John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics

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9780226646770: John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) was one of America’s most famous economists for good reason. From his acerbic analysis of America’s “private wealth and public squalor” to his denunciation of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, Galbraith consistently challenged “conventional wisdom” (a phrase he coined). He did so as a witty commentator on America’s political follies and as a versatile author of bestselling books—such as The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State—that warn of the dangers of deregulated markets, corporate greed, and inattention to the costs of our military power. Here, in the first full-length biography of Galbraith and his times, Richard Parker provides not only a nuanced portrait of this extraordinary man, but also an important reinterpretation of twentieth-century public policy and economic practices.

 

“Whatever you may think of his ideas, John Kenneth Galbraith has led an extraordinary life. . . . Doing justice to this life story requires an outsize biography, one that not only tells Mr. Galbraith’s tale but sets it on the broader canvas of America’s political and economic evolution. And Richard Parker’s book does just that.”—Economist

 

“Parker’s book is more than a chronicle of Galbraith’s life; it’s a history of American politics and policy from FDR through George W. Bush. . . . It will make readers more economically and politically aware.”—USA Today

 

 “The most readable and instructive biography of the century.”—William F. Buckley, National Review

      

“The story of this man’s life and work is wonderfully rendered in this magnum opus, and offers an antidote to the public ennui, economic cruelty, and government malfeasance that poison life in America today.”—James Carroll, Boston Globe

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Review:

John Kenneth Galbraith has led an extraordinary life. The world's most famous living economist started teaching at Harvard when he was just 25 years old and has sold seven million copies of his four dozen books. One reviewer said Galbraith wrote "history that reads like a poem." During World War II, at age 32, he was named "tsar" of consumer-price controls in the United States, and he later advised three American presidents and served as ambassador to India. Now in his 90s, Galbraith is still active and has received 50 honorary degrees. All this was accomplished by a Canadian born in a tiny Ontario farming hamlet, whose major at an obscure agricultural college wasn't even economics but animal husbandry. Such an irony is typical of Galbraith's renowned iconoclasm, writes Richard Parker in his 820-page biography John Kenneth Galbraith.

Parker shows how Galbraith's irreverent views were shaped by the Depression, which helped turn him into a passionate advocate of Keynesian economics, the philosophy that inspired FDR's New Deal. Galbraith later became one of the architects of the expansion of federal social services after World War II. Because of his influence in successive administrations, readers get a fascinating fly-on-the-wall picture of debates and intrigue inside the White House during many of the major crises of the Cold War. Galbraith frequently played crucial behind-the-scenes roles that went beyond the duties of an economist: advising President Kennedy during the Cuba missile crisis, helping Lyndon Johnson write his first speech after Kennedy was assassinated, and opposing the Vietnam War, which became his most passionate cause. He later criticized the dismantling of government programs under Ronald Reagan and seemed to love clashing with conservative economists. Parker managed to sift through a mountain of material from Galbraith's long and lively years to distill an engaging narrative that, like Galbraith's own books, is easily accessible to non-economists. --Alex Roslin

About the Author:

Richard Parker is an Oxford-trained economist and senior fellow of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. A cofounder of the magazine Mother Jones, he writes extensively on economics and public policy.

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Book Description University Of Chicago Press, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Introduction: On First Coming to Cambridge 1. Growing Up in Special Places 2. Harvard in the 1930s 3. American Agriculture and the New Deal 4. Getting Ready for Keynes 5. Going to the Temple 6. Moving OnToward War 7. Now Comes War 8. Luce, Keynes, and "The American Century" 9. Surveying the Consequences of War 10. A New War Beginning 11. Back to Harvard: New Economics and New Voices 12. Stevenson and the Liberals 13.The Affluent Society: Parting Company with the Mainstream 14. Kennedy,Sputnik, and "Liberal Growthmanship" 15. On the New Frontier 16. India 17. Tragedy, Triumph, Tragedy 18.The New Industrial State 19. Collisions 20. Galbraith and Nixon: Two Keynesian Presidents 21. The Price of Hypocrisy 22. The Great Unraveling 23. The Economics of Joy 24. Joy Fades 25. Century's End Conclusion: The Galbraith Legacy Notes Acknowledgments Index. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0226646777

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 230 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) was one of America s most famous economists for good reason. From his acerbic analysis of America s private wealth and public squalor to his denunciation of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, Galbraithconsistently challenged conventional wisdom (a phrase he coined). He did so as a witty commentator on America s political follies and as a versatile author of bestselling books such as The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State that warn of the dangers of deregulated markets, corporate greed, and inattention to the costs of our military power. Here, in the first full-length biography of Galbraith and his times, Richard Parker provides not only a nuanced portrait of this extraordinary man, but also an important reinterpretation of twentieth-century public policy and economic practices. Whatever you may think of his ideas, John Kenneth Galbraith has led an extraordinary life. . . . Doing justice to this life story requires an outsize biography, one that not only tells Mr. Galbraith s tale but sets it on the broader canvas of America s political and economic evolution. And Richard Parker s book does just that. Economist Parker s book is more than a chronicle of Galbraith s life; it s a history of American politics and policy from FDR through George W. Bush. . . . It will make readers more economically and politically aware. USA Today The most readable and instructive biography of the century. William F. Buckley, National Review The story of this man s life and work is wonderfully rendered in this magnum opus, and offers an antidote to the public ennui, economic cruelty, and government malfeasance that poison life in America today. James Carroll, Boston Globe. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780226646770

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 230 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) was one of America s most famous economists for good reason. From his acerbic analysis of America s private wealth and public squalor to his denunciation of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, Galbraithconsistently challenged conventional wisdom (a phrase he coined). He did so as a witty commentator on America s political follies and as a versatile author of bestselling books such as The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State that warn of the dangers of deregulated markets, corporate greed, and inattention to the costs of our military power. Here, in the first full-length biography of Galbraith and his times, Richard Parker provides not only a nuanced portrait of this extraordinary man, but also an important reinterpretation of twentieth-century public policy and economic practices. Whatever you may think of his ideas, John Kenneth Galbraith has led an extraordinary life. . . . Doing justice to this life story requires an outsize biography, one that not only tells Mr. Galbraith s tale but sets it on the broader canvas of America s political and economic evolution. And Richard Parker s book does just that. Economist Parker s book is more than a chronicle of Galbraith s life; it s a history of American politics and policy from FDR through George W. Bush. . . . It will make readers more economically and politically aware. USA Today The most readable and instructive biography of the century. William F. Buckley, National Review The story of this man s life and work is wonderfully rendered in this magnum opus, and offers an antidote to the public ennui, economic cruelty, and government malfeasance that poison life in America today. James Carroll, Boston Globe. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780226646770

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