Looking Backward, 2000-1887

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1888 - Boston (Mass.) - 475 pages
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User Review  - mmoj - LibraryThing

To think we really aren't any closer. This is a book to make you think. Wording is a bit dated and some may become bored with that but I found it interesting. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - smichaelwilson - LibraryThing

What I find most interesting about Looking Backward is how contemporary readers of the work are willing to dismiss is it as nothing more than a failed attempt to accurately predict the future, as if ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
5
II
24
III
34
IV
51
V
62
VI
80
VII
88
VIII
101
XVI
235
XVII
246
XVIII
267
XIX
273
XX
290
XXI
298
XXII
311
XXIII
341

IX
114
X
135
XI
150
XII
168
XIII
188
XIV
207
XV
219
XXIV
349
XXV
354
XXVI
377
XXVII
410
XXVIII
429
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Page 50 - 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 inclosures, stretched in every direction. Every quarter contained large open squares filled with trees, among which statues glistened and fountains flashed in the late afternoon sun. Public buildings of a colossal size and an architectural grandeur unparalleled in my day raised their stately piles on every side.
Page 467 - Laser Print natural white, a 60 # book weight acid-free archival paper which meets the requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (permanence of paper) Preservation photocopying and binding by Acme Bookbinding Charlestown, Massachusetts CD 1995 The borrower must return this item on or before the last date stamped below.
Page 84 - That it was equally the duty of every citizen to contribute his quota of industrial or intellectual services to the maintenance of the nation...
Page 130 - can a man have to put forth his best endeavors when, however much or little he accomplishes, his income remains the same. High characters may be moved by devotion to the common welfare under such a system, but does not the average man tend to rest back on his oar, reasoning that it is of no use to make a special effort, since the effort will not increase his income, nor its withholding diminish it." " Does it then really seem to you...
Page 81 - ... mutilation, wasting their treasures the while like water ; and all this oftenest for no imaginable profit to the victims. We have no wars now, and our governments no war powers, but in order to protect every citizen against hunger, cold, and nakedness, and provide for all his physical and mental needs, the function is assumed of directing his industry for a term of years. No, Mr. West, I am sure on reflection you will perceive that it was in your age, not in ours, that the extension of the functions...
Page 9 - I cannot do better than to compare society as it then was to a prodigious coach which the masses of humanity were harnessed to and dragged toilsomely along a very hilly and sandy road.
Page 89 - The principle on which our industrial army is organized is that a man's natural endowments, mental and physical, determine what he can work at most profitably to the nation and most satisfactorily to himself. While the obligation of service in some form is not to be evaded, voluntary election, subject only to necessary regulation, is depended on to determine the particular sort of service every man is to render. As an individual's satisfaction during his term of service depends on his having an occupation...
Page 155 - It appears to me, Miss Leete," I said, "that if we could have devised an arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood and beginning and ceasing at will, we should have considered the limit of human felicity already attained, and ceased to strive for further improvements.
Page 144 - That must be a tremendous saving of handling," I said. "By our system, the manufacturer sold to the wholesaler, the wholesaler to the retailer, and the retailer to the consumer, and the goods had to be handled each time. You avoid one handling of the goods, and eliminate the retailer altogether, with his big profit and the army of clerks it goes to support.
Page 184 - I admit the claim of this class to our pity, but how could they who produced nothing claim a share of the product as a right?" "How happened it," was Dr. Leete's reply, "that your workers were able to produce more than so many savages would have done? Was it not wholly on account of the heritage of the past knowledge and achievements of the race, the machinery of society, thousands of years in contriving, found by you ready-made...

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