Resurrecting a good novel

Reading Resurrection. This is Leo Tolstoy's last great novel. In the author's lifetime it was more popular than Anna Karenina or War and Peace. It remains Tolstoy's strongest condemnation of social, judicial and religious conditions that were at the root of the misery suffered by the masses. Resurrection is as valid today, as it was at the time of publication, not long before the Revolution that sought to change the world and the condition of the people. Perhaps the novel should be resurrected...

Now it seemed as clear as daylight that the chief
cause of the people's great want was one that they themselves
knew and always pointed out, i.e., that the land which alone
could feed them had been taken from them by the landlords.

And how evident it was that the children and the aged died
because they had no milk, and they had no milk because there was
no pasture land, and no land to grow corn or make hay on. It was
quite evident that all the misery of the people or, at least by
far the greater part of it, was caused by the fact that the land
which should feed them was not in their hands, but in the hands
of those who, profiting by their rights to the land, live by the
work of these people. The land so much needed by men was tilled
by these people, who were on the verge of starvation, so that the
corn might be sold abroad and the owners of the land might buy
themselves hats and canes, and carriages and bronzes, etc. He
understood this as clearly as he understood that horses when they
have eaten all the grass in the inclosure where they are kept
will have to grow thin and starve unless they are put where they
can get food off other land.

This was terrible, and must not go on. Means must be found to
alter it, or at least not to take part in it. "And I will find
them," he thought, as he walked up and down the path under the
birch trees.

In scientific circles, Government institutions, and in the papers
we talk about the causes of the poverty among the people and the
means of ameliorating their condition; but we do not talk of the
only sure means which would certainly lighten their condition,
i.e., giving back to them the land they need so much.

Henry George's fundamental position recurred vividly to his mind
and how he had once been carried away by it, and he was surprised
that he could have forgotten it. The earth cannot be any one's
property; it cannot be bought or sold any more than water, air,
or sunshine. All have an equal right to the advantages it gives
to men.

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