Book Description: The Anatomy of Power is a 1983 book by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. It sought to classify three types of power: compensatory power in which submission is bought, condign power in which submission is won by making the alternative sufficiently painful, and conditioned power in which submission is gained by persuasion. It further divided power by source: power either stems from personality or leadership, property or wealth, or organisation.
The book goes on to detail a brief history of the use of power, noting the broad arc of history in moving away from condign and towards compensatory and then conditioned power, and from personality and property towards organisation. Finally, it details what Galbraith views as the main sources of power in the modern world: government, the military, religion and the press.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith (1908 - 2006), OC was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics. Galbraith was a prolific author who produced four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. Among his most famous works was a popular trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; he served as United States Ambassador to India under Kennedy.