Henry George (1839 – 1897) was one of America’s most prominent social reformers. His magnum opus, Progress and Poverty, has enjoyed worldwide readership since its first publication in 1879 up to the present day.
In his published works, George gave to the world a three-fold economic legacy: political, intellectual, and moral. This is perhaps clearest in this volume, which brings together three of his famous works: The Land Question, Property in Land, and The Condition of Labor.
The Land Question is a tract on political reform and its implementation, and was originally published in 1881 as ‘The Irish Land Question.’
Property in Land (1884) is a response to the Duke of Argyll’s criticisms in The Prophet of San Francisco (reproduced in the book), and deals with the intellectual problems of freedom and the dignity of the individual.
The Condition of Labor is George’s ‘Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII’ regarding the Pope’s influential encyclical, Rerum Novarm (1891, also reproduced in the book). In response to what he regarded as a critique of his own philosophy, George lays out basic ethical principles relevant to our human need to live in a social order based on fairness and freedom.
Readers today will find that Henry George’s treatment of these specific issues offers insights that are comprehensive and relevant to alleviating the problems of poverty and economic injustice facing 21st century humanity.
Keywords: Henry George, Land Taxation, Economic injustice