Ottawa Book Launch Event, January 16th 2016
Saturday, 16 January, 2016
Dominican University College, Ottawa
The Annotated Works of Henry George
Volume I Our Land and Land Policy and Other Works
Series Co-Editors Francis K. Peddle and William S Peirce
Henry George Foundation of Canada
Dr. Frank Peddle, co-editor of volume I,
Past president of Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
Cell: (613) 793-1740
Henry George (1839 -1897) was arguably the most famous economist and social reformer in the turbulent history of late nineteenth and early twentieth century economic thought. His Progress and Poverty (1879), and many other works, vividly describe the ravages of privileged monopolies and the woes of modern industrialization in an alluring language of eloquent indignation.
Henry George advances a reform agenda that resonates as powerfully today as it did in the Gilded Age of the robber barons. Winston Churchill, Sun Yat Sen, Leo Tolstoy, John Dewey, and Albert Einstein, to name only a few in the history of politics, art, philosophy, and science, took inspiration from his impassioned prose and compelling thought.
George’s philosophy of economics does more than just describe the great paradox of modern times, namely, why does steadily increasing wealth in society as a whole leave the vast majority of its citizens more economically insecure. His solution is to recapture for public purposes a hitherto poorly identified, tectonic force that courses through every aspect of the economy. This force has been called economic rent, a natural surplus value, a yield to society over and beyond the inputs of labor and capital that, when privately appropriated, profoundly distorts economic activity, social arrangements, and political institutions.
This six volume critical, collected edition of the works of Henry George assembles all his major works for the first time with up to date introductions to each volume, critical annotations, extensive bibliographical material, and comprehensive indexing. This new collection is an invaluable resource for Georgist scholarship. As a foundation for future research agendas and reformist debate it is an indispensable tool for discussions on such pressing issues as economic inequality and wage stagnation.
Volume I of The Annotated Works of Henry George includes three important, fully annotated, works accompanied by three new essays that provide their historical, political, philosophic, and economic context. George wrote Our Land and Land Policy (1871) while still a journalist fully engaged in the civic life of California. The introductory essay by Fred Foldvary shows that George, even at this early stage in his career as an economist, wrote with uncanny insight and analytical skill about the issues that defined his later career. In The Land Question (1881), written just as his fame was being established, George dove into the maelstrom of Irish land policy. Jerome Heavey provides the essential clarification of the history and politics of Irish land law, and explains the reasons why George’s plan for reform was not adopted. Property in Land (1885) incorporates the debate between George and the eighth Duke of Argyll. Brian Hodgkinson provides a new critical essay on the historical and philosophical setting for this exchange of open letters between the politically connected owner of a vast swath of land in Scotland and the reform-minded “Prophet of San Francisco.”