Book Reviews of Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions)

Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions)
Looking Backward - Dover Thrift Editions
Author: Edward Bellamy
ISBN-13: 9780486290386
ISBN-10: 0486290387
Publication Date: 4/12/1996
Pages: 160
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Dover Publications
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

7 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 93 more book reviews
I found this book very interesting - written in the late 1800's about what life would be like in the year 2000, if we, the human race, valued all work and contribution equally.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 3 more book reviews
One of my all time favorites. I've read it repeatedly and loaned it out just as often. Sometimes it doesn't come back and I have to buy another copy. A great tale of life in world of fairness and economic sanity, based on socialism. If everyone the world over read it together, we would surely have a revolution. On another level entirely, an 1887 vision of the 20th century that is eerily prescient--radio, credit cards, Walmart--all seen in the future. I read this in the 1960s, 70 years after it was written and it seemed fascinating then, but not nearly so on the money as it does now, 50 years beyond that first reading. We've moved closer to Bellamy's dream in the intervening decades. Maybe in another 50 years we will get there.

In its own time, this would have been read as the antidote to Darwin. His 1860s survival of the fittest model, with the brutal competitive view of the world was wrenching and dissatisfying to the hearts of those who longed for a cooperative approach to life, a view of charity and caring humanity, of community, abjuring the fallacy of isolation and dominance. This debate wrenched the whole of society in the 19th century. Today we've nearly lost sight of it, in the brutal economic reality which allows us to walk past homeless on the street, believing life is hard and there can be no better way.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 25 more book reviews
Intriguing look at alternative governmental style. Although his plan has many flaws, it definately can spark conversation.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 44 more book reviews
I REALLY enjoyed this slim volume! The ideas were very exciting! Made me wonder why some couldn't be used today. Actually there was the idea of going to a central location to order what you need, and have it delivered before you arrived home. Sort of like Amazon (?)... LOL. That seemed to be a Utopia I could live in.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 64 more book reviews
A great read. I've been through it twice, and am almost due for a re-read. 1888 novel, with Jules Verne-type prescience. Julian West, 30-year old cultured Bostonian, goes into deeper hypnotic sleep than anticipated, and is awakened in 2000. The descriptions of the new world are utopian, and the social/economic changes are beneficial to all. Much of the technology and conveniences are common to us, post-2000. The sequel, Equality (1897), is not so much a continuation of the well-told story as it is a description/polemic of how the changes came about, as eventually discovered by West.
Anyone reading various literary utopias and dystopias should read both these volumes as well.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on + 64 more book reviews
A futuristic novel, published in 1887 and a bestseller in its time; in reprint almost perpetually since then. The protagonist sleeps from 1887 to 2000, and then "looks back," comparing the social, political, and economic milieu of his time with that which he's arrived in. Somewhat utopian, clearly an indictment on some of the trends of late 19th century Western culture; and, like some of Jules Verne's work, a bit prophetic. Bellamy's ideology, values, and hopes are implied clearly enough, but not overbearing. A good enough read; I reread it about once every 10 years for the decent story line and thought-provoking value. The sequel "Equality," by the way, is a disappointment: less interesting story line, more plodding, far too polemic.
reviewed Looking Backward (Dover Thrift Editions) on
My best friend and I like to share books that make the other side make sense. This book is a wonderful glance at Socialism. I accidentally ordered two copies of it. I'm keeping one.