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Progress and Poverty (modern edition) Paperback – December 31, 2006


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Progress and Poverty (modern edition) + The Science of Political Economy: A Reconstruction of Its Principles in Clear and Systematic Form + Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry in the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth... The Remedy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation; First Edition edition (December 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911312986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911312980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The greatest economics treatist ever written by an American. --Michael Kinsley

The main, underlying idea of Henry George... is an argument that makes an awful lot of sense. --Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate; author of Globalization and Its Discontents

A century ago, Henry George was by far the most widely read writer on economics. He wrote about matters of deep and broad concern, with conviction - with a style whose passion and vigor commanded attention. The substance of his messages also justified attention then and does today. --C. Lowell Harriss, Columbia University

The main, underlying idea of Henry George... is an argument that makes an awful lot of sense. --Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate; author of Globalization and Its Discontents

A century ago, Henry George was by far the most widely read writer on economics. He wrote about matters of deep and broad concern, with conviction - with a style whose passion and vigor commanded attention. The substance of his messages also justified attention then and does today. --C. Lowell Harriss, Columbia University

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Read the last half of the book first.
Heather T. Remoff
From what I've read so far, what it all really boils down to is pure greed and disdain for our country, and those of its citizens who do their best to just survive.
Lavella Medford
Most of us have read it for classes at one of the Henry George Schools.
G. C. Picchetti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sullivan on July 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Derided by superficial socialists as defending private propery in the fruits of one's labor, and by superficial liberatarians as defending common rights of access to the earth, Progress and Poverty is actually a tour-de-force assertion of the classical liberal position that the earth and its rent are common property. It thoroughly demonstrates, with clear and rigorous logic, what Marx realized far too late in his life -- that the monopoly of capital was not a natural phenoenon, but the result of the state-created monopoly of land, through titles that allow landlords to usurp community-created rents.
George's prescription, to fund government from land rents, or land value tax, had been espoused by many classical liberals, including Locke, Smith, Mill, Jefferson, Penn, Franklin, and the French "laissez faire" physiocrats. The most concise argument predating George was put forward in Tom Paine's essay, "Agrarian Justice." George's contribution, then, was not the idea of taxing land, but the economic analysis and compelling arguments for doing so. Similarly, many subsequent leaders and economists have agreed that land value tax is the best tax (and are listed on the earthharing website), but have not pursued the issue with the vigor shown by George.
George debunked several myths that are still propagated today, such as that population growth causes of poverty, that it is natural for capital to employ labor, that government control can effectively remedy poverty, and, most of all, that the economic dynamics governing capital can be blindly applied to land and natural resources.
Although it is clearly and logically written, the sentences are sometimes long and complex, requiring the reader to go back and parse them carefully. It is therefore a rather heavy read. The tone of the book is unique in that it is passionately assertive without comporomising its rigorous logic.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By taxpayer on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Henry George's Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth, The Remedy, written in 1877-79, was the best-selling nonfiction book of its time and remains, as Michael Kinsley wrote in 1987, "the greatest economic treatise ever written." It explains why poverty persists despite technological and political progress, and why economic recessions are still a constant threat. It also provides a good analysis of any number of very modern problems.

But for most modern readers, Henry George's original text is not easy going. It assumes a large vocabulary and includes enough classical references that recent editions have included an extensive glossary of mythological and historical terms. What Drake has done with this modernization is to make George's thoughts more accessible to today's audience, who will find that by understanding them they can much better comprehend the issues that affect the lives of us all.

Several of the Henry George Schools have begun using this book, with very encouraging results.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Wyneth C. Achenbaum on December 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Progress & Poverty is the missing puzzle piece for those of us who look around at the combination of magnificent and accelerating technological progress and the increasingly distorted distribution of income and wealth in America, with many people lacking sufficient income to meet their most basic needs, and wonder what went wrong in a country which professes to be dedicated to the proposition that we're all created equal.
The book's subtitle -- An Inquiry in the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth... The Remedy -- describes it beautifully: why we have the ups and downs of our economy, which cause incredible human misery, and why we have increasing poverty at the same time that there is hugely increasing wealth.
And Henry George provides a logical and workable -- even elegant -- remedy, one which will untangle many of the perverse incentives we cope with today: we say we value work, but we tax it. We say we want to promote sales, but we tax them. We say we want to encourage entrepreneurial effort, but we allow huge barriers designed to discourage the person with an idea from being able to execute it. We say we want a society that naturally creates more jobs, but we allow a relative few of us to pocket the funds which would create those jobs. We say we value initiative, but we reward the "dog in the manger" far more than we reward the laborer. We say that urban blight is a bad thing, but our tax code encourages it. We say we dislike urban sprawl, and long commutes, and low wages -- but we've failed to implement the simple tax reform that will correct these ills. We work longer hours than our counterparts in other countries, and have less to show for it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Heather T. Remoff on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
' If ever there was a time when the world needed the wisdom of Henry George, it is now. His classic work, Progress and Poverty, should be required reading for anyone concerned with establishing social and economic justice in a world that seems increasingly characterized by greed. The Drake modernized edition makes George's unique insights accessible to those of us who struggle with the pull of conflicting demands on our time. Even so, I recommend an unorthodox approach to this book. The early chapters demand a level of concentration that might be unusual except in someone deeply committed to understanding the root cause of the growing gap between rich and poor. Therefore, start by getting your passions flowing. Read the "Publisher's Forward." Then flip to the afterword and be stirred by Agnes de Mille's answer to the question: "Who was Henry George?" Her writing is as beautiful as her dance. You may now be moved to tackle the economic theories of wages and distribution, but I suggest deferring for just a bit longer. Read the
last half of the book first. Begin with Chapter 25, "The True Remedy." Once you've read through to the conclusion, the fire in your belly ought to be sufficient to carry you through the fine points of economic argument contained in the first twenty-four chapters. You won't be disappointed. As Bob Drake, Editor, notes in his preface, "Those who pick up this book are likely to share some concern about the problem of poverty; those who finish it may also find some cause for hope....It
was, and still is, a plan for peace, prosperity, equality, and justice."
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