A Journey Through Economic Time: A Firsthand View by John Kenneth Galbraith

By John Kenneth Galbraith

A well known economist provides an available, far-reaching historical past of the century's economics from global battle I and the Russian Revolution, throughout the melancholy and Keynesian conception, to colonialism's cave in and the increase of the 3rd international.

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The increase in France was much greater, while that in Britain and Germany was only slightly less. In the years that followed, there would be major legacies of the war finance. One, just mentioned, was from the gold flows to the United States. These and the loans they could sustain would, as I've indicated, establish the United States in general and New York City in particular as the world financial center. Borrowers large and small, public and private, would now make their way to Wall Street. This traffic would be especially evident in the decade of the 1920s.

Vienna, a center, like Paris, renowned for the sophistication of its cultural and intellectual life, did not extend this distinction either to the armed forces or to the state. In those areas, again by inheritance, the near monopoly of the ignorant prevailed. That the leadership and military command of so fragile a structure should have risked a major war will long stand as a marvel of mental vacuity. In the other warring countries, not excluding Britain and France, political and military leadership also descended to minimal levels of intellectual competence.

In a book to come, the working title of which will be The Lighter Side of Life, I intend to tell of the amusements, mental aberrations and accomplished insanities that have marked and lightened life over the years. I have not entirely excluded them in the present book; prestigious stupidity, as I show in an early chapter, can be a controlling fact in economic life. In general, however, I have kept to the basic theme, which is how the economy in its larger manifestation has worked over the decades and how the influences of war and peace, government and the market, ideology and ignorance have shaped its course.

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