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February 14, 2023
9781421445403
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368
140627
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v2.1 Reference
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9781421445403
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$55.00 USD, £40.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Land and Liberty

Henry George and the Crafting of Modern Liberalism

A comprehensive history of Henry George and the single tax movement.

In 1912, Sun Yat-sen announced the birth of the Chinese Republic and promised that it would be devoted to the economic welfare of all its people. In shaping his plans for wealth redistribution, he looked to an American now largely forgotten in the United States: Henry George. In Land and Liberty, Christopher William England excavates the lost history of one of America's most influential radicals and explains why so many activists were once inspired by his proposal to tax landed wealth.

Drawing on the private papers of a network of devoted believers, Land and Liberty represents the first comprehensive account of this important movement to nationalize land and expropriate rent. Beginning with concerns about rising rents in the 1870s and ending with the establishment of New Deal policies that extended public control over land, natural resources, and housing, "Georgism" served as a catalyst for reforms intended to make the nation more democratic. Many of these concerns remain relevant today, including the exploitation of natural resources, rising urban rent, and wealth inequality.

At a time when class divisions sparked fears that capitalism and democracy were incompatible, hopes of building a social welfare state using the rents of idle landlords revitalized the middle class's conviction that democracy and liberty could be reconciled. Against steep odds, George made land nationalization vital to the politics of a nation dominated by small farmers and helped push liberalism leftward through his calls for collective rights to land and natural resources.

About the Author

Christopher William England teaches at Georgetown University.

Endorsements

"In this lucid and deeply researched account, Christopher England cuts through the many myths and misinterpretations surrounding Henry George and his followers. Land and Liberty reveals that Georgism was an urban, global, and unflinchingly modern movement that aimed to make liberalism more egalitarian and democratic, influencing generations of reformers even after the dream of the single tax had faded into obscurity. It will be required reading for anyone interested in the origins and effects of George's transformative worldview."

- Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University, author of The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression

"This is the definitive account to date of the life and influence of perhaps the important and under-appreciated economic thinker of all time. In this era of housing crises, network monopolies, and populist politics, Henry George's vision and example have never been more relevant. Those building the future are taking notice and should read this book with keen interest."

- E. Glen Weyl, Microsoft Research Special Projects / RadicalxChange

"Henry George made his famous critique of progress and poverty—of a civilization that piled up vast wealth for a few and spread poverty among the many—as a journalist living in Gilded Age San Francisco and New York City. England tells the story of Georgism as an egalitarian and democratic current of reform. He explores its global dimensions and, most significantly, covers much new ground in his treatment of the powerful impact the movement had on reform thought in the era of the First World War and beyond. This is a remarkable book that speaks to our present crisis of inequality."

- Charles Postel, San Francisco State University, author of Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866–1896

"Henry George was an economic 'rockstar' who revolutionized how everyday people thought about the problems of wealth inequality and monopoly power that still plague capitalism today. With this fine book, we get not only the splendid biography George deserved, but a compelling story of his forgotten role in the shaping of progressive thought."

- Eli Cook, Haifa University, author of The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life

"There has never been an American intellectual (or politician) quite like Henry George. Christopher England not only contextualizes him—with all his virtues and flaws—within American liberalism but also reveals his often-hidden influence during his own lifetime and afterwards. A brilliant biography."

- Richard White, Stanford University, author of The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896

"Land of Liberty is not just the best book ever written about Henry George's ideas and their unappreciated influence on politicians, policy makers, and moral philosophers over the past century and more. Christopher England has produced one of those rare works of scholarship that ought to transform the way we understand the history of economic thought and social movements in the United States and elsewhere in the industrial world."

- Michael Kazin, Georgetown University, author of What It Takes to Win: A History of the Democratic Party

9781421445403 : land-and-liberty-england
Hardback
February 14, 2023
$55.00 USD
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February 14, 2023
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