Review of the Book:
The Prosperity Paradox: The Economic Wisdom
of Henry George, Rediscovered.
Forward and Compiled by Dr. Mark Hassed
[This book is published by Chatsworth Village Pty, Ltd., 2000.
This review is reprinted from
Let's start with a little background concerning a different book.
Why, in spite of inventions and scientific advances, in spite of an
abundance of food and other products, do we on Earth still find it
so hard simply to make a decent, comfortable living -- and count
millions of children in miserable poverty? Henry George found the
fundamental flaw in our economic system and its easy remedy, and
wrote a book that shocked the world. It was called "Progress
and Poverty", and was completed in 1879. For many years after
that, "Progress and Poverty" was discussed all over the
world and no book except the Bible circulated more copies.
That book is still shocking, still important. But there's a
problem -- it is 565 pages long and offers no steamy love scenes to
keep you turning the pages.
So how is a modern audience going to become familiar with the
main ideas of Henry George? There now exist abridged versions of "Progress
and Poverty" that attempt to give the most important points.
That is good. Dr. Mark Hassed is trying a different approach --
assembling key speeches where Henry George described his own views,
colorfully and with brevity.
The result is the new book, "The Prosperity Paradox".
In this book, whose 174 pages will not intimidate potential readers,
Hassed has brought together ten speeches given by Henry George. Each
is short enough to read in a single sitting.
This book shows a lot of attention to detail. A fabulous front
cover design, astounding "blurbs" on the back cover (I
assure you, you will be astounded), and a very pleasing, modern,
easy-to-read type style make this book a quality piece of work.
Also, Hassed has kept true to his goal of letting Henry George speak
for himself. Other than an informative brief foreword and a short
biography of George, the book is purely Henry George, speaking to
you, telling stories, calling forward the best in each of us, to
seek worldwide economic justice.
"The Prosperity Paradox" is full of power, and will
change the life of any reasonably intelligent person who picks it
up. In fact, Hassed's compilation is so successful that I think this
book may be missing an opportunity. Henry George, like all great
public speakers, reaches out to his audience, brings them all
together sharing the same emotions and feelings, and then, if
successful, issues a call to action. "The Prosperity Paradox"
should issue a specific call to action as well.
When a reader sets down this book, in his or her mind will be the
question, "Now what can I do?" It would have been handy
for "The Prosperity Paradox" to name a World Wide Web site
for further discussion, to include a list of organizations that
promote Henry George's approach, or a list of WWW sites devoted to
this topic. Of course, if the publisher or distributor wishes to do
this, it's not too late -- insert a slip of paper or a little card
in each copy of the book, offering some places to contact, or ideas
for what to do next.
"The Prosperity Paradox" hits like a hammer. If you are
ready for a strong, powerful communication, one that touches your
feelings as well as your brains, then get this book. Or purchase
more than one, because you will want friends and colleagues to see
it too, to share the ideas, to feel what you feel.