The Good Society: The Human Agenda

Front Cover
HMH, Apr 30, 1997 - Political Science - 160 pages
The legendary economist explains how a nation can remain both compassionate and fiscally sound, with “common sense raised to the level of genius” (The New Yorker).
This compact, eloquent book offers a blueprint for a workable national agenda that allows for human weakness without compromising a humane culture. Arguing that it is in the best interest of the United States to avoid excessive wealth and income inequality, and to safeguard the well-being of its citizens, he explores how the goal of a good society can be achieved in an economically feasible way.
Touching on topics from regulation, inflation, and deficits to education, the environment, bureaucracy, and the military, Galbraith avoids purely partisan or rigid ideological politics—instead addressing practical problems with logic and well-thought-out principles.
“Carefully reasoned . . . the pragmatically liberal Galbraith [argues] that both socialism and complete surrender to market forces are irrelevant as guides to public action.” —Publishers Weekly


1 The Good Society
2 The Wider Screen
3 The Age of Practical Judgment
4 The Social Foundation
5 The Good Economy
6 Inflation
7 The Deficit
8 The Distribution of Income and Power
12 Migration
13 The Autonomous Military Power
14 The Bureaucratic Syndrome
15 Foreign Policy The Economic and Social Dimension
The Shaping History
What the Good Society Must Do
18 The Political Context
Back Matter

9 The Decisive Role of Education
The Basic Principles
11 The Environment
Back Cover

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About the author (1997)

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006) was a critically acclaimed author and one of America’s foremost economists. His most famous works include The Affluent Society, The Good Society, and The Great Crash. Galbraith was the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he was twice awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.