May 03, 2006

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)

When I was a green undergraduate sociology student, John Kenneth Galbraith's book "The New Industrial State" was required reading for the "Economics & Society" course. I don't know why it has always stayed with me, but it did spark an enduring interest in the broader issues involved in economic theory and economic history. I also think because Galbraith never used mathematics in his books to make points, it made it easier for me to understand and digest, at least it was for my non-math inclined mind. I also remember marvelling at the beautifully crafted language he used, and a touch of humour not often found in set text books.
I would love to see the BBC series made on "The Age of Uncertainty", which screened in 1977, way before cable or satellite TV reached my shores from Britain. But I did buy the book and translated the main chunks for a radio series.
There is a marvellous obituary documentary piece by Paul Salmon of the PBS News Hour here. Galbraith's Wikipedia entry is here.

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