John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith is President of the American Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters. A selection of his writings over the last thirty years, A View from the Stands, is due out shortly in America.


John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 March 1986

The most sordid, even depraved literature of our time, soft-core pornography possibly apart, is the political memoir or biography. In the United States these are now rushed to the press within a few weeks of the individual’s having left or been ejected from office, this in the hope of beating the benign and ineluctable forces that are returning the individual to the obscurity for which nature intended him. A socially adverse public record is, on the whole, advantageous. The more felonious associates of Richard Nixon were unquestionably enhanced as authors by their criminality. However, this is not essential: Mr David Stockman, President Reagan’s first Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the OMB, has been offered a million or so for the rendering of his tenure in public office. This latter involved no known larceny or perversion of law: Mr Stockman gained fame for the single-minded determination with which he cut social services for the poor in order to promote tax relief for the adequately or extremely affluent – a case of financial incentive rewarding the giving of financial incentives, as they are called.’


Edward Luttwak, 19 November 1992

The extrovert author of numerous books, including the highly enjoyable Affluent Society and Great Crash of 1929, longtime Harvard professor (now emeritus), once New Delhi’s greatest...

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Young Marvin

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1991

The author of A Tenured Professor is not only a famous tenured professor of economics but, unlike many of the breed, an elegantly witty writer. From time to time he demonstrates his versatility...

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At an international conference I attended the other day someone spoke of European civilisation as the civilisation of Christendom, the Renaissance and the Welfare State. A somewhat flowery way of...

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Remaking the Centre

David Marquand, 3 July 1980

For more than a generation, what Europeans call social democracy and what Americans call liberalism has been the dominant political creed of the North Atlantic world. Its achievements have been...

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