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Henry George Citizen Of World

by Anna George

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HENRY GEORGE - CITIZEN OF THE WORLD by ANNA GEORGE de MILLE INTRODUCTION ANNA GEORGE de MILLE A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR by AGNES de MILLE THE MOST astonishing aspect of the Henry George legend was his effect on all people with whom he came into per sonal contact. Without exception everyone, man or woman, was overwhelmed. He seemed to command a power, particularly in his later years, that was almost mystic. Men did not merely admire, they worshipped. I have met people who differed from his theories I have yet to meet anyone who heard him speak or who knew him and was not dazzled. They became disciples, followers, and heralds, or in the case of his avowed political enemies, reluctant admirers. Today, fifty years after his death, old mens eyes fill with tears at the mention of his name, and I, the granddaughter, have been asked to take off my hat so that the shape of my head could be studied, if strangers could be moved to such immoderation, how should a daughter born and reared in the aura of this blazing personality set herself to tell the story with historical coolness? She was aware of the hazard. With humbleness, with indus try, with watchfulness lest she betray her purpose by any weak ening exuberance, she tried to tell the facts. She was afraid that her relationship would discredit the argument. She did not realize that her relationship was her contribution, and that the overtone of faith that rings through every sentence gives the work its fervor and true meaning. She thought to safeguard her impersonal approach with little subterfuges and masquerades like the enchantingly naive paragraph on page 198 in which she says it was an accident that all of Georges children adopted his ideas indeed, a son of Gandhi would have had as fair a chance of turning militarist as a young George of embracing high tariff protectionism. In her effort at discipline she all but obliterated herself from die tale. She neglected, for instance, to note the fact of her birth, and the date had to be inserted by her editors. More remarkably, she very nearly eliminated her own mother in a kind of biographical suttee. Mrs. George was by all indications a woman of unusual strength and nobility, but, although she was my mothers constant companion, a real paucity of incident il lustrates her memory. One gathers what she was by reflection in her husbands life and through his letters. It is in the family traditions, however, and in my mothers character that one must look for the fantasy and liveliness of spirit that I believe were hers. Henry George had heartiness, but his wife had drollery, caprice, and the delicate conceits to make all family occurrences festivals of charming invention. It was she who danced like a sprite and loved music for its own sake he believed all art should serve a moral purpose. It was she who thought the graces of life worth time and energy, as it was only she, tff course, who had the time to foster them.



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