Sacred Texts  Utopia 


by Edward Bellamy


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A huge bestseller in its day, Looking Backwards is a pure Utopia with no dark notes. Like Cæsar's Column and The Iron Heel, we get huge swaths of exposition and a love story. However, because the narrator pops up in the best of all possible worlds (the USA in the year 2000), the story lacks the conflict and characterizations which make the Donnelly and London works interesting. The one part of the story with dramatic impact is an extended sequence at the end where he revisits the harsh 19th Century he thought he had left behind.

Bellamy predicts shopping malls, mass media (including sermons delivered by telephone!) and, most notably, credit cards. The whole of future society is explored, one component at a time; it gives the appearance of a well-engineered Victorian machine, each part functional, rational and a little bit cold to the touch. While this work had an enormous impact at its time, today it is primarily of historical interest. However, this is required reading if you are studying 19th Century utopian thought.

Title Page
Author's Preface
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28