A Journey Through Economic Time: A Firsthand View

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9780395741757: A Journey Through Economic Time: A Firsthand View

Now in paperback, Galbraith's eyewitness account of the economic trends, watersheds, and foibles of our time is one of his most popular and accessible books yet, translated into a dozen languages. From World War I and the Russian Revolution to the implications of communism's fall, from the "superbly insane decade of the twenties" and the Great Depression to the Reagan era and beyond, the renowned economist here exhibits unmatched wisdom and scope. Whether he is analyzing Keynesian theory or the end of colonialism, the forging of Kennedy's New Frontier, or the "unintended history of the 1980s," this master narrator epitomizes the hindsight and the vision of one who actively influenced many of the events so colorfully chronicled here.

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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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

From Galbraith, now 85 and professor emeritus at Harvard, a personal, idiosyncratic, and thin history of the economics of the century. Relying mostly on ``experience, observation and reflection. And on a reasonably capacious memory,'' this book is not going to make Galbraith's reputation for authoritative analysis. Nor does he deal with much care with the views of those with whom he disagrees: He notes that one economist ``held, in early anticipation of Ronald Reagan, that the economic system rightly rewarded the rich for their contribution to general well-being and wisely punished the poor for their inadequacy.'' This is good knockabout stuff, but not really scrupulous economic history. But Galbraith's views are not always predictable. Although he is conventional enough in holding that WW I was the great turning point in modern economic history, that Churchill's decision to return Great Britain to the gold standard at the old exchange rate in the 1920s was an unqualified disaster, and that Keynes saved the capitalist system, he also refers to the ``dark side of the Keynesian system,'' the resistance in good times to reducing the deficit that has been accumulated in the bad. He also breaks with political correctness in calling the belief in the transition in the post-WW II period of new nations from colonialism to secure self-governing systems ``one of the great errors in history.'' In his usual disarming and self- deprecatory way he admits to not foreseeing the eventual failure of the Soviet system. Perhaps more damaging to his reputation as a seer, however, given some recent positive economic indicators, is his asking whether the American economy has now entered a new phase that will be characterized by a high level of unemployment and a minimal rate of growth. Galbraith still writes better than any of his colleagues, but this material is more suitable to an after-dinner speech before a mellow and pleasantly partisan audience. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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John Kenneth Galbraith
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Galbraith, John Kenneth
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