Economist, ambassador, novelist and wit John Kenneth Galbraith died yesterday in Cambridge, MA, at age 97. His obituary in the NYTimes by Holcomb B. Nobel and Douglas Martin included this:
"Mr. Galbraith said in his memoir "A Life in Our Times" (1981) that no one could understand farming without knowing two things about it: a farmer's sense of inferiority and his appreciation of manual labor. His own sense of inferiority, he said, was coupled with his belief that the Galbraith clan was more intelligent, knowledgeable and affluent than its neighbors.
'My legacy was the inherent insecurity of the farm-reared boy in combination with the aggressive feeling that I owed to all I encountered to make them better informed,' he said.
Mr. Galbraith said he inherited his liberalism, his interest in politics and his wit from his father. When he was about 8, he once recalled, he would join his father at political rallies. At one event, he wrote in his 1964 memoir "The Scotch," his father mounted a large pile of manure to address the crowd.