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Mainspring of Human Progress

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Book Overview

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.This work is in the public domain in the United States of America,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Classic defence of freedom

This book, first published in 1947, is both a condensation and an amplification of Rose Wilder Lane's classic The Discovery Of Freedom. With Lane's consent, Weaver retold her story in his own way, making use of her ideas but adding material from his personal experience and from various other sources. Part One: Comparisons and Contrasts, explores various puzzling questions of history and the concept of human energy. Part Two: The Old World Views, contrasts the fatalistic pagan outlook on life with the Judeo-Christian view of individual freedom and personal responsibility. Part Three: The Revolution, looks at mankind's three attempts to attain individual freedom: the ancient Israelites, the golden age of Islamic civilization, and the American Revolution. Part Four: The Fruits Of Freedom, investigates the results of freedom, including the flowering of inventive genius that followed. It also explores the concepts of hope versus fear, freedom of choice, the dynamic versus the static, the moral versus the material, voluntary co-operation and the lessons of history. The writing style is accessible and engaging and there are interesting quotes by people like Thomas Paine, Fredric Bastiat and Isabel Paterson. In an interesting way, the book illuminates many problems still plaguing the world today and traces them back to the ancient conflict between pagan fatalism and the principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Of course there are non-religious philosophies of freedom that are based on reason alone, and the aforementioned Paine was a theist who was opposed to dogmatic religion. But whether one agrees with all of Weaver's points or not, The Mainspring Of Human Progress is a classic that remains an eloquent defence of the principle of individual freedom. The book concludes with a list of references, a bibliography and an index. On the subject of individual freedom, I also recommend the work of Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Karl Popper, Alfred North Whitehead, Ayn Rand, Stefan Hoeller, Robert Nozick, Milton Friedman and Johan Norberg.

A Great Primer

At a time when fundamental economic understanding appears lacking, this book (though simplified) makes basic economic principles easy to understand. It is written in a simple format easily understood by all age groups, young folks (junior high school) as well as adults.I have introduced all of my children to this book and they all agree that it enabled them to have a much better grasp on the realities of economics. If you find Econ 101 boring, read this book. It will provide ample incentive to "dig into" the subject. A "must read."

A book that clears your thinking

This book can create a general framwork around human history like not too many books that I have read. Expressed in clear language and organized in short, thought provoking sections.

A classic in the annals of freedom

There may be no better book anywhere on the subject of the underlying principles of Freedom. Why have men starved for 6,000 years, then in a very short period of time seen prosperity explode? Private Property is one of the keys. The ability of a man to keep what he has earned and dispose of it as he will is a radical concept. The citizen who is protected from the plunder of thieves and of the State can do wonders. If the leaders of every developing nation were to read this book and apply its principles, they could kiss the IMF goodbye and solve their incessant economic woes. This is one of the best five books ever written on economics and freedom. My dad gave me a copy when I went to college - took me about five years to get around to reading it - wow! What I had been missing!
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