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by Edward Bellamy

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Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel set in the year 2000, Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887, published in 1888. His books include Dr. Heidenhoff's Process (1880), Miss Ludington's Sister (1884), Equality (1897) and The Duke of Stockbridge: A Romance of Shays' Rebellion (1900). His feeling of injustice in the economic system led him to write Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887 and its sequel, Equality. In Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887 an upper class man from 1887 awakens in 2000 from a hypnotic trance to find himself in a socialist utopia. It influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. His novel also inspired several utopian communities. A short story The Parable of the Water-Tank from the book Equality, published in 1897, was popular with a number of early American socialists. Less successful than its prequel, Equality continues the story of Julian West as he adjusts to life in the future.

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My experiences since I waked up in this year 2000 might be said to have consisted of a succession of instantaneous mental readjustments of a revolutionary character, in which what had formerly seemed evil to me had become good, and what had seemed wisdom had become foolishness. Had this conversation about the strikers taken place anywhere else, the entirely new impression I had received of the part played by them in the great social revolution of which I shared the benefit would simply have been one more of these readjustments, and the process entirely a mental one. But the presence of this wondrous group, the lifelikeness of the figures growing on my gaze as I listened to the doctor's words, imparted a peculiar personal quality--if I may use the term--to the revulsion of feeling that I experienced.



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