John Kenneth Galbraith, the iconoclastic economist, teacher and diplomat, died Saturday at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts。He was 97. Mr. Galbraith was one of the most widely read authors in the history of economics; among his 33 books was "The Affluent Society" (1958), one of those rare works that forces a nation to re-examine its values. He wrote fluidly, even on complex topics, and many of his compelling phrases — among them "the affluent society," "conventional wisdom" and "countervailing power" — became part of the language. An imposing presence, lanky and angular at 6 feet 8 inches tall, Mr. Galbraith was consulted frequently by national leaders, and he gave advice freely, though it may have been ignored as often as it was taken. Mr. Galbraith clearly preferred taking issue with the conventional wisdom he distrusted. Mr. Galbraith, a revered lecturer for generations of Harvard students, nonetheless always commanded attention. From the 1930"s to the 1990"s Mr. Galbraith helped define the terms of the national political debate, influencing both the direction of the Democratic Party and the thinking of its leaders.
He tutored Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956, on Keynesian economics. He advised President John F. Kennedy (often over lobster stew at the Locke-Ober restaurant in their beloved Boston) and served as his ambassador to India. Though he eventually broke with President Lyndon B. Johnson over the war in Vietnam, he helped conceive of Mr. Johnson"s Great Society program and wrote a major presidential address that outlined its purposes. In 1968, pursuing his opposition to the war, he helped Senator Eugene J. McCarthy seek the Democratic nomination for president. In the course of his long career, he undertook a number of government assignments, including the organization of price controls in World War II and speechwriting for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson. He drew on his experiences in government to write three satirical novels. He took on the Harvard economics department with "A Tenured Professor," ridiculing, among others, a certain outspoken character who bore no small resemblance to himself. At his death, Mr. Galbraith was the emeritus professor of economics at Harvard, where he had taught for most of his career.
A popular lecturer, he treated economics as an aspect of society and culture rather than as an arcane discipline of numbers.
反传统经济学家、教育家和外交家约翰肯﹒格贝斯于周六在马萨诸塞州剑桥的一家医院去世，享年 97 岁。约翰肯﹒格贝斯的经济学论著读者众多，他一生共著有 33 本巨作，其中 1958 年出版的《富裕社会》是推动一个国家重新审视其价值观的为数不多的经典论著之一。约翰肯﹒格贝斯文笔流畅，即便是复杂话题在他笔下也能写得行云流水。约翰肯﹒格贝斯提出的许多颇具影响力的术语，如：“富裕社会(affluent society)”，“传统智慧(conventional wisdom)”和“抗衡力(countervailing power)”，逐渐为大众接受并成为常用语。
约翰肯﹒格贝斯身高 6 英尺 8 寸，身材修长，仪表堂堂。国家领导人经常向他咨询，而他则出谋划策、畅所欲言，虽然只有近半建议终获采纳。约翰肯﹒格贝斯对于自己无法接受的传统观点直接提出挑战，从不刻意回避。约翰肯﹒格贝斯是一位德高望重的教授，一代又一代哈佛学子曾经聆听过他的教诲。不过，约翰肯﹒格贝斯的一言一行又总是备受关注。上世纪 30 年代至 90 年代，约翰肯﹒格贝斯曾帮助指导民主党全国政治辩论，对民主党的发展方向及其领导人的思维方式都产生了重要影响。曾经代表民主党参加 1952 年和 1956 年两届总统竞选的阿德莱·史蒂文森也曾师从约翰肯﹒格贝斯学习凯恩斯经济理论。他还曾任美国约翰﹒肯尼迪总统的顾问(二人经常在他们钟爱的波士顿 Locke-Ober 餐厅边吃炖龙虾边谈正事)，约翰﹒肯尼迪担任总统期间，格贝斯还担任过美国驻印度大使。虽然格贝斯在越战问题上与林顿·约翰逊总统意见相左，但还是帮助林顿·约翰逊总统提出了“大社会”计划，并为其撰写了一篇重要的演讲稿，专门阐释推行该计划的目标。在 1968 年，反战立场坚定的格贝斯转而帮助参议员尤金·麦卡锡参加民主党党内总统候选人选举。在其漫长的职业生涯中，格贝斯执行过多项政府要务，包括在二战期间组织开展物价调控工作，先后为富兰克林﹒罗斯福、肯尼迪和约翰逊总统担任演讲撰稿人。格贝斯还以自己的从政经历为蓝本写了三部颇具讽刺意味的小说。