Praise for Progress and Poverty
Among many famous people who asserted that it was impossible to refute George on the land question were Winston Churchill, Leo Tolstoy, John Dewey, and Bertrand Russell. Tolstoy and Dewey, especially, dedicated much of their lives to spreading George’s ideas. Tolstoy was preaching about the ideas in Progress and Poverty on his death bed.
Many famous figures with diverse ideologies, such as George Bernard Shaw, Friedrich Hayek, H. G. Wells, and Leo Tolstoy, mark their first encounters with Progress and Poverty as literally life-changing experiences.
- Albert Einstein wrote this about his impression of Progress and Poverty: “Men like Henry George are rare unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form and fervent love of justice. Every line is written as if for our generation.”
- In the Classics Club edition forward, John F. Kieran wrote that “no student in that field [economics] should be allowed to speak above a whisper or write above three lines on the general subject until he has read and digested Progress and Poverty.”
- William Simon U’Ren wrote that he “went to Honolulu to die,” but that a chance encounter with Progress and Poverty gave him a sense of purpose and renewed his desire to live. U’Ren went on to become a pioneering reformer of municipal elections and activist for direct democracy.
- Tom L. Johnson, a streetcar monopolist, read and reread Progress and Poverty, finally requesting assistance from his business associates to find flaws in George’s reasoning. Johnson took the book to his lawyer and said, “I must get out of the business, or prove that this book is wrong…”
- In 1930, during the Great Depression, George W. Norris entered an abridged version of ‘Progress and Poverty’ into the Congressional Record and later commented that an excerpt from the book was “one of the most beautiful things” that he “ever read on the preciousness of human liberty.”
- John Haynes Holmes wrote, “My reading of Henry George’s immortal masterpiece marked an epoch in my life. All my thought upon the social question and all my work for social reform began with the reading of this book,”. He knew of “nothing more touching, in all the range of our American literature.”
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