Monday, December 12, 2011

Wholesale Quantities AND Individual Copies Now Available

William Thomas Thornton's 1848 classic A Plea for Peasant Proprietors, With the Outlines of a Plan for Their Establishment in Ireland, written to propose a solution to the Great Famine (1846-1852) then ravaging Ireland, is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble individually at the retail price of $25.00 per copy in the United States, and Amazon in the U.K. at the retail price of £20.00 per copy!  You can also still purchase copies in bulk (ten or more copies) at 20% off the retail price in the U.S. and Australia, 25% in the U.K. (yes, we can ship from facilities in Australia and the U.K.).

This edition is based on Thornton's 1874 revision, and offers extensive footnotes and appendices explaining aspects of 19th century Irish politics and history that might not be familiar to 21st century readers.  Thornton's solution is remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is that, with a few modifications (explained in the appendices and foreword) it is applicable to today's economic situation not only in Ireland, but in the United States and the rest of the global economy.

Even though individual copies are now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (follow the links above), and we assume you can get it by special order in many local bookstores (it will be in the Ingram catalog), our introductory offer is still open: you can purchase copies in bulk (10 or more copies) at $20 per copy, plus shipping (normal retail price is $25.00).

To enquire about shipping, please send us an e-mail at "publications [at] cesj [dot] org." Please tell us:

1) How many copies you want.  FYI, a  case lot is 22 copies, or $440.00, plus shipping, but we can take as few as ten (10) in a bulk/wholesale order.

2) A STREET address where the order is to be sent (sorry, our distributor cannot ship to post office boxes).

We'll send you the total cost, plus shipping by return e-mail. On receipt of your payment — check or money order only at this time, please (and don't send cash through the mails!) — we will have your order shipped. We estimate that it will take approximately ten business days for you to receive your order from the time your check clears.

At this time we are only filling bulk orders within the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico.   As we mentioned above, we are also now able to ship books from facilities in the U.K. and Australia.  Just enquire first so we know what the shipping charges will be.

We invite you to look over our other publications at "Benson Unabridged" (if your tastes run to fiction), and the "CESJ Bookstore" if you want some thoughtful non-fiction.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Endorsements of William Thornton's "Plea":

"Congratulations on your book. Many at ND can relate to this story since so many of us have family connections from the Emerald Isle! My grandparents came here from Ireland in a later famine."

— Ellen Duffy Naylor, Notre Dame Class of 1977

"I knew Ireland wasn't finished.  Well done!"

— James H., writer, Ireland ("Friends of Ireland" LinkedIn group)

"William Thornton's A Plea for Peasant Proprietors is an insightful analysis of a difficult problem: how to stimulate economic growth without violating natural rights to life, liberty or property. His solution to the Great Hunger in Ireland in the 19th century is equally applicable to the global economic downturn of the 21st."

— Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB PhD

"This is yet another excellent book published by CESJ. Its author, Englishman William Thornton, saw the evidence in 19th century Britain, as did American political economist Louis Kelso in the 1950’s and 60’s. Thornton proposed a simple solution to poverty and even famine in Ireland, namely: turn Irish farmers into ‘peasant proprietors’. Once they own the land, they will find ways to effectively look after themselves. It was a simple and effective plan. CESJ is proposing a similar plan for solving 21st century poverty following in the footsteps of both Thornton and Kelso, namely: turn property-less industrial workers into capital owners, i.e. co-shareholders in corporate America. CESJ’s plan is complete. It can be implemented today. It is known as Capital Homesteading. It works like this: The Fed loans every citizen annually enough money to buy shares in American companies. This way everybody gradually acquires a ‘capital homestead’ or a portion of corporate America. The shares will yield dividend, which can be used to pay back the annual loans. Once the shares have been fully paid, they will yield a second income which will effectively reduce poverty, turning the USA again into an ‘affluent society’. The re-publication of Thornton’s book is very timely as more and more people are awakening to the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with our economy. There is. It behooves everybody to find out what. Thornton and Kelso nailed it. Here the reader will find the ideas that provide the basis of a sustainable economic recovery throughout the world."

— Michiel Bijkerk LL.M., Dutch Caribbean

"I find William Thornton's proposal for making the people of Ireland owners of the land they tilled consistent both with sound moral philosophy and Catholic social teaching, especially the doctrine of Leo XIII and Pius XI. Capital Homesteading holds great promise as a way of applying them to a world that needs a sound economic and ethical framework within which to work for a lasting solution to the present global crisis."

— Rev. Edward Krause, C.S.C., Ph.D., Professor of Social Ethics, Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania

A Plea for Peasant Proprietors

During the Great Famine in Ireland (1846-1852), William T. Thornton (1813-1880), an English economist, proposed that unused land be purchased by the government and sold on credit to families that would put it into production. In this way funds spent on famine relief would be turned from an expenditure into an investment, jobs would be created, and the benefits of widespread capital ownership would accrue to individuals, families and the nation.

Although never adopted, later thinkers, offering a principled, growth-oriented approach for the 21st Century, refined Thornton’s vision. As the global economy experiences ever-more-frequent downturns (with accelerating replacement of human labor by advanced technology, reinforced by flawed methods of finance that concentrate capital ownership in fewer and fewer hands) Thornton’s book shines light on the path out of today’s global dilemma.

Originally published in 1848, this newly annotated and indexed edition of A Plea for Peasant Proprietors was prepared from Thornton’s 1874 revision includes a foreword that examines a new framework for solving the global financial crisis, financing economic growth and enabling every citizen to become an owner of productive capital, as well as appendices explaining topical references and the political and economic environment within which Thornton worked.

Entertaining yet scholarly, this book is "must reading" for anyone interested in Ireland or a viable solution to today's global economic crisis.

Table of Contents

1. Comparative Productiveness of Large and Small Farms

2. Social Effects of Peasant Proprietorship

3. Effects of Peasant Proprietorship in France

4. Social Effects of Peasant Proprietorship; The Subject Resumed

5. Moral Effects of Peasant Proprietorship

6. Ireland, Past, Present, and Future, as Viewed in 1848

7. Ireland, Forecast from 1873


I.        Letter to the Author from Mr. Le Beir

II.      Remarks by M. de Laveleye

III.     The Great Hunger

IV.     Home Rule

V.      The Fenian Rising

VI.    The Irish National Land League

VII.   William Thornton and Distributism

VIII.  The Principle of Binary Growth

IX.    The Guernsey Case

X.      Pure Credit

XI.     Capital Homesteading

XII.   The Citizens Land Bank

XIII.  The Homeowners Equity Corporation

XIV.  Just Third Way Resources

XV.   Revisions from the 1848 Edition