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Henry George


New volume on Henry George, edited by DUC professor Francis Peddle

The third edition of the Annoted Works of Henry George was recently released


The latest edition of a multi-volume series on the works of the American economist Henry George has recently been published. The series is edited by Francis Peddle, professor of philosophy at Dominican University College. The volume is entitled Social Conditions and the Labour of Love. Taken together, the various editions of the series are meant to contribute to present discussions on social and economic reforms.

Henry George (1839-1897) rose to fame as a social reformer and economist amid the industrial and intellectual turbulence of the late nineteenth century.  His best-selling Progress and Poverty (1879) captures the ravages of privileged monopolies and the woes of industrialization in a language of eloquent indignation.  His reform agenda resonates as powerfully today as it did in the Gilded Age, and his impassioned prose and compelling thought inspired such diverse figures as Leo Tolstoy, John Dewey, Sun Yat-Sen, Winston Churchill, and Albert Einstein.  This six-volume edition of The Annotated Works of Henry George assembles all his major works for the first time with new introductions, critical annotations, extensive bibliographical material, and comprehensive indexing to provide a wealth of resources for scholars and reformers.

Volume III of this series presents the unabridged texts of Social Problems, The Condition of Labor, and three of George’s religious speeches, Moses, Thy Kingdom Come, and Thou Shalt Not Steal. The original texts are supplemented by annotations which explain George’s many references to history, literature, economics, and the political controversies of his day. New indices augment accessibility to these texts and their key terms. The extensive introductory essay by James M. Dawsey, “Social Problems and the Social Gospel,” furnishes the cultural context for George’s debates with prominent political economists of his day and traces the theological roots of George’s ideas about nature, social philosophy, and economics. Alexandra W. Lough in her introductory essay, “Henry George, Father Edward McGlynn and Religious Dissent,” to The Condition of Labor, examines the historical and doctrinal context for George’s critical response to Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. Fred E. Foldvary explores the ethical and economic aspects of the connection between the Mosaic laws and the land in his introductory essay to George’s three religious speeches included in this Volume.

Henry George wrote the works in this Volume out of a deep faith and a passionate certainty that the foundation of economics lies in an ethical bond with nature. If religion does not address social injustice, or if economics is indifferent to the malignant consequences of gross inequality and callous poverty, then there can be no redemption for civilization or what George liked to call the Greater Leviathan. Towards the end of Progress and Poverty George invoked a vision of the reign of the Prince of Peace and a City of God on earth. In Volume III of The Annotated Works of Henry George that vision explores its many devout shores and coastal inlets.