The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith Edited by Richard P.F. Holt and published last month by Cambridge University Press is a big book containing the best of the correspondence of the estimated economist, Nobel prize and Harvard professor.
once wrote "I write letters...not to persuade people for which
such communications are largely worthless, but to please myself, to
celebrate absurdity and because the truth on many letters is a most
If you want
to understand the last century and part of the new one you can't avoid
to read this book, because this man maybe "behind" the scenes, with his
advice influenced many Presidents and was surely one of the pillars of
the American economic system.
wanted to do Galbraith was to tried to ending war, fighting at the same
time poverty, trying to give a good life to everyone.
The work of Mr.Holt for selected these letters has been massive because the correspondence of Mr. Galbraith was immense and it was thanks to his three sons, The John
Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston that this book was
born. Other libraries visited by Mr.Holt the Schlesinger Library
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
like also Sincerely the formulas with which John Kenneth Galbraith used to close
most of his letters. He could have sent a letter to William Clinton, to
some relatives, this one were his last favorite words for ending a letter.
Being an economist his letters went right to the point and never particularly warm in the most common sense of the word.
He was a man who loved to go right to the point without to lose time in other frivolous aspects.
writing-style was colloquial with everyone. He was friend with Presidents, first ladies passing through many other President's advicers and counselors. He was very direct, exposing what he thought about a certain problem to the other person and what according to his point of view it was necessary to do for bettering a certain state of things. He could be the President of the USA, and in this case these counsels more than precious, he could be someone else.
These letters plenty of good informations, like when he wrote to John Kennedy (he called him Jack) about the problems of farmers or for the final President's acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
also did the editing work for the inaugural speech on January 20 1961
These words said by President Kennedy written by him: "Let us never
negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
on October 15 1908 in Iona Ontario, Canada, graduated from Ontario
Agricultural College he received a research stipend for working at the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics at the University of California at Berkeley accepting in 1934 a position
at Harvard University. His work with agricultural economist John
D.Black, who later became someone very important to him. His mentor. John D.Black grew up this
John Kenneth Galbraith was a prolific man. He published a lot of books, an autobiography, in 2000 he was awarded of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. He died in Cambridge Massachusetts on April 29 2006.
first we find the fresh correspondence with his family members while he was still studying. When he started to work, John Kenneth Galbraith in his
correspondence appeared a bit worried about where to work exactly as
anyone else in this world although later he found his place and became
the most important economist of the world.
Also when he became old and started to complain that his health wasn't great, he loved to be the old one. A bright intellect and a person I think who wanted the best for his country and for the world.
Enjoy the reading.
I can tell you that you will find these letters
plenty of meaning. They're an important window for everyone for understanding
our past decades, economy, policy and interactions between this
mind and his Presidents. Per decades Mr. Galbraith has been
one of the main protagonists of economy.
He was a real great advicer.
Please read the letters he sent to President Lyndon Johnson (he
replaced President Kennedy when killed in Dallas on Nov 22 1963, because
he was vice-president at that time) for understanding the dynamics of
policy in Washington and his suggestions.
During the Vietnam War polemics with a conservative columnist of the Boston Globe Joe Alsop regarding his support at that war. These letters to the editor continued for a long time and Alsop always the main protagonist of these attacks.
what appear more strong to me is his correspondence with Henry Kissinger
in which Galbraith complain about the administration its behavior during the Vietnam War. According to Galbraith the biggest mistake
entering in this war. This terrible chapter of history of the USA
lived by Galbraith as a great problem because I guess he understood the
consequences of the failure for the USA and he tried all his best to
fight an intellectual pacific war with all the pro-war in the USA.
Writing to newsmagazines, contacting other influential people, whatever
he could do sometimes I guess just for writing down his personal
impressions and de-stressing his mind.
This book is a treasure. A treasure of informations, a treasure of a life well spent, and a great legacy for the newest generations of politicians, economists and advisers.
I thank NetGalley and Cambridge University Press for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori