An Essay on the Principle of Population

This volume makes available to a student audience one of the most controversial and misunderstood works published during the last two hundred years. Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population began life in 1798 as a polite attack on some post-French-revolutionary speculations on the theme of social and human perfectibility. It remains one of the most powerful statements of the limits to human hopes set by the tension between population growth and natural resources. This edition is based on the authoritative variorum of the mature versions of the Essay published over the period 1803 to 1826. The introduction, notes and bibliographic apparatus are aimed specifically at a modern audience interested in how Malthusianism impinges on the history of political thought.

• Best available edition of a fundamental text in economics and political thought • No other edition includes both versions of the Essay • Written by the author of the Past Master on Malthus


Introduction; Acknowledgements and notes on the text; Principle events in the life of Robert Malthus; Biographical notes; Guide to further reading; Essay on the Principle of Population; Index.