Looking Backward

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Looking Backward, 2000 - 1887 was a novel by Edward Bellamy, first published in 1888, describing a quasi-socialist utopia of the year 2000. Its premise is that of an individual, falling into an hypnotic sleep, who wakes up, Rip Van Winkle-like (except without the aging process) in America of the year 2000, an America which has been in the interim transformed into a quasi-socialist, or state-capitalist, utopia. The book was extremely popular, being only the second work of literature published in the United States to top the one million mark in sales (the other being Uncle Tom's Cabin). It brought large numbers of people to the socialist cause, including Eugene V. Debs. For many, it served as a kind of fictional blueprint for the reconstruction of society and developed a cult-like following, even spawning Bellamy Clubs.