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For this essay, to honor Professor Kolodko, I take up the case of an older pragmatist whose circumstances and achievements I knew well – that of my father, John Kenneth Galbraith. While I cannot do full justice in this space to the life and work of 97 years, what I hope to show is how the application of my father’s background and experience in a world of mundane knowledge and urgent problems led to his development of a compelling critique of classical and neoclassical economics, and to his presentation of a world-view that stood, for a time, as the leading vision of industrial capitalism in the modern age. That this vision was swept aside, and largely dismissed or ignored, by the professional academic economists is, under the circumstances, merely a continuing testimony to its merit, and to the threat it poses to a comfortable, but wholly impractical, world-view.

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