Looking Backward

From Academic Kids

Looking Backward: 2000-1887 is a utopian novel by Edward Bellamy, first published in 1888.

The book tells the story of Julian West, a young American who, towards the end of the 19th century, falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up more than a century later. He finds himself on the same spot but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000 and, while he was sleeping, the U.S.A. has been transformed into a socialist utopia.

The young man readily finds a guide who shows him round and who explains all the advances of this new age, including, for example, drastically reduced working hours for people performing menial jobs and community kitchens for busy housewives.

The novel is often seen as a companion piece to William Morris's 1890 utopia News from Nowhere. The book's descriptions of utopian urban planning had a practical influence on Ebenezer Howard's founding of the garden city movement in England, and on the design of the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles.

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