John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith

Galbraith was a long-time Harvard faculty member and stayed with Harvard University for half a century as a professor of economics. Galbraith was considered as an iconoclast by many economists. This is partly because he rejected the technical analysis and mathematical modelling of neoclassical economics as being divorced from reality.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the most widely read economists in the United States. One reason is that he wrote so well, with the ability to turn a clever phrase that made those he argued against look foolish.

Galbraith’s first major book, published in 1952, is American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power. In it he argued that giant firms had replaced small ones to the point where the perfectly competitive model no longer applied to much of the American economy. But not to worry, he added. The power of large firms was offset by the countervailing power of large unions, so that consumers were protected by competing centers of power.

Galbraith made his biggest splash with his 1958 book, The Affluent Society, in which he contrasted the affluence of the private sector with the squalor of the public sector.

List of Books by John Kenneth Galbraith

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