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Palgrave Macmillan

The Economics of Henry George

History's Rehabilitation of America's Greatest Early Economist

ISBN 9780230115859
Publication Date July 2011
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Henry George was the greatest, most famous and most rejected of early American economists. Without formal education he trained himself in classical economics and developed a theory of a "single tax" suggestive of the work of the earlier French économistes. Academic economists of his day rejected his work, but it enjoyed great public popularity in the United States, Europe, Australia and other places. He was more widely read than any other early American economist. History has seen his rehabilitation at the hand of modern economists who have reviewed and analyzed his work in great detail. There is much specialized literature on many specific facets and aspects of George's work, but we lack a book which provides an overview of George's economics and of this historic rehabilitation. This brief book attempts to fill that gap.

PHILLIP J. BRYSON is the Douglas and Effie Driggs Professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at Brigham Young University Marriot School and Associate Director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International and Area Studies, USA. His expertise is in the areas of comparative economics systems, international economics, and microeconomics with particular research focus on fiscal decentralization, the Chinese economy, and Henry George in contemporary economics. 

Henry George's Pursuit of Knowledge: On Methodology and Methods 
The Life and Economics of Henry George 
Henry George's Theory of Distribution  
Henry George on Free Trade and Protection 
Henry George on Land and Land Policy 
Henry George and Modern Economics


"Mr. Bryson's sympathetic, yet critical, account of Henry George's economic ideas provides a useful understanding of them, both in relation to his 19th century contemporaries and to later neoclassical economics. Although he sometimes compares George unfavorably to later developments in the field of economics, Bryson also acknowledges that "it is not apparent that [the later achievements] are vastly superior to the kinds of changes that George was offering." Bryson shows how George's ideas can be "rehabilitated" for the 21st century and make important contributions to ongoing debates in economic theory and policy." - Cliff Cobb, Former President, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
"This volume does a wonderful job explaining Henry George's ideas. But for the reader interested in those ideas, it does much more. Professor Bryson explains how George, an academic outsider, developed his ideas, and then places them in the context of the economic ideas of George's time. Anyone interested in George's ideas will certainly come away enlightened after reading what Professor Bryson has to say." - Randall G. Holcombe, DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics, Florida State University
"Phillip Bryson has written an account, neither apologia or hagiography, that proponents of the political and economic philosophy of Henry George will agree with and learn from. It is at the same time detached from sweeping claims and accessible to both a professional economic audience and the educated layperson. His placement of George in the ongoing and broader discourse of socio-economic thought should be applauded, and he has done a public service by tracing George's revived standing in the world's economic and tax policy discourse. George, whom John Dewey ranked among the top ten thinkers of all time, deserves far more note than he has been given in recent years." - H.William Batt, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
"The parts on central and eastern Europe are particularly new and valuable Few western scholars, and certainly not this one, have been aware of how much influence George had east of the Elbe. Bryson, after a career focusing on that region, opens our eyes to a new world of Georgist history, and new prospects for renewed Georgist reform." - Mason Gaffney, Professor of Economics, University of California-Riverside
"Phillip J. Bryson has done an superlative job of assessing the significance of Henry George, both in the context ofGeorge's day and in the context of our own. Drawing on his comprehensive knowledge of the history of economic thought and current economic issues,Professor Bryson shows howGeorge has made, and continues to make, unique and valuable contributions to scholarly economic analysis,viable public policy,and the quest for a more just society." - Mark A. Sullivan, Administrative Director, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
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