Land and liberty : Henry George and the crafting of modern liberalism

by Christopher William England

Hardcover, 2023

Call number



Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [2023]


A comprehensive history of Henry George and the single tax movement. In 1912, Sun Yat-sen announced the birth of the Chinese Republic and promised that it would be devoted to the economic welfare of all its people. In shaping his plans for wealth redistribution, he looked to an American now largely forgotten in the United States: Henry George. In Land and Liberty, Christopher William England excavates the lost history of one of America's most influential radicals and explains why so many activists were once inspired by his proposal to tax landed wealth. Drawing on the private papers of a network of devoted believers, Land and Liberty represents the first comprehensive account of this important movement to nationalize land and expropriate rent. Beginning with concerns about rising rents in the 1870s and ending with the establishment of New Deal policies that extended public control over land, natural resources, and housing, "Georgism" served as a catalyst for reforms intended to make the nation more democratic. Many of these concerns remain relevant today, including the exploitation of natural resources, rising urban rent, and wealth inequality. At a time when class divisions sparked fears that capitalism and democracy were incompatible, hopes of building a social welfare state using the rents of idle landlords revitalized the middle class's conviction that democracy and liberty could be reconciled. Against steep odds, George made land nationalization vital to the politics of a nation dominated by small farmers and helped push liberalism leftward through his calls for collective rights to land and natural resources.… (more)








Page: 0.367 seconds