The Writings of Professor Harry Gunnsion Brown, 1924-1966

Collection Overview

Title: The Writings of Professor Harry Gunnison Brown, 1924-1966

Predominant Dates: 1924-1966 and undated material

Arrangement: Arranged in one series chronologically by original publication date

Biographical Note

Harry Gunnison Brown was born in 1880 in Troy, New York. In 1899 while a student at Lansingburgh Academy, Brown stumbled across an old paperback edition of Progress and Poverty and read it three times. He then turned to George’s Protection and Free Trade. “Henry George’s references,” Brown once explained, “led him to read Mill’s “Principles of Political Economy” and Spencer’s “Principles of Sociology,” which brought him to other writings by Mill and Spencer as well as Henry George’s “Science of Political Economy” and “A Perplexed Philosopher.””

From this early foray into the classics of political economy, Brown embarked upon a prolonged study of the subject. He graduated from Williams College in 1904 and then earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1909. Brown taught at Yale for the next six years. In 1915, he became a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri where he taught until he retired in 1951. Brown came out of retirement in 1957 to accept a position at the University of Mississippi. He retired again in 1963. Though no longer teaching, Brown continued to publish until his death in 1975 at the age of 95.

Among Brown’s many scholastic achievements includes more than 10 books and several dozens of academic articles. He also made a significant contribution to the land value taxation movement though his teaching, publishing, and service. Brown served as a trustee of the Henry George Foundation of America and was a founding member of the editorial council of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology (AJES). Established in 1941, the original purpose of AJES was to provide a medium for the discussion of the ideas espoused by Henry George and the movements those ideas inspired.

Shortly before his death, Brown assessed his involvement in the land value taxation movement with the following statement:

If I have contributed to the Georgist movement it has been because in all my teachings I have referred to Henry George and his contributions, and assigned readings in Progress and Poverty. Whenever we meet my former students, one of the things nearly always mentioned is the Single Tax.

A small portion of Brown’s published works are found in this collection including many pamphlets distributed by the Public Revenue Education Council and articles he co-authored with his second wife, Elizabeth Read Brown. See the School of Cooperative Individualism for additional works by Brown


“Who’s Who in Georgism,” Freeman (June 1939)

“Harry Gunnison Brown: An Appreciation,” Henry George News (January 1973)

Pinkney C. Walker, “Publications of Harry Gunnison Brown, 1907-1951”

Collection Content

Comments on Some Current Criticisms of Land-Value Taxation. Reprinted from The Taxation of Unearned Income. (Columbia, MO: Lucas Brothers, 1924)

“Single Tax Complex.” Reprinted from the Journal of Political Economy (April 1924)

“Land Rent as a Function of Population Growth.” Reprinted from the Journal of Political Economy (June 1926)

“Honest Farm Relief and Fair Taxation.” An Address before the Henry George Congress, September 10, 1928. Reprinted from Land and Freedom

“The Incidence of a General Output or A General Sales Tax.” Reprinted from the Journal of Political Economy (April 1929)

“The Appeal of Communist Ideology,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology (January 1943)

Objectives, Prejudice and Techniques in Teaching Economics. Reprint. (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1948; orig. 1945)

“The Challenge of Australian Tax Policy: Can Professional Economists Continue to Ignore Experience with Land Value Taxation?” Reprinted from The American Journal of Economics and Sociology (July 1949)

Some Disturbing Inhibitions and Fallacies in Current Academic Economics. (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1950)

“Cost of Production, Price Control and Subsides.” Reprinted from the American Economic Review (March 1952)

“A Tax Policy to Raise Wages,” reprinted by the St. Louis Extension of the Henry George School (August 1956)

(with Elizabeth Read Brown) The Effective Answer to Communism and Why You Don’t Get it in College. (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1958)

“Wangarrata’s Success Story and America’s Slums.” Reprinted from Land and Liberty (August 1958)

“Land Value Taxation and the Rights of Property,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology (October 1958)

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) Incentive Taxation: What Happens When Buildings are Untaxed. (St. Louis: Public Education Research Council, 1960)

“A Capital Incentive Reform Beneficial to Labor,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology (January 1965)

(with Elizabeth R. Brown” “Our Anti-Incentive Local Tax Policy” (June 1, 1966)


A Talk for Businessmen, Workingmen, and Farmers about Taxes. (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, undated)

Radical Literary Intelligentsia and Hard-Headed Propertied Conservatives: A Study in Similarities. Reprinted from Land and Freedom. (Columbia, MO: Lucas Brothers, undated)

Some Paragraphs from the Challenge of Australian Tax Policy: Can Professional Economists Continue to Ignore Experience with Land Value Taxation? (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, undated)

An Analysis of Economic Laws Governing the Actual Proposed Methods of Raising Public Revenue (National City, CA: Fredrick K. Ingram, undated)

Justice and Sense in Taxation. Reprinted from Twentieth Century Economic Thought by Glenn E. Hoover

“The Arithmetical Approach to the Georgist Philosophy”

“Fighting Communism in Asia Yet Simultaneously Handicapping Private Enterprise at Home”

“The Void in College Curriculum,” reprinted from The Freeman by the Henry George School of Social Science

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Contemporary Poverty and Anti-Incentive Tax Policy.” A Letter Sent to Some 750 Editors

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) South Vietnam’s Landlordism and American Casualties

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Anti-Poverty” Expenditures that Cheat Federal Taxpayers and the Poor

Distributed by the Public Revenue Education Council

“Expanded Public Housing: Is Labor Leadership Unwittingly Against Labor?”

Capital, America vs. Russia: An Answer to Communism

Socialized vs. Private Enterprise Housing and the War Against Poverty

“Contemporary Interest Theory with Relevant Comments on Keynesism, Communism and Property Rights”

“Housing, Industry and the Cold War: The “Liberal” Policy that Hurts us in all Three”

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Taxing Land Values and Exempting Improvements”

“Incentive, Vacant Lots and Your City”

“Are Our “Liberals” Really Liberal?”

(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Can We Avoid Communized Housing”