Versions of Progress & Poverty

Currently we offer two versions of the course. They both use the same approach and cover the same ideas. All instructors understand that people often don’t have time to read all of the text provided, so the key ideas are clearly explained and discussed in class and in summary materials.

The classic version is now done in ten weekly sessions. Progress & Poverty is the book with which George started a major American political movement, that elected mayors and congressman, that brought about the major reforms later labeled “progressive,” that sold over 2 million copies and was translated into “more than a dozen” languages. As critic John Kieran wrote: “The style is striking; the metaphors are sparkling; the allusions are illuminating.” Another reviewer called it “matchless in logic, beautiful in diction, perfect in illustration.” More recently, journalist Michael Kinsley declared it one of his favorites, “fun to read.” Some of our students have called it “poetry.” Students choose to read either Henry George’s original text, or a superb 21st-century abridgement by Bob Drake.  Both are posted online as text and as audiobooks, but you’ll be given a hardcopy when you enroll. The full text is posted on line, and you will be given a copy when you enroll  in the classic course. This version of the course also uses a series of video presentations by the late Lindy Davies.

The modern version of Progress & Poverty takes advantage of Bob Drake’s modernized and shortened text, published in 2006 to make George’s ideas more accessible to the modern reader. You’ll be given a copy of this book, which retains the flavor and structure, and  all the essential ideas, of the original, when you begin the modern version of our course. This text is also available for sale,  free on-line,  or as  an audio version. The modern version of Progress & Poverty is normally done in five or six sessions, over as many weeks, or on consecutive days.