In the nineteenth-century wake of revolution and
industrialisation, utopias, whether embodied in early socialist tracts or
fictional fantasies, became blueprints for an ideal society and programs of
social transformation. Looking Backward was among the first literary utopias to
take this path. Bellamy claimed that he initially imagined his novel in
traditional utopian terms as a “fairy tale of social felicity” (Bellamy Speaks
199). As the project developed, he became convinced that the seeds of future
happiness were visible in the present beneath the surface chaos of industrial
capitalism. The same processes of mechanization and centralization that
capitalists were deploying could be harnessed to the public good. In an
appendix to Looking Backward, Bellamy called it a “forecast, in accordance with
the principles of evolution, of the next stage in the industrial and social
development of humanity” (312).  In the
novel Bellamy used a version of the traditional magic-trick voyage 


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