Percy Saltzman Interview: JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH


Born in Ontario, a big and brainy Scot, towering six foot six, every other inch a gentleman, with a huge schnozz, a gigantic proboscis, Cyrano de Bergerac, jutting like the prow of a China Clipper, he was a smooth-spoken gent, a first class practitioner of the dismal science, a sweet spoken wordsmith ("The Affluent Society"; "Private splendor versus public squalor"), Harvard of course, a pal of JFK, a former U.S. Ambassador to India, my God, the Man was Monumental!

I interviewed him live on TV and put it to him: "How come you always talk of prices, and wages, and supply, and demand, but never of profits and profiteering?" I thought I had him there.

But instantly he shot back: "I accept your rebuke!"

Now what could I do with that? I was floored and flustered and flabbergasted. And abashed and obliterated. So I fell apart.

Moments later, the interview ended, and as we stepped down from the riser, out of the spotlight and into the gloom, he turned to me and said: "You remind me of Malcolm Muggeridge!"

It's the finest compliment I ever got. I still bask in it. And that was, man and boy, forty years ago! Boy, can I bask!