Robert D. Johnston
Robert D. Johnston is associate professor of history and director of the Teaching of History program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon (Princeton University Press, 2003). He has won the Joel Palmer Award, for best article in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, and he is guest editor for a special series of issues of the OHQ commemorating the sesquicentennial of Oregon statehood. He is currently working on a book about the history of vaccination controversies in American history.
Virtually unheard of since World War I, the single tax was arguably the most contentious issue in Oregon politics during the early twentieth century. The brainchild of reformer Henry George, the single tax involved government appropriation of all "unearned" increases in land values. A concrete example: If Henry Corbett bought …