John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith (găl´brāth), 1908–2006, American economist and public official, b. Ontario, Canada, grad. Univ. of Toronto (B.S., 1931), Univ. of California, Berkeley (M.S., 1933; Ph.D., 1934). After becoming (1937) a U.S. citizen and teaching economics at Harvard (1934–39) and Princeton (1939–40), he entered government service, working (1941–43) in the Office of Price Administration. He was an editor of Fortune magazine from 1943–48, also serving on the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (1945) and in other governmental advisory posts before returning (1949) to Harvard. An adviser to Democratic presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, most prominently to John F. Kennedy, he also was (1961–63) U.S. ambassador to India. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 1963 (he became a professor emeritus in 1975) and continued his political activities, serving (1967–69) as chairman of Americans for Democratic Action. A Keynesian economist and a celebrated liberal, Galbraith advocated government spending to fight unemployment, supported the use of more of the nation's wealth for public services and less for private consumption, and warned against an unregulated free-market system. An influential thinker and a popularizer of economic thought, he wrote more than 40 books including American Capitalism (1952), The Great Crash 1929 (1955), The Affluent Society (1958, rev. ed. 1985), The Liberal Hour (1960), The New Industrial State (1967, rev. ed. 1971), Economics and the Public Purpose (1973), The Good Society (1997), and The Economics of Innocent Fraud (2004). A witty and urbane man with wide-ranging interests, he also wrote a book on Indian art (1968) and several novels.

See his memoir, The Scotch (1964, repr. 1985); autobiography, A Life in Our Times (1981); Ambassador's Journal (1969); and history, Name-Dropping: From FDR On (1999); J. Goodman, ed., Letters to Kennedy/John Kenneth Galbraith (1998); J. R. and J. B. Stanfield, ed., Interviews with John Kenneth Galbraith (2004); A. D. Williams, ed., The Essential Galbraith (2001); biography by R. Parker (2005); studies by C. H. Hession (1972), M. E. Sharpe (1973), A. D. Williams (1979), D. Reisman (1980), J. R. Stanfield (1996), H. Sasson, ed. (1999), and B. Laperche and D. Uzunidis, ed. (2005).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Economist with a Public Purpose: Essays in Honour of John Kenneth Galbraith
Michael Keaney.
Routledge, 2001
American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power
John Kenneth Galbraith.
Houghton Mifflin, 1952
Perspectives on 20th Century America: Readings and Commentary
Otis L. Graham Jr.
Dodd, Mead, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Causes of the Great Depression" by John Kenneth Galbraith
Has Capitalism Changed? An International Symposium on the Nature of Contemporary Capitalism
Shigeto Tsuru.
Iwanami Shoten, 1961
Perspectives on Conservation: Essays on America's Natural Resources
Henry Jarrett.
Johns Hopkins Press, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "How Much Should a Country Consume?" by John Kenneth Galbraith begins on p. 89
The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979
Daniel Horowitz.
University of Massachusetts Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Critique from Within: John Kenneth Galbraith, Vance Packard, and Betty Friedan"
Why Aren't Economists as Important as Garbagemen? Essays on the State of Economics
David Colander.
M. E. Sharpe, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Galbraith and the Theory of Price Control"
John Kenneth Galbraith
Pal, Amitabh.
The Progressive, Vol. 64, No. 10, October 2000
Conflict and Conversion: Henry S. Dennison and the Shaping of J.K. Galbraith's Economic Thought
Bruce, Kyle.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 34, No. 4, December 2000
Free Market Fraud
Galbraith, John Kenneth.
The Progressive, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 1999
Notable U.S. Ambassadors since 1775: A Biographical Dictionary
Cathal J. Nolan.
Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of John Kenneth Galbraith begins on p. 112
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