SAT Subject US History Practice Question 677: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 677

28. Which of the following is a central argument of the 1958 book, The Affluent Society, by John Kenneth Galbraith?

A. The key to economic growth is government noninterference in the economy.
B. A small group of wealthy and influential Americans had managed to gain control of both the economy and the government.
C. A Soviet-style command economy would best meet the needs of the majority of Americans.
D. The United States should reinvigorate its agricultural sector with heavy subsidies to farmers and high tariffs on imported agricultural products.
E. American society was ignoring social goods in the pursuit of private material gain.

Correct Answer: E


Galbraith worried in The Affluent Society that America was too focused on individual material gain and not enough on social betterment. Statement (A) is a conservative, laissez-faire position; Galbraith, who was considered a liberal, did not support this view. Statement (B) would better describe another 1950s book, The Power Elite, by C. Wright Mills. The Communist Party might advocate a Soviet-style command economy (C), but this was not Galbraith's position. The position of the 19th-century Populists is described in statement (D).

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