Synopses & Reviews
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) was one of Americaand#8217;s most famous economists for good reason. From his acerbic analysis of Americaand#8217;s and#8220;private wealth and public squalorand#8221; to his denunciation of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, Galbraithand#160;consistently challenged and#8220;conventional wisdomand#8221; (a phrase he coined). He did so as a witty commentator on Americaand#8217;s political follies and as a versatile author of bestselling booksand#8212;such as The Affluent Society and The New Industrial Stateand#8212;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.
and#8220;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. Galbraithand#8217;s tale but sets it on the broader canvas of Americaand#8217;s political and economic evolution. And Richard Parkerand#8217;s book does just that.and#8221;and#8212;Economist
and#8220;Parkerand#8217;s book is more than a chronicle of Galbraithand#8217;s life; itand#8217;s a history of American politics and policy from FDR through George W. Bush. . . . It will make readers more economically and politically aware.and#8221;and#8212;USA Today
and#160;and#8220;The most readable and instructive biography of the century.and#8221;and#8212;William F. Buckley, National Review
and#8220;The story of this manand#8217;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.and#8221;and#8212;James Carroll, Boston Globe
In the first full-length biography of Galbraith and his times, Parker provides not only a nuanced portrait of this extraordinary man, but also an important reinterpretation of 20th-century public policy and economic practices.
About the Author
Richard Parker is an Oxford-trained economist and senior fellow of the Shorenstein Center at Harvardand#8217;s John F. Kennedy School of Government. A cofounder of the magazine Mother Jones, he writes extensively on economics and public policy.
Table of Contents
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 Onand#8212;Toward 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 Liberals13. The Affluent Society: Parting Company with the Mainstream
14. Kennedy, Sputnik, and "Liberal Growthmanship"
15. On the New Frontier
17. Tragedy, Triumph, Tragedy
18. The New Industrial State
20. Galbraith and Nixon: Two Keynesian Presidents
21. The Price of Hypocrisy22. The Great Unraveling
23. The Economics of Joy
24. Joy Fades
25. Century's End
Conclusion: The Galbraith Legacy