The Forgotten Man and Other Essays William Graham Sumner

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The Forgotten Man and Other Essays  by  William Graham  Sumner

The Forgotten Man and Other Essays by William Graham Sumner
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An excerpt from the PREFACE.With the present collection the publication of Sumner’s Essays comes to an end. The original project of publishers and editor contemplated but a single volume — “War and Other Essays” — and they accordingly equipped thatMoreAn excerpt from the PREFACE.With the present collection the publication of Sumner’s Essays comes to an end.

The original project of publishers and editor contemplated but a single volume — “War and Other Essays” — and they accordingly equipped that volume with a bibliography which was as complete as they then could make it. But when, later on, other materials came to be known about, and especially after the discovery of a number of unpublished manuscripts, the encouraging reception accorded to the first venture led us to publish a second, and then a third collection: “Earth Hunger and Other Essays” and “The Challenge of Facts and Other Essays.” It was during the preparation of the latter of these, now some five years ago, that the late Professor Callender deplored to the editor the omission of certain of Sumners essays in political economy — in particular those dealing with free trade and sound money.

And the reviewers of preceding collections had reminded us, rightly enough, that there should be a fuller bibliography and also an index covering all the essays.In this last volume we have striven to meet these several suggestions and criticisms. And it is now the purpose of the publishers to form of these singly issued volumes a set of four, numbered in the order of their issue. Since the series could not have been planned as such at the outset, this purpose is in the nature of an after-thought- and there is therefore no general organization or systematic classification by volumes.

In so far as classification is possible, under the circumstances, it is made by way of the index. This and the bibliography are the work of Dr. M. R. Davie- and are but a part of the service he has performed in the interest of an intellectual master whom he could know only through the printed word and the medium of another man.Sumners dominant interest in political economy, as revealed in his teaching and writing, issued in a doughty advocacy of “free trade and hard money,” and involved the relentless exposure of protectionism and of schemes of currency-debasement.

As conveying his estimate of protectionism, it is only fitting that his little book on “The -Ism which teaches that Waste makes Wealth” should be recalled from an obscurity that it does not deserve- it is typical of the authors most vigorous period and witnesses to the acerbity of a former issue that may recur. In default of a single, comprehensive companion-piece in the field of finance, and one making as interesting reading, it has been necessary to confine selection to several rather brief articles, most of them dating from the campaign of 1896.

In the choice of all economic essays I have been guided by the advice of my colleague, Professor F. R. Fairchild, a fellow-student under Sumner and a fellow-admirer of his character and career. Professor S. L. Mims also has been generous in his aid. I do not need to thank either of these men, for what they did was a labor of gratitude and love.The title essay will be found at the end of the volume.

It is the once-famous lecture on “The Forgotten Man,” and is here printed for the first time. When “War and Other Essays” was being prepared, we had no knowledge of the existence of this manuscript lecture- and, in order to bring into what we supposed was to be a one-volume collection this character-creation of Sumners, one often alluded to in modern writings, we reprinted two chapters from “What Social Classes Owe to Each Other.” It has been found impracticable in later reprintings of Vol. I to replace those chapters with the more complete essay- and we have therefore decided to reproduce the latter, despite the certain degree of repetition involved, rather than leave it out of the series.



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