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An Essay Upon Projects   By: (1661?-1731)

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An Essay Upon Projects by Daniel Defoe is a thought-provoking and insightful piece that delves into a wide range of social and economic concepts. First published in 1697, this book exemplifies Defoe's knack for examining and critiquing various aspects of society, all while proposing innovative solutions.

One of the standout features of this book is Defoe's ability to address a diverse array of projects, ranging from practical ventures to more abstract ideas. Whether discussing topics like education, social welfare, or economic development, Defoe presents a comprehensive and analytical approach that leaves readers pondering the implications of his proposals.

Defoe's writing style is clear and concise, yet rich in detail. He provides concrete examples and hypothetical scenarios to support his arguments, effectively conveying his ideas to readers. Moreover, his use of persuasive rhetoric adds weight to his proposals, making them all the more compelling.

What sets this book apart is its enduring relevance. Despite being written over three centuries ago, Defoe's reflections on society remain applicable to modern times. His observations on the flaws and shortcomings of the educational system, for instance, are still pertinent today. Furthermore, his discussions on economic projects and the organization of labor offer valuable insights that are still relevant to contemporary societies.

However, it is worth noting that some readers might find An Essay Upon Projects a bit dense and challenging to navigate. Defoe often presents complex ideas that require careful attention and reflection. While this may prove daunting for casual readers, those with a keen interest in social and economic issues will find themselves captivated by Defoe's insights.

In conclusion, An Essay Upon Projects by Daniel Defoe is a timeless work that tackles a wide range of societal matters. Defoe's ability to propose innovative ideas, coupled with his astute observations on society, make this book a must-read for anyone interested in history, economics, or sociology.

First Page:



Introduction Author's Preface Author's Introduction The History of Projects Of Projectors Of Banks Of the Multiplicity of Banks Of the Highways Of Assurances Of Friendly Societies Of Seamen Of Wagering Of Fools A Charity Lottery Of Bankrupts Of Academies Of a Court Merchant Of Seamen The Conclusion


Defoe's "Essay on Projects" was the first volume he published, and no great writer ever published a first book more characteristic in expression of his tone of thought. It is practical in the highest degree, while running over with fresh speculation that seeks everywhere the well being of society by growth of material and moral power. There is a wonderful fertility of mind, and almost whimsical precision of detail, with good sense and good humour to form the groundwork of a happy English style. Defoe in this book ran again and again into sound suggestions that first came to be realised long after he was dead. Upon one subject, indeed, the education of women, we have only just now caught him up. Defoe wrote the book in 1692 or 1693, when his age was a year or two over thirty, and he published it in 1697.

Defoe was the son of James Foe, of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, whose family had owned grazing land in the country, and who himself throve as a meat salesman in London... Continue reading book >>

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