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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Refresh and try again. Then followed, with a blind and mad succession, a time of famine, when money could not buy the super-abundance that vanished, none knew how or why.

A Traveler from Altruria

It must be sown in corruption before it can be raised in incorruption. As for offering you any allegory or travesty of your own conditions, I will simply say that I do not know them well enough to do so intelligently. Homos has come all the way to the United States to experience first-hand everyday life in the country which prides itself to represent democracy and equalityto see for himself how the principle that ” all men are created equal ” is being practiced.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. For example, regarding government assistance to the poor and unemployed: It took just as much work to make these shoes as to make the best fine shoes; but they were shams through and through. The novel was first published in installments in The CosmopolitanVol.

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

It began to give out that it was timid, though its history was full of the boldest frauds and crimes, and it threatened to withdraw itself if it were ruled or even crossed; and again it had its way, and we seemed to prosper more and more. He is not an Altrurian at all. These shoemakers — lasters, button-holers, binders, and so on — aptruria longer wore themselves out over their machines.

Our Evolution was accomplished without a drop of bloodshed, and the first great political brotherhood, the commonwealth of Altruria, was founded. This beneficent and generous association of the weak for the sake of the weakest did not accomplish itself fully till the baleful instinct of the Accumulation had reduced the monopolies to one vast monopoly, till the stronger had devoured the weaker among its members, and the supreme agent stood at the head of our affairs, in everything but name, our imperial ruler.


Reprinted here as a historical document, the text is supported with a conprehensive introduction, chonology, an First published inA Traveler from Altruria tells the story of a foreign visitor who presents the concept of a Utopian society. Martin’s first published What I enjoyed most about this story is the way it portrays class warfare in America that is still relevant today. Mar 04, Bryan rated it it was ok.

Anyone who wants to be successful in this world will try to do so by getting rich. Plus a altrugia 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.

Interestingly, the book does not address the topic of racial inequality; I guess that was t The more things change, the more they stay the same. In fact i would say too relevant, or at least too familiar.

A Traveler from Altruria – Wikipedia

It was a juggle in which the weak did not see that their safety was, after all, from themselves; but it was an image of peace, however false and fitful, and it endured for a time.

Its a fairly easy read though and since its about the gap between rich and poor its still relevant today. He sat down again, and it was a moment fro the crowd caught on.

Set during the early s in a trvaeler summer resort somewhere on the East Coast of the United Statesthe book is altrurix by a Mr Twelvemough, a popular author of light fiction who has been selected to function as host to a visitor from the faraway island of Altruria called Mr Homos.

A shout of laughter went up from most of the crowd, but the Altrurian did not seem to see any fun in it.

His novel The Rise of Silas Lapham is perhaps his best known, describing the rise and fall of an American entrepreneur of the paint business. It sought every chance to reduce wages; it had laws passed to forbid or cripple the workmen in their strikes; and the judges convicted them of conspiracy, and wrested the statutes to their hurt, in cases where there had been no thought of embarrassing them, even among the legislators.


The Accumulation always said that it was the best friend of the proletariate, and it denounced, through the press which it controlled, the proletarian leaders who taught that it was the enemy of the proletariate, and who stirred up strikes and tumults of all sorts, for higher wages and fewer hours.

American society at this time seemed too concerned with money. Connor Eichenauer rated it really liked it Aug 11, Chelsea rated it it was ok May 29, We descended into the valley of the shadow, and dwelt amid chaos for ages before we groped again into the light. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Sep 15, Omnipotent Dystopian Now rated it it was amazing Shelves: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

This story is dealing with social protest. Franklin Ridgway rated it it was amazing Oct 17, But, as before, there was alternately a glut and dearth of things, and it often happened that when starving men went ragged through the streets the storehouses were piled full of rotting harvests that the farmers toiled from dawn till dusk to grow, and the warehouses fed the moth with the stuffs that the operative had woven his life into at his loom.

Howells was made editor inremaining in the position until Adam rated it it was ok Nov 29, Mainly, A Traveller from Altruria is a critique of unfettered capitalism and its consequences, and of the Gilded Age in particular.

We could not see what should again alienate us from one another, or how one brother could again oppress another. It left sltruria the suffrage, and let us amuse ourselves with the periodical election of the political clay images which it manipulated and moulded to any shape and effect at its pleasure.