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April 30, 2006

RIP, Funny Economist

Katrina vanden Heuvel has written a nice post about John Kenneth Galbraith, who died last night at 97.

I like to refer to Galbraith as history's funniest economist. Of course, that's like calling him the tallest mountain in Iowa. But he was still pretty funny. I laugh whenever I think of the title of his book Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went.

And beyond the funny title, Money is extremely informative and well-written. There are a few excerpts online here.

UPDATE: Roger at Limited, Inc. has worthwhile thoughts about Galbraith here.

Posted at April 30, 2006 11:50 AM | TrackBack

My own little eulogy is here. -- the vanity of calling attention to it is redeemed by the Davies poem quoted in it, I hope.

Posted by: roger at April 30, 2006 02:54 PM

Maybe 15 years ago I learned an enormous amount from Galbraith's "the Anatomy of Power".

It's a short book and sort of tedious (unlike most of his books apparently) but it really got hold of how power is expressed, and described the symmetries in these various ways.

The book possibly over-generalized, but it was awesome for me at the time, at least. Not to make a comparison, but right after that I tried to read some of Bertrand Russell's book about Power (written much earlier), but Galbraith's take was more focused, closer to the terrible truth.

Posted by: the guy who dissed the rock critic at April 30, 2006 06:51 PM

Funny or not, he worked with FDR, and knew Eisenhower and Kennedy, and never once called Bush,jr a butthead. That's class.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at May 1, 2006 07:04 AM