LOOKING BACKWARD 2000 -- 1887. Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1888. 12mo, pp. [1-4] [i-iii] iv-vi  8-470 [471-472] [note: first and last leaves are blanks], original decorated slate-gray cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold and black. First edition. First printing with "J. J. Arakelyan" imprint on verso of title leaf. The most famous nineteenth-century American utopian novel. "Of nineteenth-century American books, only UNCLE TOM'S CABIN and possibly BEN HUR outsold LOOKING BACKWARD. The book's popularity inspired several reform journals (e.g., THE NATIONALIST and THE NEW NATION) and numerous book-length fictional responses, the most famous being William Morris's NEWS FROM NOWHERE (1890). Between 1888 and the early years of the twentieth century, at least 200 literary utopias appeared in the United States alone, including Bellamy's sequel to LOOKING BACKWARD, EQUALITY (1897). Literary, social, labor and reform leaders as different as William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Upton Sinclair, Samuel Gompers, Eugene Debs, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton voiced public support; and at least 165 Nationalist or Bellamy Clubs appeared in America and grew into the Nationalist Party that influenced the national Populist Party. Translation of LOOKING BACKWARD inspired reform movements around the world with especially strong impacts in England, Europe, Russia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand ... During the twentieth century many Socialist, Progressive and New Deal politicians cited Bellamy as an important influence. It is not surprising that in 1935 the philosopher John Dewey, the historian Charles Beard and the editor of ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Edward Weeks, contended that of books published since 1885 on Marx's DAS KAPITAL had done more to shape the thought and action of the world." - Kenneth M. Roemer, Claeys, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature, pp. 93-4. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-14; (1981) 1-18; (1987) 1-8; (1995) 1-8; and (2004) II-102. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 163. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 059. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 14. Fortunati and Trousson (eds), Dictionary of Literary Utopias, pp. 359-62. Lewis, Utopian Literature, pp. 11-6. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 31. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 80. Roemer, The Obsolete Necessity, p. 186. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 78. Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, pp. 1246-50. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 37. Bleiler (1978), p. 20. Reginald 01067. Grolier Club, One Hundred Influential American Books Printed Before 1900 90. BAL 956. Wright (III) 460. Downs, Books the Changed America 10. Adams, Radical Literature in America, p. 57. Early private owner's bookplate affixed to front paste-down, with some offset onto front free endpaper. Binding slightly leaned, cloth very lightly rubbed spine ends, just a bit of dust soiling to cloth, a bright, tight, very good copy. A very attractive copy of this classic. Enclosed in cloth folder and quarter black morocco and gray cloth slipcase. (#128228).
First printing has "J. J. Arakelyan" imprint on verso of title leaf.