and then the 3rd international.Americans were open to the Socialism up until the 1950s when the Russians made it quite clear that they considered America to be their number one enemy In the late nineteenth century, there was no visceral hatred towards socialists who were considered be to be at worst fools but not dangerous enemies In the first half of of the nineteenth century Americans had experimented with agricultural, industrial and even sexual communes with no harm coming to mainstream American society Consequently Bellamy was granted a fair hearing when he published this socialist utopian work in 1888 It sold extremely well but changed absolutely nothing.Currently dystopian novels are the rage but do not be surprised if the pendulum swings and a new generation of Utopian writers appears They will never be gone permanently in a free society


  9. J. Dunn J. Dunn says:

    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 en 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 of his utopian future to force the medicine down For a supposed seminal work of scifi futurism, there s just no imagination at all he even goes so far as to kinda just give up and make his year 2000 Boston look almost exactly like his 1887 Boston, just with less squalor andmonumental architecture There are a few futurist stabs at what the society and technology of tomorrow would look like, but they re all ancillary and don t seem to have much at all to do with his political and economic vision I don t know how anyone could have possibly read this for entertainment.And what he does sketch out is not very appealing He had a big hardon for organizing things on a military footing, and his utopia is awfully authoritarian The results he posits seem pretty ok, but the means of getting to them are either implausible or would likely preclude those results And everything is annoyingly, Socratically just so And then to top it all off he has the temerity to throw in a totally cloying, shallow, and implausible romance, topped off with a gratuitous double twist ending, just to mess with us.Ok, ok, I shouldn t be so hard on him This guy was essentially an amateur, trying to find the best way he could to expound his political ideas to a large audience And obviously, it worked I just can t believe this had such broad appeal Americans must have been absolutely starving for good socialist agitprop back in the populist era I had hoped it would be interesting on its own terms, but it s really only worth reading as a curiosity of historical and political interest, and barely at that


  10. Daniel Daniel says:

    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 guiselovely 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 pitifu 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 guiselovely 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 t you see that it is because I have been mad enough to love you At my last words she blushed deeply and her eyes fell before mine Then blushing deeper than ever, but with a dazzling smile, she looked up Are you sure it is not you who are blind she said If I am beside myself, I cried, let me remain so It is I whom you must think beside myself, she panted, escaping from my arms when I had barely tasted the sweetness of her lips Oh Oh blah this schlock survived the turn of the century just because bellamy managed to predict the credit card okay, that s not fair It survived because it profoundly affected the generation to which it spoke, and because it inspired countless political awakenings in people like Eugene Debs who would go on to shape the American progressive movement in the new century However, it was perhaps so effective in part because, as the above passage illustrates, it spoke the language of its generation, a lexicon not terribly effective today As a result, it s useful in exploring the mood and sensibility of a restless, hopeful, frustrated 19th century America, but not likely to inspire any new revolutions from our own generation


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Looking Backward ❮BOOKS❯ ✸ Looking Backward Author Edward Bellamy – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk The First Utopian Society in Modern LiteratureHuman history, like all great movements, was cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning The idea of indefinite progress in a right line was a chimer The First Utopian Society in Modern LiteratureHuman history, like all great movements, was cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning The idea of indefinite progress in a right line was a chimera of the imagination, with no analogue in nature The parabola of a comet was perhaps a yet better illustration of the career of humanity Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of civilization only to plunge downward once to its nether goal in the regions of chaos Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward Published in , Looking Backward is the story of a young th century American who wakes up in the eve of the st century, in the yearGuided by Dr Leete, Julian finds out all there is to know about this new utopian society marveling at the invention of credit cards and cable telephone.

    Download Book Best Sellers in PDF format perhaps a yet better illustration of the career of humanity Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of civilization only to plunge downward once to its nether goal in the regions of chaos Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward Published in , Looking Backward is the story of a young th century American who wakes up in the eve of the st century, in the yearGuided by Dr Leete, Julian finds out all there is to know about this new utopian society marveling at the invention of credit cards and cable telephone."/>
  • Kindle Edition
  • 158 pages
  • Looking Backward
  • Edward Bellamy
  • English
  • 23 August 2018

About the Author: Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy was an acclaimed American author and Christian socialistHis 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 , 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 wasof 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.