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Garrett, Garet

Garet Garrett (1878–1954), born Edward Peter Garrett, was an American journalist and author who was noted for his criticisms of the New Deal and U.S. involvement in the Second World War.


[edit] Early years

Garet Garrett was born in 1878 in Illinois. By 1903, he had become a well known writer for the Sun newspaper (1833–1950) in New York. In 1911, he wrote a fairly successful book, Where the Money Grows and Anatomy of the Bubble. In 1916, at the age of 38, Garrett became the executive editor of the New York Tribune, after having worked as a financial writer for The New York Times, the Saturday Evening Post, and The Wall Street Journal. From 1920 to 1933, his primary focus was on writing books.

Between 1920 and 1932 Garrett wrote eight books, including The American Omen in 1928 and A Bubble That Broke the World in 1932. He also wrote regular columns for several business and financial publications.

[edit] Political viewpoint

Garett's political viewpoint overall, and the central theme throughout all his books, is libertarian or classical liberal. All his works exemplify the basic premise that a man is responsible for his own life, and that no man can expect a free ride from others, through forced income distribution schemes such as socialism and communism. As the 20th century progressed, he believed that Americans were signing away their birthright of freedom by trading their responsibilities of self-governance and self-responsibility for socialistic measures such as FDR's New Deal expansion of government.

His most influential work is commonly regarded to be The Driver. Published in 1922, it tells the story of an entrepreneur who, through his own vision and work ethic, takes over a failing railway, turning it into a hugely productive and profitable asset for the benefit of himself and the rest of the nation. Unable to see what he has achieved in turning his own business and the wider economy around from recession to boom, and blinded by the intense wealth and power he enjoys as a result, the general population and the government turn against him, ultimately destroying him instead of celebrating his success.

Justin Raimondo has observed similarities between The Driver and Atlas Shrugged, a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand, which has a railroad executive as its main character and another character named John Galt.[1] In contrast, Chris Matthew Sciabarra argued Raimondo's "claims that Rand plagiarized...The Driver" to be "unsupported,"[2] and Stephan Kinsella doubts that Rand was in any way influenced by Garrett.[3] Writer Bruce Ramsey observed, "Both The Driver and Atlas Shrugged have to do with running railroads during an economic depression, and both suggest pro-capitalist ways in which the country might get out of the depression. But in plot, character, tone, and theme they are very different."[4]

[edit] Critic of the New Deal and Roosevelt's foreign policy

After the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Garrett went on to become one of the most vocal critics of the New Deal and what he saw as its socialist measures. He wrote a series of his columns in the Saturday Evening Post between 1933 to 1940, which were later compiled into a collection of his essays titled Salvos against the New Deal: Selections from the Saturday Evening Post: 1933-1940, published in 2002. The Saturday Evening Post kept Garrett on as a columnist despite the fact that at one point it became financially perilous for the magazine to do so. In 1940 the management of the Saturday Evening Post made Garrett editorial-writer-in-chief after the death of George Horace Lorimer. Garrett was highly critical of the Roosevelt Administration's moves toward intervention in the war then underway in Europe; he covered this topic in a series of editorials which were collected under the title Defend America First: The Antiwar Editorials of the Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942, which was published in 2003.

[edit] Later years

In 1953, Garrett published The People's Pottage (later republished as The Burden of Empire and more recently as Ex America: the 50th Anniversary of the People's Pottage), which consisted of 3 essays: "The Revolution Was", "Ex America" and "The Rise of Empire"). Through these works, he questioned the aftermath of the Roosevelt administration and its impact on American society. In these works, he coined a phrase for a revolutionary methodology used by conservative thinking to understand the transformation of the old culture/regime: "revolution within the form." Garet Garrett died in 1954 at the age of 76.

[edit] Works

[edit] References

  1. Raimondo, Justin (1993). Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement. Center for Libertarian Studies. ISBN 1-883959-00-4. 
  2. Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (March/April 1999). "Books for Rand Studies". Full Context 11 (4): 9–11. 
  3. Kinsella, Stephan (October 2, 2007). "Ayn Rand and Garet Garrett". Mises Economics Blog. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  4. Bruce Ramsey (December 27, 2008). "The Capitalist Fiction of Garet Garrett". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 

[edit] External links

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