John Kenneth Galbraith
His Life, His Politics, His EconomicsBook - 2005
"Today, more than a half century since his writing first won him widespread acclaim, Canadian-born Harvard professor John Kenneth Galbraith remains the world's most famous living economist. The author of four dozen books and more than eleven hundred articles, recipient of nearly fifty honorary degrees, a former ambassaor and presidential advisor, he has continued writing, traveling, and lecturing into his nineties...And he has, in innumerable ways, left his mark upon our times."
YET, AS BIOGRAPHER Richard Parker explains, Galbraith remains a disputed figure. His eloquently liberal views have often been out of sync with prevailing political winds, and other economists have disparagingly called him "America's foremost economist for non-economists." How did an Ontario farm boy grow up to be this provocative, iconic thinker? Who is the man behind the quietly controversial ideas? With the recent fallout from deregulated markets, corporate greed and the cost of military might - all dangers Galbraith warned against - are his theories more relevant than ever?
Richard Parker, an Oxford-trained economist and well-known writer on American politics and economics, assesses Galbraith's wide-ranging legacy in a much-anticipated biography that is not only exhaustive in its research and scope but a delight to read. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Galbraith and many of his contemporaries - including Arthur Schlesinger, as well as prominent economists, such as Nobel winners Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz - Parker reveals the man and the thinker, tracing a fascinating career and a life. A book for all those interested in the influence of economics on our politics and culture, and a must-read for biography fans, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics is one of this year's most important books.