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I, Pencil - My Family Tree As Told to Leonard E. Read Pamphlet – 2006


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Product Details

  • Pamphlet: 14 pages
  • Publisher: The Foundation for Economic Ed (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572462094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572462090
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 3.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Oliphant on July 13, 2009
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Fantastic, detailed perspective of the vastness and complexity of capitalism, and why no government ever - feudalism, socialism, fascism, communism, or even FDR's and Nixon's flirtation with "price controls" - can be a substitute for the explosive dynamism and cultural and national success of each individual doing his best to achieve and be responsible for himself.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 9, 2010
I remember watching a video in elementary school that explained the detailed process of creating a simple pencil. It's very likely that the idea for the video came from Leonard Read's 9-page essay, _I, Pencil_.

In his essay, Read explains in a brief and fun way the millions of people involved in producing a pencil. But _I, Pencil_ is more than just an essay. It's a parable. It points to something greater than the production of pencils. Says I, Pencil: "...if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing." (p. 1)

Read uses the production of a pencil to prove that millions of creative human beings can and do cooperate without coercion from government bureaucrats to meet the needs and demands of others.

The lesson of _I, Pencil_? "Leave all creative energies uninhibited." (p. 9)

_I, Pencil_ is a good read for students and adults alike being as it is a parable about human liberty and faith in the Invisible Hand of the free market.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr B Leland Baker on December 22, 2009
Leonard Read wrote "I, Pencil" to fully explain why central planning just doesn't work. He begins with the premise that "not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me." And in this essay he proves this point succinctly and brilliantly with his tale stretching from Sri Lanka to Indonesia to Ceylon and America. He identifies that millions of people have input to the creation of a pencil, and "each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants."

This tale is brief but powerful, reinforcing one's faith in free people and the necessity for government to get out of our way!

Tea Party Revival: The Conscience of a Conservative Reborn: The Tea Party Revolt Against Unconstrained Spending and Growth of the Federal Government
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How many people does it take to manufacture the modest yellow pencil?
Millions, and the numbers of people and their work is explained in detail in this little booklet, which is "a superb case study of tree markets in action".

People who never see a pencil, nor ever use one, cooperate and contribute to the manufacture of every single pencil that is produced. The subject may be modest, but pencils could not be manufactured except in the free market system.

Leonard E. Read established the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946 at Irving-on-Hudson New York.
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