John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith (properly icon , but commonly ˈ ; October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006), OC
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 was a Canadian-American
A Canadian American is someone who was born or someone who grew up in Canada then moved to the United States. The term is particularly apt when applied or self-applied to people with strong ties to Canada, such as those who have lived a significant portion of their lives in, or were educated in,...

Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

. He was a Keynesian
Keynesian economics
Keynesian economics is a school of macroeconomic thought based on the ideas of 20th-century English economist John Maynard Keynes.Keynesian economics argues that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficient macroeconomic outcomes and, therefore, advocates active policy responses by the...

 and an institutionalist
Institutional economics
Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the...

, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the '50s to the 1970s on matters of economics.

Galbraith was a prolific author who produced four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects.

You roll back the stones, and you find slithering things. That is the world of Richard Nixon.

Adlai Stevenson speech, Los Angeles (1956), written by Galbraith

There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.

The New York Times Magazine (1960-10-09)

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

Letter to John F. Kennedy (1962-03-02), printed in Galbraith's Ambassador's Journal (1969)

Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.

Foreword to The Beach Book by Gloria Steinem (1963); reprinted in Galbraith's A View from the Stands (1986)

Clearly the most unfortunate people are those who must do the same thing over and over again, every minute, or perhaps twenty to the minute. They deserve the shortest hours and the highest pay.

Made to Last (1964), ch. 4

Then the shit hit the fan.

Ambassador's Journal (1969), p. 45. Galbraith claimed to have originally coined this phrase in A Life In Our Times (1981), p. 274

You will find that [the] State [Department] is the kind of organisation which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly too.

Quoted in conversation with Charles Frankel, High on Foggy Bottom: an outsider's inside view of the Government (1969), p. 11

In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.

The New York Times Magazine (1970-06-07)