The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918

Book Reviews and Notices

BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES
The Single Tax Movement in the United States. By Arthur
Nichols Young. (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1916. Pp. x, 340.)
This book is unique, for, so far as the reviewer knows, it is
the only one which deals exclusively with the Georgian single
tax which was not written by a single taxer. The assumption of
the reviewer that Professor Young is not a single taxer is based
upon the lack of any bias in the book either for or against the
single tax. The average single taxer is such an enthusiastic be-
liever in his cause that whether speaking or writing he confesses
his faith in no unmistakable terms; no Bertillon methods are re-
quired in his identification. Though he may not be a single
taxer, Professor Young's treatment of his subject is so sympa-
thetic and fair as to please the single taxer and not to antagonize
the irreclaimable anti.
It is the lot of but few men to be the inspiration of an im-
portant popular movement. Henry George was such a man, and
it is not surprising therefore that nearly the first half of Pro-
fessor Young's book is devoted almost entirely to the life and
labors of the great leader. The opening chapter of the book
deals with the single tax idea before George's time, and though
Professor Young concludes that George had been anticipated in
all essential points by a number of writers, he credits George
with having arrived at the ideas independently. The following
chapter gives a description of California in the period of 1858-
1878, in order that the reader may have the economic and politi-
cal background for George's philosophy. The activities of George
are then followed in detail from the appearance of Progress and
Poverty in 1879 to his sudden death in the midst of the New
York mayoralty campaign, of 1897. Intimate stories and anec-
dotes about George hitherto unpublished add to the readable char-
acter of these biographical chapters.
The second half of the book is devoted to a descriptions of
single tax experiments in the United States, and of the various
attempts to get the single tax adopted. This part of the book

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/. Accessed September 1, 2014.