Around 1796, Mr. Malthus, an English gentleman, had finished reading a book that confidently predicted human life would continue to grow richer, more comfortable and more secure, and that nothing could stop the march of progress. He discussed this theme with his son, Thomas, and Thomas ardently disagreed with both his father and the book he had been reading, along with the entire idea of unending human progress. Mr. Malthus suggested that he write down his objections so that they could discuss them point-by-point. Not long after, Thomas returned with a rather long essay. His father was so impressed that he urged his son to have it published. And so, in 1798, appeared An Essay on Population, by British political economist and demographer THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS (1766-1834). Though it was attacked at the time and ridiculed for many years afterward, it has remained one of the most influential works in the English language on the general checks and balances of the world's population and its necessary control. This is a replica of the 1826 sixth edition. Volume 2 includes: Book III: "Of the Different Systems, Which Have Been Proposed or Have Prevailed in Society, As They Affect the Evils Arising from The Principle of Population" and Book IV: "Of our future Prospects respecting the Removal or Mitigation of the Evils arising from the Principle of Population."
The world’s population is now 7.4 billion people, placing ever greater demands on our natural resources. As we stand witness to a possible reversal of modernity’s positive trends, Malthus’s pessimism is worth full reconsideration. This Norton Critical Edition includes: · An introduction and explanatory annotations by Joyce E. Chaplin. · Malthus’s Essay in its first published version (1798) along with selections from the expanded version (1803), which he considered definitive, as well as his Appendix (1806). · An unusually rich selection of supporting materials thematically arranged to promote classroom discussion. Topics include “Influences on Malthus,” “Economics, Population, and Ethics after Malthus,” “Malthus and Global Challenges,” and “Malthusianism in Fiction.” · A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography.
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