Tuesday, October 04, 2005

John Kennith Galbriath

I've just stumbled across this book review and it is well worth a read:

The book is - John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics. Richard Parker. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005, 820 pp. $35.00

And the reviewer is J. Bradford DeLong who (of all people) gives Galbraith a sympathetic hearing. The review is in Foreign Affairs.

Towards the end DeLong makes the point that Social Democracy is something that goes against what he thinks is America’s self image: individualism and the Horatio Alger dream of upward social mobility. I’m not sure that I agree with this entirely, but I do think that the Alger myth has been a strong tool in American history for the stifling of progressive change. I also think that DeLong makes a sensible additional point that Social Democratic reforms are much easier to implement when memories of a time of crisis (the great depression in this case) are still strong in the public’s mind.

The New York Review of Books also has an excellent review of Parker's book - it can be found here.

1 comment:

Chris said...
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