The Last American.
A fragment from the Journal of Khan-Li.
Prince of Dimph-yooo-chur and Admiral in the Persian Navy.
Edited by J. A. Mitchell.
Copyright 1889.

"The Last American" can be downloaded as an ebook Kindle or pdf via the website, Publicdomainreview.org.  "The Last American" is a short science fiction novel, written in 1889, about the rediscovery of America by a Persian explorer in the year 2951.  Too long for a bon mot or short quotation, I transcribed a bit, pasted below.  It's interesting to think that there were dystopian sci fi novels written about the USA, as far back as 1889.  However, Robert Louis Stevenson was alive and writing during that same era, as was Jules Verne

Exerpts:

He holds the opinion with many other historians that the Mehrikans were a mongrel race, with little or no patriotism, and were purely imitative; simply an enlarged copy of other nationalities extant at the time. He pronounces them a shallow, nervous, extravagant people, and accords them but few redeeming virtues. This, of course, is just; but nevertheless they will always be an interesting study by means of their rapid growth, their vast numbers, their marvelous mechanical ingenuity, and their sudden and almost unaccountable disappearance."

"The wealth, luxury, and gradual decline of the native population; the frightful climatic changes which swept the country like a mower's scythe; the rapid conversion of a vast continent, alive with millions of pleasure loving people, into a silent wilderness, where the sun and moon look down in turn upon hundreds of weed-grown cities, – all this is told by Noz-yt-ahl with force and accuracy."

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Replies to This Discussion

Sounds like a fascinating read.  I'll check it out.  Thanks!

Much social or political satire is called science fiction, and so I miss it.
I too will check this one out.

Thanks,Daniel,

I've bookmarked the website.

Mongrel race? As if contrasted with "pure" races? One of our greatest principles is that of diversity, yes, even commingling of different races. And the language that implies judgement of some perceived debauchery sounds like a kind of puritanical judgement. Seems pretty extreme to me.

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