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The Culture of Contentment$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171654.001.0001

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The Foreign Policy of Contentment

The Foreign Policy of Contentment

The Recreational and the Real

(p.85) Chapter 9 The Foreign Policy of Contentment
The Culture of Contentment

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the culture of contentment has influenced foreign policy in the United States. In general, performance in the area of foreign policy is relatively free from the economic, political and even intellectual requirements and constraints that control much domestic government action. A change in official attitude toward some foreign country has no negative consequences for the average citizen. The chapter first considers the unique features of foreign policy and places it in its public context before discussing how American wealth, economic well-being and the resulting largesse that the United States has distributed overseas have added to the enjoyments of more substantive foreign policy. It shows that U.S. foreign policy in the age of contentment was passive and recreational in nature, its two principal and substantial supports being economic and military power.

Keywords:   contentment, foreign policy, United States, wealth, economic well-being, recreation, economic power, military power

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