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A Traveler from Altruria

William Dean Howells. A Traveler from Altruria. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894.

 

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WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS
A Traveler from Altruria

A gentleman from Altruria visits America where he is astonished to find a civilization like that of his own country before Evolution, its change from a stratified capitalistic society to a one-class socialstic, Christian utopia. He is accused by his listeners of copying William Morris’s ideas, since Altruria’s citizens work with their hands, but the Altrurian counters that “it is astonishing how well Bacon in The New Atlantis and Sir Thomas More in his Utopia have divined certain phases of our civilization and polity.”

An Altrurian commune, based on the ideas in this novel, was founded in the Sonoma Valley in the 1890s and directly influenced Job Harriman, the founder of Llano del Rio.

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