Edward Bellamy (March 26, 1850–May 22, 1898) was an American author, most famous for his utopian novel set in the year 2000, Looking Backward, published in 1888.
Edward Bellamy was born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. He attended Union College, but did not graduate. While there, he joined the Theta Chi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. He studied law, but left the practice and worked briefly in the newspaper industry in New York and in Springfield, Massachusetts. He left journalism and devoted himself to literature, short stories, and several novels. He married Emma Sanderson in 1882.
He was the cousin of Francis Bellamy, most famous for creating the Pledge of Allegiance to promote the sale of American flags.
His books include Dr. Heidenhoff's Process (1880), Miss Ludington's Sister (1884), and The Duke of Stockbridge. His feeling of injustice in the economic system lead him to write Looking Backward: 2000–1887.
According to Erich Fromm, Looking Backward is "one of the most remarkable books ever published in America." It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. "It is one of the few books ever published that created almost immediately on its appearance a political mass movement." (Fromm, p vi). 165 "Bellamy Clubs" sprang up all over the United States for discussing and propagating the book's ideas.
A short story "The Parable of the Water-Tank" from the book Equality, published in 1897, was popular with a number of early American socialists. Less successful than its prequel, Looking Backward, Equality continues the story of Julian West as he adjusts to life in the future.
46 additional utopian novels were published in the US from 1887 to 1900, due to the book's popularity.
Bellamy died at his childhood home in Chicopee Falls at the age of 48 from tuberculosis.