Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy

Excerpt

An author wrote me recently that after working through several years on a biography of a well-known contemporary of Edward Bellamy in social pioneering, he had dropped the project because the personality of his subject continued to shrink as his acquaintance became more intimate. My experience has been exactly the opposite. This biography of Bellamy was begun as a relaxing diversion from active days, but as the undertaking proceeded a remarkable personality came into view, whose widespread influence is not a caprice of circumstance but a natural outcome of a life of signal quality.

The reader who takes up this book expecting to find simply the story of the author of the world's most widely read utopia may be surprised to discover how large a part deals with other interests. Bellamy was not just a utopian. His was one of the most ranging and penetrating minds America has produced. This real Edward Bellamy was a very different and far more interesting personality than the public has known. The fact that he was well along in his thirties before he became committed to a life of social and economic pioneering does not mean that his earlier years were lightly spent. Already he had done original and significant thinking on more than one major human issue.

One of these other interests might well have become the chief contribution of his life. From boyhood his mind had played upon a problem of such universal import that even economic well-being would scarcely take a higher place. Bellamy observed men everywhere to be living under a dread burden of the past. They have felt themselves to be relentlessly pursued by their weaknesses and errors. This dire shadow was the nemesis of the Greek, the sense of guilt of the Jew, the sense of sin of the Christian, and that feeling of servitude to the past which has lain heavy on the spirits of men of many times, races, and religions, and which chills the life of many men . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.