Book Review: Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

I first read Looking Backward (LB) over 20-years ago, and it was so inspiring to me that I’ve never forgotten it.  That’s the power of great ideas: they never die. I would encourage anyone who wants our world to be the best that it can be to read this classic and be inspired.

Written in 1888, and available free many places online including here, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/624, LB was a spark that ignited the imagination of Americans everywhere, and became a best seller. Although Bellamy often said that it was written more as a fantasy novel than as a political statement, salons and clubs sprouted up to propogate his ideas across the country and he had many interesting ones worth considering even now alost 130-years later.

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The one that has always stuck with me is the idea that jobs be compensated based on a sort of supply and demand approach determined by how many people want to do the job. Therefore a job such as garbage collector would be highly remunerated because not many people want to do it and the financial benefit would compensate for the lack of other benefits of this position (social prestige, internal fulfilment, etc.) whereas a position such as a musician that many people want to do would be paid less.

I haven’t read the book in any years, but I look forward to picking it up again and seeing what speaks to me this time around. Edward Bellamy was definitely a spark in his time, and his ember continues to burn!

Be a spark in the world!

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