Henry George’s first book, Progress and Poverty: An inquiry into the cause of industrial depressions and of increase of want with increase of wealth… The Remedy was self-published in 1879. It went on to become the best-selling book ever on political economy,* and in the 1880s and 1890s was said to be outsold only by the Bible.
*Political economy is the science which deals with the natural laws governing the production and distribution of wealth and services.
He went on to write several other important books (including Social Problems, The Land Question, The Condition of Labor, A Perplexed Philosopher, The Science of Political Economy, and, published posthumously, Protection or Free Trade) and a number of articles and speeches, including The Crime of Poverty, Ode to Liberty, Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thy Kingdom Come, Causes of Business Depression and Justice the Object, Taxation the Means.
In 2006, Bob Drake* did a thought-by-thought updating into contemporary language of Progress and Poverty, which was published with the subtitle “Why there are recessions and poverty amid plenty — and what to do about it.” We hope you like it as much as we do. It is abridged, and reads more like a newsweekly, though those who have read the original will find the latter echoing in their ears. You can read it online here, download and listen to Bob’s MP3 here, and order hardcopy here. (Also available is a companion edition of The Land Question.)
*We mourn Bob’s sudden death in May, 2009, and celebrate his contribution to sharing Henry George’s ideas.
The new film “The End of Poverty?” begins with the same question which Henry George asked in P&P:
Why does poverty become a deeper problem as a society becomes more prosperous?
We hope you’ll explore Henry George’s answers — and his remedy. We are persuaded that the problem of poverty can only be solved through recognizing what George taught.