Cover image for The affluent society
The affluent society
Galbraith, John Kenneth, 1908-2006.
40th anniversary edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 276 pages ; 21 cm
Galbraith's classic on the "economic of abundance" is, in the words of the New York Times, "a compelling challenge to conventional thought." With customary clarity, eloquence, and humor, Galbraith cuts to the heart of what economic security means (and doesn't mean) in today's world and lays bare the hazards of individual and societal complacence about economic inequity. While "affluent society" and "conventional wisdom" (first used in the book) have entered the vernacular, the message of the book has not been so widely embraced--reason enough to rediscover The Affluent Society.
General Note:
"Updated and with a new introduction by the author"--Cover.

"A Mariner book."
Affluent society -- Concept of the conventional wisdom -- Economics and the tradition of despair -- Uncertain reassurance -- American mood -- Marxian pall -- Inequality -- Economic security -- Paramount position of production -- Imperative of consumer demand -- Dependence effect -- Vested interest in output -- Bill collector cometh -- Inflation -- Monetary illusion -- Production and price stability -- Theory of social balance -- Transition -- Divorce of production from security -- Redress of balance -- Position of poverty -- Labor, leisure and the new class -- On security and survival.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC106.5 .G32 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HC106.5 .G32 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HC106.5 .G32 1998 Adult Non-Fiction New Materials
HC106.5 .G32 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



John Kenneth Galbraith's classic investigation of private wealth and public poverty in postwar America


With customary clarity, eloquence, and humor, Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith gets at the heart of what economic security means in The Affluent Society . Warning against individual and societal complacence about economic inequity, he offers an economic model for investing in public wealth that challenges "conventional wisdom" (a phrase he coined that has since entered our vernacular) about the long-term value of a production-based economy and the true nature of poverty. Both politically divisive and remarkably prescient, The Affluent Society is as relevant today on the question of wealth in America as it was in 1958.

Author Notes

John Kenneth Galbraith is a Canadian-born American economist who is perhaps the most widely read economist in the world. He taught at Harvard from 1934-1939 and then again from 1949-1975. An adviser to President John F. Kennedy, he served from 1961 to 1963 as U.S. ambassador to India. His style and wit in writing and his frequent media appearances have contributed greatly to his fame as an economist.

Galbraith believes that it is not sufficient for government to manage the level of effective demand; government must manage the market itself. Galbraith stated in American Capitalism (1952) that the market is far from competitive, and governments and labor unions must serve as "countervailing power." He believes that ultimately "producer sovereignty" takes the place of consumer sovereignty and the producer - not the consumer - becomes ruler of the marketplace.

(Bowker Author Biography) John Kenneth Galbraith, born in 1908, is the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University and a past president of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Economic Association. He is the author of thirty-one books spanning five decades. He has received honorary degrees from, among others, Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Paris, the University of Toronto, and Moscow State University. He is Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur in France, and in 1997 he was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2000, at a White House ceremony, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided)