my feet lay a great city. Miles of broad streets, shaded by trees and
lined with fine buildings, for the most part not in continuous blocks
but set in larger or smaller enclosures, stretched out in every
direction. Every quarter contained large open squares filled with
trees, along which statues glistened and fountains flashed in the
- Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward
examine nineteenth century rhetorics of modernism and progress,
focusing on utopian literature and community building as a social force
in European and United States societies. Twin social conflicts form the
backdrop of our analysis: (1) the wrenching transition from an agrarian
economy to an industrial economy and (2) the growing sense that
excessive individuality must be tempered through science and planning.
Toward that end, we discover Edward Bellamy's ideological response to
the teeming cities and idiosyncratic visions of the good life that
marked his age.
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