Our Spring 2017 text is the anonymous Equality–A Political Romance, published serially in the Philadelphia Deist journal The Temple of Reason during the summer of 1802. Probably written by a British radical immigrant–our headnote discusses the scholarship about possible audiences–this utopia was among the first published in the United States to think about the problems of manufacturing, social hierarchy, democracy, marital and sexual unions, and political change. The text also includes a short “History of Lithconia,” describing the long development of this utopian society and how it overcame destructive class divisions.
Our PDF edition runs to just over 20,000 words, and would probably require one or two class periods. It would be suitable for classes on utopia, early US literature, 19C US literature, gender studies, and political writing. There are one or two editions of Equality available on-line, but they are reproductions (and sometimes abridgments) of the 1837 reprint; we reproduce the 1802 version. You can access the text by clicking on the book icon above.