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An Essay on the Principle of Population (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – August 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0199540457 ISBN-10: 0199540454

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540457
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

He is also the author of many articles on Malthus, the Poor Law, and the Welfare State. He is currently researching a book on Malthus and poverty.

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the Introduction: "Malthus began with two physiological assumptions: humans must have food, and the sex drive will always be a fundamental part of our make-up. (Both assumptions had been called into question, half-seriously, by Godwin.) His next assertions were less self-evident but crucial to the argument: an unchecked population grows at a 'geometric' rate, as in the series 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and the means of subsistence can only be increased at an 'arithmetic' rate, as in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Because man's powers of reproduction so greatly exceed his powers of food production, population will always press against the available resources. Thus a substantial portion of society is condemned to live at the ragged edge of subsistence. Any significant rise in general living standards will trigger a period of earlier marriages and lower mortality, bringing faster growth of population than of food supplies. Per capita consumption, having risen temporarily above 'subsistence' level, will be forced back down to that level, or even below it. Almost as famous as this grim analysis, which prompted Thomas Carlyle to dub economics the 'dismal science', is the conceptual apparatus that supports it. Malthus argued that population was held within resource limits by two types of 'checks': positive ones, which raised the death rate, and preventative ones, which lowered the birth rate. The positive checks included hunger, disease, and war; the preventative checks, abortion, birth control, prostitution, postponement of marriage, and celibacy. All of these population retardants, without exception, led mankind into 'misery' or 'vice'.Read more ›
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This is an essential [often misquoted] classic work related to population limits. Although much of the volume deals with tangential subjects, the fact that Malthus still bears the brunt of vicious Fundamentalist attacks demonstrates his continuing importance.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ExistentialistRoberts on January 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be stapled to every freshman entering a College of Arts and Sciences, as some write it off as out dated, I would say it holds true more than ever! Even though the industrial revolution changed some of the ways we think, it never changed how we breed or how the classes still operate!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Faustino Mendonça on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am giving this a 5 because it is an important book. Honestly, Malthus is completely evil. Even his name sounds horribly villainous. And, for the record, I hate this man.

On the book. Well, if you didn't know, Malthus is kind of like...(this is debatable, but many other great scholars believe this to be true) the very first 'economist.'

Basically, if you want to know where all the horrible dictators of the world got their crazy ideas, or hell, even where the current Tea Party people in the US get their's, its all right here in black and white. Eugenics, enclosures, sterilization, you name it, it surfaces here like the worst possible skin of sludge on the top of a vast lake of sewage.

good read.

CreateSpace did a nice job on this classic. Good design and layout of the text.
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An Essay on the Principle of Population (Oxford World's Classics)
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