Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy (bĕl´əmē), 1850–98, American author, b. Chicopee Falls (now part of Chicopee), Mass. After being admitted to the bar he tried his hand at journalism and contributed short stories of genuine charm to various magazines. These were later collected as The Blind Man's World and Other Stories (1898). His novels—The Duke of Stockbridge (1879), Dr. Heindenhoff's Process (1880), and Miss Ludington's Sister (1884)—were followed by Looking Backward, 2000–1887 (1888), which overshadowed his other work and brought him fame. This utopian romance pictured the world in the year 2000 under a system of state socialism. Much of the book's appeal lies in its unpretentious style and its vivid picture of the imagined society. The work sold over a million copies in the next few years and resulted in the formation of "Nationalist" clubs throughout the nation and the founding of the Nationalist monthly (1888–91). Bellamy himself founded and edited the New Nation (1891–94), a weekly. Equality, a sequel to Looking Backward, appeared in 1897.

See biography by S. E. Bowman (1958, repr. 1979); J. L. Thomas, Alternative America (1983); D. Patai, ed., Looking Backward, 1988–1888 (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Edward Bellamy: Selected full-text books and articles

Edward Bellamy By Arthur E. Morgan Columbia University Press, 1944
Looking Backward, 2000-1887 By Edward Bellamy New American Library, 1960
The Forging of American Socialism: Origins of the Modern Movement By Howard H. Quint Bobbs-Merrill, 1964
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Bellamy Makes Socialism Respectable"
Brotherly Tomorrows: Movements for a Cooperative Society in America, 1820-1920 By Edward K. Spann Columbia University Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XI "The Cooperative Commonwealth: Gronlund and Bellamy"
Critics & Crusaders: A Century of American Protest By Charles A. Madison H. Holt and Company, 1947
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Bellamy: Social Planner" begins on p. 134
Looking Backward, 1988-1888: Essays on Edward Bellamy By Daphne Patai University of Massachusetts Press, 1988
Future Imperfect: The Mixed Blessings of Technology in America By Howard P. Segal University of Massachusetts Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Edward Bellamy and Technology: Reconciling Centralization and Decentralization"
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