Perspectives from a Mediator/Arbitrator

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

JKG - A brief appreciation

I read with great interest the obituary of John Kenneth Galbraith in Monday's Globe and Mail. All right, a brief tangent here - I read obituaries every day. I read the death notices every day. I enjoy watching funerals on television of famous people. I find the ways in which different cultures "celebrate death" interesting.

Anyway - back to JKG. I want now to read a good biography of him because from what I read he led a very interesting life. Born a Canadian, he left a farm to go to College in Guelph, Ontario (another digression here - Guelph is the county seat of Wellington County where all my relatives come from (well where they come from to some extent after they hopped over the pond but that is a longer story)), and eventually made his way to Harvard. After moving through a couple of other institutions and jobs, he made his way back to Harvard where he taught for over 30 years - just a small Ontario town boy teaching at one of the world's most prestigious universities!

For us in ADR, he coined one of the all-time great lines as part of JFK's 1960 presidential campaign. He said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate".

Quite a life and quite an obituary.


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