Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Traveler from Altruria” as Want to Read:
A Traveler from Altruria
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Traveler from Altruria

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  10 reviews
First published in 1894, A Traveler from Altruria tells the story of a foreign visitor who presents the concept of a Utopian society. Howells hoped his novel would allow readers to confront the inconsistencies, imperfections, and injustices of Gilded Age America. Reprinted here as a historical document, the text is supported with a conprehensive introduction, chonology, an ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published March 15th 1996 by Bedford/St. Martin's (first published 1894)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Traveler from Altruria, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Traveler from Altruria

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Traveler from Altruria
Utopian fiction, without the utopian part of it :P. So this entire thing is done as a series of conversations, its like one big lecture, so not great.
Its a fairly easy read though and since its about the gap between rich and poor its still relevant today. In fact i would say too relevant, or at least too familiar.
There are things of interest here. The writing is easy and witty at times. There's some some very blinkered sexism which you can laugh or wince at. Plus a brief mention of a (view spoil
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My classmates hated this book and I have no idea why. Perhaps they're stupid? ...more
Norman Cook
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This political/economic treatise first published in 1894 could really be about modern Western society. It's a book about class and gender inequality, civil rights, and economic injustice. While we have made strides in all of those areas, there is still a large portion of the population that believes that "human nature" prevents us all from being equal. (Interestingly, the book does not address the topic of racial inequality; I guess that was t ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
it reads like a political pamphlet from time to time. Or, more specifically, like a religious tract where the characters are simply used as types (void of real characterization) in order to create a setting for a debate regarding society. It is a combination of a utopia and travel narrative novel. Despite the lack of aesthetic appeal, it does offer several important probing questions regarding politics, and work.
Omnipotent Dystopian Now
This is a great late-1800s utopian story. The writing is crisp, and the ending is profound. What I enjoyed most about this story is the way it portrays class warfare in America that is still relevant today.
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I really liked this book. Makes you think about the American system in a way that you don't normally think about. Put into a novel form but still really good info on the system, politics, and the American dream. ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, really. The story isn't very eventful which can make it a chore to read, but the book is 120+ years old and still so remarkably relevant that it's worth reading. I'd definitely recommend this book as more of a social commentary than anything else. ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am dangerously close to rating this book five stars. It may be impossible to read, but should be an essential read for American culture.
Jason Payne
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh. A society that naturally evolves toward altruism is pretty hard to swallow.
Omnipotent Dystopian Now
This is a great late-1800s utopian story. The writing is crisp, and the ending is profound. What I enjoyed most about this story is the way it portrays class warfare in America that is still relevant today.
Carrie Schindler
rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2017
rated it it was ok
Jan 25, 2021
j.e. mcgrath
rated it did not like it
Feb 04, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jul 22, 2014
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2016
rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2016
Laura Randle
rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2013
rated it it was ok
Nov 29, 2007
Cici Huss
rated it it was ok
Jan 03, 2014
rated it it was ok
Oct 22, 2013
Coleman Horsley
rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2020
rated it it was ok
May 29, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2009
rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2017
krystal cardillo
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Lance Terro
rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2017
Connor Eichenauer
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2016
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Terminal List (Terminal List, #1)
  • The Guardians
  • The Burial Society
  • Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century
  • Looking Backward: 2000-1887
  • The Paris Diversion (Kate Moore, #2)
  • They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
  • Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)
  • Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
  • Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth, #3)
  • Childhood's End
  • Death of a Snob (Hamish Macbeth, #6)
  • Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth, #5)
  • The Rhythm Section (Stephanie Patrick #1)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature
  • The Utopia Reader
  • Three Early Modern Utopias: Utopia / New Atlantis / The Isle of Pines
See similar books…
Willam Dean Howells was a novelist, short story writer, magazine editor, and mentor who wrote for various magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Magazine.

In January 1866 James Fields offered him the assistant editor role at the Atlantic Monthly. Howells accepted after successfully negotiating for a higher salary, but was frustrated by Fields's close supervision. Howells was made e

Related Articles

  Fans know author Courtney Summers for her gritty, immersive young adult novels. From her 2008 debut, Cracked Up to Be, to her 2018...
0 likes · 0 comments
“People naturally despise a dependant.” 2 likes
“Every one is expected to look out for himself here. I fancy that there would be very little rising if men were expected to rise for the sake of others, in America.” 1 likes
More quotes…