Jan. 22 (Wednesday)

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 Edward  Bellamy
Edward Bellamy, circa 1889
Full Name: Edward Bellamy
Born: March 26, 1850 in Chicopee, Massachusetts
Died: May. 22, 1898 in Chicopee, Massachusetts

Edward Bellamy was one of the most prominent socialists of his era as well as a famous author best known for his Utopian novel Looking Backward, which has been described as a Rip Van Winkle-like tale set in the distant future of the year 2000. As one individual wrote, “Bellamy’s vision of a country relieved of its social ills through abandonment of the principle of competition and establishment of state ownership of industry proved an appealing panacea to a generation of intellectuals alienated from the dark side of Gilded Age America.”

By by the end of the 19th century Looking Backward had sold more copies than any other book published in the U.S. except Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Bellamy’s vision of a harmonious world order inspired the formation of “nationalist clubs” dedicated to promoting and implementing his ideas. His brother, Francis, became famous as the author of the Pledge of Allegiance.