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John KennethGalbraith, 6 March 1986

by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 220 pp., £12.95, February 1986, 0 00 217584 3
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... 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 ...


Edward Luttwak, 19 November 1992

The Culture of Contentment 
by J.K. Galbraith.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 195 pp., £14.95, April 1992, 1 85619 147 8
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... of the scholarly pretences of his fellow economists and of all manner of other balderdash, John KennethGalbraith’s only reticence hides a skilfully disguised but intense puritanism. He may not suffer the classic puritan’s agonies at the thought that somebody, somewhere is having a good time, but if ...

What difference did she make?

Eric Hobsbawm, 23 May 1991

A Question of Leadership: Gladstone to Thatcher 
by Peter Clarke.
Hamish Hamilton, 334 pp., £17.99, April 1991, 0 241 13005 0
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The Quiet Rise of John Major 
by Edward Pearce.
Weidenfeld, 177 pp., £14.99, April 1991, 0 297 81208 4
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... who range from newspaper editors to political historians, it may make very little difference. As John KennethGalbraith has observed, changing the top man in important business corporations rarely affects the price of their shares on the market. A rapid glance at the history of the USA also suggests scepticism about ...

Young Marvin

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1991

A Tenured Professor 
by John KennethGalbraith.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 197 pp., £12.95, November 1990, 1 85619 018 8
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Shade those laurels 
by Cyril Connolly and Peter Levi.
Bellew, 174 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 0 947792 37 6
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... economists, and presumably almost everybody else, think these ideas to be for the most part dotty. Galbraith obviously thinks so, though he does not enter directly into the matter of Rational Expectations. Instead he tells us of a young economist who, like his creator, has found evidence, from tulipomania and the South Sea Bubble to the market crashes of 1929 ...

Remaking the Centre

David Marquand, 3 July 1980

Annals of an Abiding Liberal 
by John KennethGalbraith.
Deutsch, 388 pp., £6.95, April 1980, 0 233 97209 9
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... peaceful redistribution is not only possible but easy. Read against this background. Professor Galbraith’s collection of book reviews, essays and travel pieces is doubly disappointing. Annals of an Abiding Liberal is a classic example of vanity publishing. It has no message – except, perhaps, that Galbraith is an ...
Founders of the Welfare State 
edited by Paul Barker.
Gower, 138 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 435 82060 5
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The Affluent Society 
by John KennethGalbraith.
Deutsch, 291 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 233 97771 6
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... classes have been more skilful than most in avoiding being hanged from lamposts. But, as J.K. Galbraith notes in a new introduction to his reissued classic The Affluent Society, a shift of political power to the affluent has taken place since the book was published in 1958. Is he right to look back at the growth of the Welfare State as ‘a ...


Peter Pulzer, 20 February 1986

The Redefinition of Conservatism: Politics and Doctrine 
by Charles Covell.
Macmillan, 267 pp., £27.50, January 1986, 0 333 38463 6
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Thinkers of the New Left 
by Roger Scruton.
Longman, 227 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 582 90273 8
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The Idea of Liberalism: Studies for a New Map of Politics 
by George Watson.
Macmillan, 172 pp., £22.50, November 1985, 0 333 38754 6
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Socialism and Freedom 
by Bryan Gould.
Macmillan, 109 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 333 40580 3
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... discriminating and curiously detached study of the Cambridge fogeys – Michael Oakeshott, John Casey, Maurice Cowling and Roger Scruton – with side-glances at Shirley Robin Letwin and the conservative potential in Wittgenstein, Elizabeth Anscombe and Philippa Foot. Other than that, some of the conservatives are closer to liberalism than others; some ...

Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history, 1 April 1999

The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... of the IWW, the Communist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Louis Tikas (a union leader gunned down in John D. Rockefeller Jr’s ‘Ludlow Massacre’ of striking copper miners and their families), but also recognises the corporate and state industrial violence and denial of labour freedom that was a distinctive feature of the ‘American ...

Is the Soviet Union over?

John Lloyd, 27 September 1990

Moving the Mountain: Inside the Perestroika Revolution 
by Abel Aganbegyan, translated by Helen Szamuely.
Bantam, 248 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 593 01818 4
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Gorbachev’s Struggle for Economic Reform: The Soviet Reform Process 
by Anders Aslund.
Pinter, 219 pp., £35, May 1989, 0 86187 008 5
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... socialist economy, get anything from Milton Friedman – as you could, say, from Paul Samuelson or John KennethGalbraith, two US economists who are well-known in reformist circles and the availability of whose work in translation pre-dates Gorbachev. Does Aganbegyan not understand this? Or is he, in the Soviet ...

What happened to the Labour Party?

W.G. Runciman: The difference between then and now, 22 June 2006

... speak, under their feet. But it is hard not to speculate about what might have been different had John Smith lived to become prime minister in Blair’s stead. Whether you approve of it or not, Blair’s success in outflanking the traditional party of the right from within the traditional party of the left was achieved with remarkable rhetorical and political ...

Christopher Hitchens states a prosecution case

Christopher Hitchens, 25 October 1990

Crossman: The Pursuit of Power 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 361 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 224 02592 9
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... minister, I’ll never again be as great as I was at Winchester.’ ‘Dick’ is immortalised by John Betjeman: Broad of Church and Broad of Mind, Broad Before and Broad Behind. ‘Dick’ competes with Auden for the affections of a rugby-player – I cherish this bit because years later, in a villainous wine-bar called the Bung Hole, Crossman told a group ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1995, 4 January 1996

... Smith Institute for the Criminally Insane, banging the same drum in the Independent. Not long ago John Bird and John Fortune did a sketch about the privatisation of air. These days it scarcely seems unthinkable. 28 February. There have been football riots in Bruges, where Chelsea have been playing, with, responsible for ...

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