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Unto This Last

John Ruskin

Book Overview: 

Unto This Last is an important work of political economic though that influenced Gandhi, among others.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It has so arranged its political squabbles for the last six or seven hundred years, that not one of them could be fought out but in the midst of its most precious art; and it so arranges them to this day. For example, if I were asked to lay my finger, in a map of the world, on the spot of the world's surface which contained at this moment the most singular concentration of art-teaching and art-treasure, I should lay it on the name of the town of Verona. Other cities, indeed, contain more works of carriageable art, but none contain so much of the glorious local art, and of the springs and sources of art, which can by no means be made subjects of package or porterage, nor, I grieve to say, of salvage. Verona possesses, in the first place, not the largest, but the most perfect and intelligible Roman amphitheatre that exists, still unbroken in circle of step, and strong in succession of vault and arch: it contains minor Roman monuments, gateways, theatres, baths, wrecks of te. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Ruskin believed in the Middle Ages and resented that they had ever ended. In this particular book – a collection of four lectures on contemporary economics, published in 1862 – the Middle Ages are not exactly front and center. They hover in the background, however, and Ruskin achieves an unexpected

Unto This Last is the best political economy essays I've read. Ruskin's business was art and made his living as a critic. This does not seem to be the best foundation for a politcal economist but it does once you start reading... great art is not made possible without the distribution of wealth bein

How did it come about that in the twenty-first century West, and in the United States specifically, political “conservatism” has wedded itself to a credulous, Panglossian reverence for the socially catastrophic and anticommunitarian consolidations of rentier monopoly capitalism, while any critique o

There is a reason why Ruskin is remembered as an art critic and not as an economist. There are so many fallacies in these essays that after a while I quit trying to analyze them and just let the words flow over me. Ruskin did write well, so the flow of the words gives a certain pleasure. Ruskin had

On the back of this book it says that Proust declared of Ruskin: "He will teach me, for is not he, too, in some degree the Truth?"

This is one of the most interesting and compelling works of non-fiction I've read, ever. A monumental thinker.

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