Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Henry and the Great Society: A novel
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars32
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on March 25, 1999
I've just finished reading Henry And the Great Society. I was willing to indulge the author and allow him to "bark at the train of my life" as he so beautifully put it. When I began to read, I was having a wonderful time enjoying the picture the author painted of Henry's life, especially since it differed so greatly from mine. As I read on, I found myself growing increasingly concerned for and with Henry. It seemed somehow he and I were beginning to bond, and I wasn't quite sure just why. His lifetime was before I was even born, but I could still sense our paths converging. What in the world could a farmer and a real estate agent ever have in common? My answer soon came. I am Henry! Henry is me! I certainly hope that I have read this book in time to do something about it. I know that reading this book has forever changed my judgement of wealth, success and "The good things in life". If you want to learn the most valuable lesson you will ever learn about success, progress and the meaning of life, pick up this book before it's too late! I promise that you won't be able to put it down.
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on February 23, 2009
This is the story of Henry Morgan, a man who with his wife Esther and three children was content with his life. And why wouldn't he be? He had everything in life that he needed, the basics of food, clothing, and shelter, provided very directly by the fruit of their labors. But progress comes to his rural area, and Henry bows into the pressures to enjoy the "good things in life," all the material things that are wants and not desires. He ends up going into debt to obtain these things and finds himself enslaved to these "good things." This enslavement is a source of great stress and trial to Henry, while his wife and children happily enjoy these good things, not recognizing the chains binding them, and even pushing Henry to acquire more stuff.

This first part of the book is very good. I'd give it 4.5 stars. It's a very good illustration about how the pursuit of material possesions, especially by means of acquiring debt, enslaves, and progressively so. For the purposes of condensing the story (I assume), some of Henry's concessions to progress happen a bit too quickly, but that's a minor quibble. I could see this portion of the book being very inspiring for someone experiencing our society's typical level of bondage to stuff. Having by choice avoided debt (not even a mortgage), and having lived well below our means for years, this served as less of a rallying cry for my husband and I, but more as a quiet confirmation of something we already knew. Even so, I was inspired to look at the things around me and to remember anew that most of them are wants, luxuries, nice things, but not essentials.

The second part of the book is the spiritual application, the moral of the story. There were some good points in this section, about the Christian's citizenship being in heaven, about being content with food, clothing, and shelter, etc. But, a lot of this section was a bit over the top and melodramatic, especially the part saying society was responsible for Henry's great distress, ignoring that he went along willingly. And some of the points that the author attempts to make from Scripture (like emphasizing that Cain went to live in a CITY and other negative references to CITIES) are a bit of a stretch. This portion of the book would only rate a 2.5 stars.

So, I'd give a combined overall rating of 3.5 , but Amazon forces me to round it. I go down to 3, because to me a 4 indicates only minor complaints, and mine are a bit beyond that. I'd recommend getting this book if you can pick it up for a couple dollars or borrow it from someone; otherwise, the 86 pages of good story and 30 pages of so-so spiritual application aren't enough to make this worth aquiring.
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on March 11, 2000
This book was loaned to me by a friend. I started reading it and could not stop. It was telling the story of my life in a different way. Henry knew the good life and thought progress was going to give him a better life. He had to give up the things dearest to him. Time with the family went by the wayside. A valuable lesson for people who are trying to get ahead. This book posessed me to quit my 12 hour, sometimes 6 day a week job of 17 years. I now make less money, but I also have time off to be with my family. My priorties are now in order and I am happy. I am now like Henry was in the beginning of the book. Sometimes we don't know what happiness is. Money isn't everything and debt will ruin you is some things I personally gleaned out of this book. I strongly recommend it to college age and over.
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on December 23, 1997
A fabulous little book that highlights the weaknesses of our technological and secular world. Written in novel form, it encourages one to take a second look at the values we take for granted today.
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on March 11, 2000
This book was loaned to me by a friend. I started reading it and could not stop. It was telling the story of my life in a different way. Henry knew the good life and thought progress was going to give him a better life. He had to give up the things dearest to him. Time with the family went by the wayside. A valuable lesson for people who are trying to get ahead. This book posessed me to quit my 12 hour, sometimes 6 day a week job of 17 years. I now make less money, but I also have time off to be with my family. My priorties are now in order and I am happy. I am now like Henry was in the beginning of the book. Sometimes we don't know what happiness is. Money isn't everything and debt will ruin you is some things I personally gleaned out of this book. I strongly recommend it to college age and over.
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on December 2, 1997
What happens to a family that is content and happy when "progress" comes along? The book, Henry and the Great Society, tells the story in a manner in which you will weep as you read. Progress is not necessarily bad, but how it effects you and your family can be. Going from the time Henry and his wife meet on the "back forty" for lunch, to the time when he's working long hours at the factory, and never sees hiis family is a heart-wrenching tale. This is Heny and the Great Society.
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on November 28, 2000
Henry is me! Not that I ever had it as good as he did to start, but I bought the lies that our great society hangs in our faces like that nice juicy bunch of fresh carrotts....theres nothing wrong with carrotts is there? I have read this little book a dozen times and each time I do it makes me stop and take stock. This is a must own, buy a bunch and give them to people who you truly care about.
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on December 27, 1999
I am so excited! I finally found "Henry and The Great Society" on Amazon.com. I've been looking for it forever! I borrowed the book the first time and I've been searching for my own copy! I've looked in libraries, old book stores and everywhere! But, only Amazon had it! This book is excellent!
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on September 30, 2015
This is a powerful little book that accurately illustrates how people become trapped by the things that are supposed to give them ease and convenience. It made me want to cry and throw the book across the room, but not because of the writing style or anything like that. This book is a mirror, and if you look into it you might not like what you see.
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on November 6, 2014
This is a very thought provoking book. It brings to our attention things we have lost in our society through many so called "modern day advances" and howthe economy and our desire to "have the latest and greatest" inventions drive and pushes us to the point that we give up the "good" things in life and no longer have time to appreciate those really "good" things.
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