A Journey Through Economic Time

John Kenneth Galbraith, Author
John Kenneth Galbraith, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-395-63751-7
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
In an incisive informal history that often defies conventional wisdom, Galbraith surveys economic policy and its interaction with politics and society from WW I to the present. Characterizing U.S. economic policy after 1945 as a mix of compassion, idealism and paranoiac fear of communism, the renowned Harvard professor emeritus argues that the European powers and America shed their colonial possessions because colonies no longer conferred a major economic advantage. Galbraith draws lessons broadly applicable to the present, tapping his experience as New Deal reformer, price control manager of the wartime economy and adviser to JFK and Lyndon Johnson. Calling both capitalism and socialism ``supremely irrelevant'' to the early economic development in Third World countries, he advocates an end to the arms trade and a redirection of resources. On the domestic front, he suggests that concerted government action, job creation and public investment are necessary to end the ``war between the comfortable and the underclass.'' (June)