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Caesar's Column (Paperback)

Historical Fiction

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Pages: 340
Illustrations: 2 illus.
ISBN: 9780819566669
Published: 4th December 2003
Casemate UK Academic

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Published in 1890, Caesar's Column is an account of a trip to New York City in 1988 by a visitor from the Swiss colony of Uganda. The great metropolis dazzles with its futuristic technology, but its ostentatious wealth and luxury mask the brutal repression of the laboring classes by their rich bosses. The workers, aided by international terrorists, stage a violent revolt and the narrator flees the devastated city by airship to found an agrarian utopia in Africa. Fueled by outrage at social conditions, Caesar's Column was the first major dystopian novel in the English language. Its author, Ignatius Donnelly, was the most famous-and controversial-American populist politician of the day, and his book became a huge bestseller and was often compared to such utopian works as Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888) and William Morris's News from Nowhere (1890). This Wesleyan edition includes an insightful introduction and notes by Nicholas Ruddick.

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