THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY by John Kenneth Galbraith


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The author of American Capitalism and The Great Crash, 1929 attempts here to demonstrate that the economic ideas which guide our society -- an affluent society -- are not only rooted in the past but are largely relevant only to the past, to a time when grim scarcity and poverty were the overwhelmingly dominant economic and human concern.

He traces the overriding emphasis on production from the inception of economics as a "science" -- with Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, J.S. Mill, through Marx, the American school, to Keynes -- and insists that the modern prevailing economic problems of inflation and creation of consumer demand will never satisfactorily be solved if production is seen as the central economic issue. Rather, "the failure to keep public services in minimal relation to private production and the use of goods is a cause of social disorder and impairs economic performance."

A book which deliberately sets out to disturb, provoke, criticize -- and it does all this, loquaciously.
Pub Date: May 27th, 1958
ISBN: 0395925002
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1958


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