Progress and Poverty

Harry Gunnison Brown

[The Preface to an abridgement of Henry George's book, Progress and Poverty,
prepared by Harry Gunnison Brown]

Probably no other writer has ever made the study of economics so interesting to so many readers as has Henry George. And now, when more and more economists of national and international reputation are coming to endorse the main idea for which Henry George stood, it is almost preposterous, as well as unfair to students of economics, that they should be assigned no reading on this idea other than the inadequate account of it and the superficial' adverse criticism which are all that some of the most widely used current texts in economics - and even in public finance - contain.

But there has been a real difficulty even for instructors most anxious that their students should have the case for bare-land-value taxation fairly presented to them. The complete Progress and Poverty from which these selections are made would take more time than most teachers might wish to devote to a single topic in economics, whatever its importance.

The paragraphs here printed have been selected so as to present in brief compass the essentials of Henry George's argument in his own eloquent and inimitable style. Only such slight textual changes have been made as seemed necessary to preserve continuity. In almost any course in economics can be found space for the few assignments necessary to cover these selected paragraphs, and any class can be asked to meet the trifling incident expense. Thus might be given a new zest and renewed enthusiasm to the students whose sometimes waning interest in the categories and laws of economics is a recurrent discouragement to their instructors.

It is hoped, too, that many who are not in school or college, but who should know and really desire to know something of the economic philosophy of Henry George, will spare for that purpose the very few hours necessary to read this little book.