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Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Summary
Edward Bellamy

Everything you need to understand or teach Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy.

  • Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Summary & Study Guide
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  • 30 Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Lessons
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  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
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Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Summary

Introduction

Looking Backward: 2000-1887, published in the United States in 1888, created an international sensation associated with very few other books in history. The author, Edward Bellamy, although a prolific writer of short stories, essays, and novels, is remembered almost solely for this utopian novel. The premise of the story is that Julian West, a privileged citizen of 1887 Boston, awakes from a 113-year trance-induced sleep to discover that the majority of the world enjoys peace, prosperity, and equality.

Bellamy, a sensitive man keenly aware of the injustices and inequities of nineteenth-century culture, uses Looking Backward to espouse his views on social and economic reform. There is the barest of plots, little character development, and virtually no action. The book consists almost entirely of conversations between West and his hosts that reveal how the "perfect" society works. Despite the literary flaws, the strength of Bellamy's ideas attracted a worldwide audience. Not only...

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