Heterodox Economics Newsletter

Issue 215 June 19, 2017 web pdf Heterodox Economics Directory

As usual, our June issue is strong on books and provides a vast collection of current works highly suitable to increase the weight of your luggage during your next vacation. A special gem within this voluminous set is Ric Holt's edition on the "The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith". I highly endorse this one, as Galbraith not only had his way with words and expressed true mastery in swift, dense and prosaic communication, but also because the intentions driving his daily work often seem to me to be at the very heart of current problems.

For instance, after finally getting tenure at Harvard in the late 1940s, one of his first assignments was to set up a visiting lecture series for the Harvard economics department. In a pluralist spirit he believed that students should experience different economic views and invited Jacob Viner, Paul Sweezy, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman. Here is the letter Galbraith wrote to Friedman to thank him for his visit; it is not only a typical example for Galbraith's eloquence, but underlines his ability to combine conceptual open-mindedness, with a sincere standpoint of his own:

"To Milton Friedman

March 27, 1951

Dear Milton:

You will know in many ways how much we enjoyed your visit here last week. This is just by way of adding a personal word of thanks. I hope it won't be too long before we see you here again. So far as I can tell, also, the students seem to have suffered no permanent damage. I hope your colleagues perceive no disconcerting changes in you. On second thought, I hope they do.

My thanks and kindest regards,

Sincerely yours,

J.K. Galbraith"

While I hope you can see my point here, I also wanted to add that the Heterodox Newsletter is switching to "Northern-Hemisphere-Summer-Mode" by now, which is why the next issues will be published every four, instead of every three, weeks.

All the best,

Jakob

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