Price: 600.00 USD
New York: Henry George, 1886. Early printing. 342, 8 [ad] pp. 8vo. Inscribed to a future critic. Inscribed on the first blank: "To M.W. Meagher with the compliments of Henry George. Nov./86." An early printing of this work by the influential 19th century labor reformer, economist, and advocate of a blend of socialism and free trade that found a popular audience among progressives at the end of the 19th century. Three years later the inscribee, Michael William Meagher, would publish a scathing attack on George's ideas, titled "Alluring Absurdities: Fallacies of Henry George." In the present copy Meagher has marked a few dozen passages throughout with pencil lines in the margins, and beside a footnote on p 285, in which George clarifies his use of the term "ground rent," Meagher exclaims "What pedantry!" Meagher was a delegate to the Irish National League of America at its 1884 convention, and the founder of the National Debating Association at Cooper Union in New York. His critique of George received favorable reviews on its publication. "By means of his vigorous oratorical style and his direct and simple writing, George had popularized a doctrine that combined trenchant criticism of inequality in modern society with celebration of the potential contribution of technological development and individual endeavor to the social welfare. His ideas had powerful, if divergent, meanings for urban workers, Irish rural laborers, political foes of Britain's landed gentry, Catholic and Protestant preachers of a social gospel, women residing in New York's slums, businessmen aspiring to lift taxes from their own enterprises, and literary enthusiasts of global free trade. Adherents of the Single Tax remedy for urban squalor were to appear frequently in the ranks of reformers during the Progressive Era and beyond" (ANB). Early printing. Publisher's brown cloth, spine lettered in gilt, covers ruled and stamped in blind. A very good copy with some pages partially adhering, a few closed marginal tears, some rubbing and minor wear to binding.