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The Mainspring of Human Progress Paperback – June, 1953

ISBN-13: 978-0910614023 ISBN-10: 0910614024 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation for Economic Education; 2nd edition (June 1953)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910614024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910614023
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book, first published in 1947, is both a condensation and an amplification of Rose Wilder Lane's classic The Discovery Of Freedom. With Lane's consent, Weaver retold her story in his own way, making use of her ideas but adding material from his personal experience and from various other sources.

Part One: Comparisons and Contrasts, explores various puzzling questions of history and the concept of human energy. Part Two: The Old World Views, contrasts the fatalistic pagan outlook on life with the Judeo-Christian view of individual freedom and personal responsibility.

Part Three: The Revolution, looks at mankind's three attempts to attain individual freedom: the ancient Israelites, the golden age of Islamic civilization, and the American Revolution. Part Four: The Fruits Of Freedom, investigates the results of freedom, including the flowering of inventive genius that followed. It also explores the concepts of hope versus fear, freedom of choice, the dynamic versus the static, the moral versus the material, voluntary co-operation and the lessons of history.

The writing style is accessible and engaging and there are interesting quotes by people like Thomas Paine, Fredric Bastiat and Isabel Paterson. In an interesting way, the book illuminates many problems still plaguing the world today and traces them back to the ancient conflict between pagan fatalism and the principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Of course there are non-religious philosophies of freedom that are based on reason alone, and the aforementioned Paine was a theist who was opposed to dogmatic religion. But whether one agrees with all of Weaver's points or not, The Mainspring Of Human Progress is a classic that remains an eloquent defence of the principle of individual freedom.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
At a time when fundamental economic understanding appears lacking, this book (though simplified) makes basic economic principles easy to understand. It is written in a simple format easily understood by all age groups, young folks (junior high school) as well as adults.
I have introduced all of my children to this book and they all agree that it enabled them to have a much better grasp on the realities of economics. If you find Econ 101 boring, read this book. It will provide ample incentive to "dig into" the subject. A "must read."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on December 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People take for granted where we are in the span of time, this books makes you understand how we got here and how we are so lucky to have it the way we do in America. One of the greatest economists in the U.S.(Peter Schiff) recommended this book on his website. That is how I learned out about this book. This book is great because it was written through 1960 or so which gives you the history of mankind through that point in time. I would also read Peter Schiff's book to see how we do have it pretty good in America but if we don't change things we could become a 3rd world country.
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Very interesting, but I am not sure it is factual. A lot of strong opinion expressing that may not be correct.
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