Synopses & Reviews
This compact, tightly argued, and eloquent book is the quintessential John Kenneth Galbraith, the manifesto of the "abiding liberal." In defining the characteristics of a good society and creating the blueprint for a workable agenda, Galbraith allows for human weakness without compromising a humane culture, and recognizes barriers that hinder but do not defeat a responsible, stable, and hopeful future.
March 1, 1996
"Nearing 90 years of age and with 30 books to his credit, Galbraith is in a position to sit back and reflect. Contemplating what kind of society we can have and what kind we seem to want to have, he tries to reconcile the differences. Galbraith holds out--and holds out for--"the good society." He knowingly appropriates this frequently used phrase, acknowledging that it was first used in the 1920s by Walter Lippmann in his same-titled "defense" of the principles of liberalism. Timed to stir both voters and candidates, The Good Society calls for compassionate social responsibility. Galbraith suggests that the current political agenda that attacks the poor received the explicit support of less than one-fourth of the electorate, and he makes the case that the "haves" can still have it without having to have it all. Because of who Galbraith is, this will be an important book, and libraries wanting to strengthen collections to cover topics relevant to the presidential election campaign may want extra copies." Booklist, ALA
Galbraith also recognizes human weakness, differences in ability and motivation, and the formidable obstacles facing those who challenge the status quo. No one else explains the interplay of economic and political forces with Galbraith's exquisite clarity.
About the Author
John Kenneth Galbraith who was born in 1908, is the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University and a past president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the distinguished author of thirty-one books spanning three decades, including The Affluent Society, The Good Society, and The Great Crash. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Oxford, the University of Paris, and Moscow University, and in 1997 he was inducted into the Order of Canada and received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2000, at a White House ceremony, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.