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Showing 1-10 of 116 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 179 reviews
on August 10, 2017
This is a look at life based on the Golden Rule. I don't know if human nature is at the root of the problem, but there certainly is room for us to make some improvements. Oh, and they eliminated political parties-that alone paints a picture of utopia.
An interesting read, a dream that you do not want to wake up from. Could it only be so.
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on September 5, 2016
This was an interesting and different sort of futuristic story. It was interesting to see what they thought would constitute an improvement. The ending threw me for a loop, until it came back around to what I was expecting. The personal subplot was rather obvious in hindsight, but I did enjoy reading through it.

The Amazon-like government institution was entertaining.

But what I thought was one of the best parts was the allusion to the society of the 1880s as a coach ride, where hunger is the driver and the people on the coach are desperate to hang on, no matter what it takes.
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on September 13, 2017
Published in 1888 Looking Backward takes the reader grin 1888 to 2000. For the author it was science fiction. He imagined what the world could be.
It is not a novel to entertain but it is a social philosophy of what Bellamy thought the world should be. It influenced many thinkers of his time. The world he imagined had not arrived and in my opinion will never.
Yet in the thirty years since I first read this work, fascinated he predicted the debit card and now wondering is such a world possible.
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on July 11, 2016
While this novel of an imagined Utopian Boston of the year 2000 kept my interest in terms of the problems, solutions, and justifications Bellamy proposed, it was slow going as each chapter was more lecture than otherwise. Bellamy's emphasis on the army as the basis for a rational economic/political structure became disturbing the longer he sustained it, as was his constant emphasis on people being totally happy while being constantly monitored for sufficient effort (also, the sex selection theory induced shudders).

The part that will stick with me is his conviction that the suffering of everyone in the nation should be held as a black mark by all the citizens of that nation...an argument for responsibility that undercuts some of my rejection of his rational-people-in-happy-boxes vision.
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on February 11, 2017
...or, more accurately, a past future. Edward Bellamy's utopian novel, "Looking Backward" is a uniquely imaginative critique of capitalism. Published in 1888, it ranked as the third best-seller of its time and for good reason. While egregiously, albeit charmingly so, inaccurate in its predictions regarding both technologies and manners of speech, it is remarkably prescient in its understanding of the financial crises that will befall the world a century hence and the causes thereof.

For any student of American literature and or social criticism, this relatively short work is well worth the time.
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on July 18, 2017
A great story, wonderfully written, with a fantastic bunch of ideas for society to consider using to improve itself!
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on June 20, 2016
Surprisingly nice read for a book from the 1800s! I needed this book for a class, but I ended up enjoying it more than I expected!
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on April 16, 2015
Even if you don't agree with the system outlined in this story of the "future", the author was extremely intelligent and insightful and there are many gems of true wisdom in the book that make it well worth at least one reading. It is not surprising that, almost immediately after its publication in 1887, there was a movement of people who tried to make the society described in the book a reality. I challenge anyone to read it with an open mind and not find quite a few worthy, true, and agreeable statements being made.
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on August 26, 2015
This is extremely slow reading but I really like it as a contrast to books like 1984 and Atlas Shrugged because it shows socialism as utopian. Really my main complaint is that he is a huge dick when explaining how women are naturally inferior and weaker than men and he never tries to defend his own time period. 2015 isn't perfect but I like to think if I woke up 150 years in the future I would have some pride in my own time period and the accomplishments of my generation.
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on June 20, 2015
This book was very popular at the turn of the last century, none of our creature comforts we take for granted was invented yet, so he writes it as technology hasn't changed in the 100 + years. Making some good socialistic arguments, I can't help but feel as the world evolves, so should Socialism, thats why I have trouble believing in a socialistic world of Marx, a nice well oiled machine that is free from the devastating reality of Capitalism. It is a time worn book, I hate to say
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