Circle 054: John Kenneth Galbraith, Stanislav Menshikov, and Bill Moyers, USSR & American Economies, May 26, 1988

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The celebration of the 15th Anniversary of New England Circle was a memorable evening. In his opening remarks at the 54th New England Circle discussion, Moderator Bill Moyers quoted Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes' description of the superpowers as "two aging, sagging, wary pugilists still standing after the 30th round, throwing punches but not really hurting each other, their fight having little impact on the rest of the world..."

It's tempting - but altogether inaccurate - to describe the featured "contestants" of this special occasion, economist John Kenneth Galbraith of Cambridge and Stanislav Menshikov of Moscow, in the same colorful way as the superpowers whose economies' they interpret.

True they have aged, and yes, they bobbed and weaved in erudite fashion, relying on wit and guile to avoid a technical knockout and not really interested in drawing blood.

Through skillful prodding by Moderator Bill Moyers, the evening was an insightful re-creation of a just published volume by the two entitled, "Capitalism, Communism and Coexistence: From a Bitter Past to a Better Promise", (Houghton-Mifflin, 1988).

by Crocker Snow (Editor, WorldPaper, Boston, MA)


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