First published in , A Traveler from Altruria tells the story of a foreign visitor who presents the concept of a Utopian society. Howells hoped his novel would. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. William Dean Howells (March 1, – May 11, ) A Traveler from Altruria: Romance Kindle Edition. by. “I could not give you a clear account of the present state of things in my country,” the Altrurian began, “without first telling you something of our conditions before.

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Religion ceased to be the hope of this world, and became the vague promise of the next. I really liked this book.

A Traveler from Altruria – Wikipedia

So this entire thing is done as a series of conversations, its like one big lecture, so not great. According to Twelvemough, the successful people become wealthy or powerful because of “their talents, their shrewdness, their ability to seize an advantage and turn it into their own account.

There is an obvious dissatisfaction with society, yet he still approves of the society as a whole. Quotes from A Traveler from A There is a need for reforms. But, whatever they are, God forbid that the likeness which you seem to recognize should ever go so far as the desperate state of things which we finally reached.

It is clear that Howells was well aware of the issues with Americas society at the time of this story.

He was particularly outraged by the trials resulting from the Haymarket Riot. CarlMitchell rated it really liked it Oct 02, Views Read Edit View history.

However, due to Altruria’s secluded existence very little is known about that state, so Twelvemough and his circle of acquaintances, all of whom are staying at the same hotelare altruriz eager to learn something about Altruria than to explain American life and institutions. Yes, we are all Americans, but I guess we haven’t all got the same country, Mrs. Whereas in Altruria there is no such thing as workers’ exploitationthe American banker explains to Homos how business is done in the United States:.

The whole land was bound together with a network of iron roads that linked the factories and founderies to the fields and mines, and blasted the landscape with the enterprise that spoiled trqveler lives of men.

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It is perhaps in this role that he had his greatest influence. I will not trouble you with details; in fact, I have been altruuria that I had already treated of our affairs too abstractly; but, since your own experience furnishes you the means of seizing my meaning, I will go traveper as before.

All but a very few, who prophesied evil of our lawless freedom, were wrapped in a delirium of hope.

Sltruria one point even the minister ruefully admits that there are no manual labourers trsveler his congregation “I suppose they have their own churches”. Tiffany rated it liked it Mar 17, In seasons of overproduction, as it was called, it locked the workmen out or laid them off, and left their families to starve, or ran light work and claimed the credit of public benefactors for running at all. The barren expenditure of force that began and ended in itself, and produced nothing, we should—if you will excuse my saying so—look upon as childish, if not insane or immoral.

A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells – Free Ebook

Interestingly, the book does not address the topic of racial inequality; I guess that was too radical an idea, even for a left-leaning writer like Howells. Laura Randle rated it really liked it Jul 20, Cici Huss rated it it was ok Jan 03, There is a famous passage in the inaugural message of our first Altrurian president which compares the new civic consciousness with that of a disembodied spirit released to the life beyond this and freed from all the selfish cares and greeds of the flesh.

America is one thing for you, and it’s quite another thing for us. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Plus a brief mention of a view spoiler [mega-corporation controlling all aspects of a country hide spoiler ]perhaps one of the first appearances of such an idea.

The only way to get what you need is to work. Feb 07, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a great lates utopian story. As opposed to egotismaltruism —a word coined during the first half of the 19th century by Auguste Comte —is unselfish concern for the welfare of others.


A Traveler from Altruria

Here and there one of the strong overpowered the rest; then the strong became fewer and fewer, and in their turn they all yielded to a supreme lord, and throughout the land there was one rule, as it was called then, or one misrule, as we should call it now. Howells makes it clear that Altruria’s society is better than America’s because of its lack of money and class.

As all business had been gathered into the grasp of the Accumulation, and the manufacture of everything they used and the production of everything that they ate was in the control of the Accumulation, its transfer to the government was the work of a single clause in the statute.

Howells method to fix that thought is the Altrurian system where everyone is guaranteed a share of the national product only if he works at least three hours a day in an acceptable occupation. But the friend of the proletariate, whenever occasion served, treated the proletariate like a deadly enemy.

In his “Editor’s Study” column wltruria the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper’s, he formulated and disseminated his theories of “realism” in literature. This was probably not true; but I myself saw him helping in the hotel hay-field one afternoon, shirt-sleeved like any of the hired men.

As soon as the Saturday-night shoes realized itself to the public conscience, an investigation began, and it was found that the principle of the Saturday-night shoe underlay half our industries and made half the work that was done.

A Traveler from Altruria

A Traveler from Altruria Vol. Howells was made editor inremaining in the position until American trave,er at this time seemed too concerned with money. Anyone who wants to be successful in this world will try to do so by getting rich. Our Evolution was accomplished without a drop of bloodshed, and the first great political brotherhood, the commonwealth of Altruria, was founded.