Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity through the Ages

Overview

In The Noblest Triumph, Tom Bethell looks at the history of property rights and shows that the key role played by the institution of private property has been misunderstood by Western elites for more than a century. Beginning with the ancient Greeks and arriving at the present day, Bethell looks at basic ideas about property found in the writings of Plato, Adam Smith, Blackstone, Bentham, Marx, Mill, and others. He shows that the institution of property is inextricably tied to traditional conceptions of justice ...

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Overview

In The Noblest Triumph, Tom Bethell looks at the history of property rights and shows that the key role played by the institution of private property has been misunderstood by Western elites for more than a century. Beginning with the ancient Greeks and arriving at the present day, Bethell looks at basic ideas about property found in the writings of Plato, Adam Smith, Blackstone, Bentham, Marx, Mill, and others. He shows that the institution of property is inextricably tied to traditional conceptions of justice and liberty, and he argues that prosperity and civilization can only arise where private property is securely held by the people. The Noblest Triumph is an indispensable book for anyone interested in this fundamental aspect of civilization and the progress of humankind through the ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal
A wide-ranging and elegantly written new book.
Wall Street Journal
A wide-ranging and elegantly written new book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312223373
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/20/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Bethell is the Washington, DC correspondent for The American Spectatorand a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
First Things
• The Blessings of Property
• Property, Law and Economy
The Free Rider Problem
• Plato’s Conceit
• The Logic of the Commons
Roman and Common Law
• Romans and Countrymen
• The English Lead
FromSacred to Profane
• The Economists’ Oversight
• Marx, Mill, and Marshall
The New Man
• Owen’s Trinity of Evils
• The Soviet Experiment
Right and Just
• To Each His Due
• Rights--and Property Rights
America’s Double Standard
• Why Isn’t the Whole World Developed?
• Taking Liberties Abroad
Historical Puzzles
• Property in Araby
• Why Did Ireland Starve?
Issues of the Day
• Intellectual Property
• Property and the Environment
Issues at Home
• The Feudal Temptation
• The Rediscovery of Property
A New Beginning
• China, Property and Democracy

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    Provides a great sense of appreciation for the role of property in civilized, free society.

    Though sometimes a bit plodding, Bethell provides a wonderful recitation of the origins and development of property and its essential role in the creation and maintenance of free societies. Property is an institution that is under assault world-wide, particularly in this nation where, ironically, it became more refined than anywhere else and produced a degree of freedom and prosperity unequalled in the history of the world. The book should be required reading for Congress today.

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