In 1914 Zetkin was asked by her publisher, J. H. W. Dietz, to prepare a fresh edition of Ein Rückblick aus dem Jahre 2000 auf das Jahr 1887, and in so doing she took the opportunity to add a foreword. The foreword was regularly reprinted in later versions of Bellamy's novel from 1914 to 1980, though it has never appeared in the (pre- or postunification) Federal Republic, and although the German Democratic Republic regularly included it in reprints of the novel, the foreword was also omitted from Zetkin's selected writings. There are three main collections of Zetkin's writings in English—those published in the online Marxist Internet Archive, the pieces collected in Zetkin's Selected Writings, edited by Philip S. Foner, and those recently edited by Mike Jones and Ben Lewis as her Letters and Writings—but the foreword has not appeared in any. Therefore, the time seems ripe for the publication of an English translation of the foreword, especially given the perennial importance of Edward Bellamy in the utopian tradition and also the recent surge of interest in Clara Zetkin within academic discourse.

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