Last and First Men (Dover Books on Literature & Drama)

Category: Science Fiction
Author: Olaf Stapledon
This Month Hacker News 1


by EthanHeilman   2018-09-13
I don't think he was intending to denigrate particular racial groups. For instance he isn't arguing that any particular racial or cultural group is superior and he views the weaknesses that bring about the destruction of the "first men" as encompassing of all of humanity. Unfortunately the racial essentialism that is central to the book builds on racist stereotypes in the first few chapters.

>Hmm. Strange. But I'm sure there was something in the later chapters about the later mankinds. I've only read it on paper but I see no indications that the Project Gutenberg version is different from the printed book.

According to an amazon review some vandals did release a version of the book in which the first few chapters are changed so that they more accurately reflect 20th Century history:

>"I bought this book because I was interested in Stapledon's depiction of the possible future of humanity. I wasn't aware when I bought the 'Millennium Edition' that the entire section on the First Men- Stapledon's prediction of human society's development between 1930 and the eventual collapse into worldwide barbarism- had been completely rewritten to make it 'easier' for modern readers to digest without excessive disbelief. Yes, Stapledon's predictions of a League of Nations world power and the various wars in Europe and the unification of science and religion in the United States have no resemblance to the reality we've lived through so far, but so what." -

Maybe they also increased the racism of the first few chapters?