THORSTEIN VEBLEN. By David Riesman. Charles Scribner’s Sons. $3.
In this unsympathetic book Thorstein Veblen is not the subject, he is the victim. An uncomfortable figure to cozily-installed liberals, Veblen is psychoanalyzed away. “The violence,” writes Riesman, “with which Thorstein Veblen in his declining years attacked all authorities would … seem, inter alia, to represent the return of the repressed hostility against his own domineering father.” If Veblen’s admiration goes to “masterless men,” insubordinate Icelanders or rebellious Wobblies, doesn’t that suggest a “quasi-homosexual concept of brotherly love?” “Like many great scholars and economists...
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