. . . and the Page man asked the question that enters into every business transaction in these intensely practical days.” – JKG
Galbraith fans will delight in reading some of the earliest published articles by best selling author John Kenneth Galbraith.
This book is a collection of the majority of interviews John Kenneth Galbraith wrote while he was the cub reporter for the St. Thomas Times-Journal, 1925-1932. The interviews read like conversations from the past. Read only the articles of interest to you one at a time, or read cover to cover to get a feel for the times – the frustration of farmers with ever changing standards and regulations or the success and pride of the Topnotchers that shines through loud and clear.
A surname index has been included so that readers may find their kin and hear the voices of their grandfathers or great uncles. These men speak plainly about conditions on southwestern Ontario farms during a time of great change. Change was not always embraced with enthusiasm in the rural community. Pasteurization and new health legislations had come into force, along with the Clean Seed Act, the gasoline engine, electricity and refrigeration, just to name a few. All of these followed the largest conflict in the world – the First World War. Along with all these changes came the crash of ’29, prohibition, crop failures, the Great Depression and the prelude to World War II. How did they cope?
Throughout these articles, note how some of the problems faced some eighty years ago are still faced by farmers today.
So much changes; yet so much stays the same.
Can we learn and improve on our past mistakes? Can we look at mistakes made then and try not to repeat them? Can we take past successes and re-invent them for today’s farming community that still faces economic challenges? Can each of us take the advice offered by these Topnotchers and apply it to our own situations? Only time will tell. Jenny Phillips has added her original pen & ink sketches as well as dozens of advertisements of the era to the articles, James Galbraith’s foreword and the numerous indexes to give a comprehensive record of the times.
“My father delighted all his life in his incredible range of agricultural knowledge.”
“He used it in politics from time to time, though not always with great success.”
”He used it to guide his thinking and establish his authority on matters related to economic development, especially in India during his years as Ambassador to that vast, still agrarian democracy.”
– James K. Galbraith, Economist and author of The Predator State.
"John Kenneth Galbraith's writing reveal that issues farmers faced 80 years ago are issues farmers are still confronted with today."
- Steve Peters MPP
"I will always treasure that I had the opportunity to know the man from Elgin County who was the most influential economist of the 20th century"
- Steve Peters MPP
"Clearly John Kenneth Galbraith's Elgin roots never left him. His life story and accomplishments remind us that our rural way of life can inspire global achievements."
- Brian Masschaele, Elgin County Cultural Services Director.