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  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: June 2014

16 - Searching for My Personal Philosophy


When I was invited to contribute to this volume, I had to ask myself whether I had a personal philosophy. I had never given the matter much thought. I had therefore to recall the events and circumstances that led me to where I am today.

How I Became an Economist

I come from a family that was avidly interested in world affairs. My earliest memories include the voices of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Adolph Hitler’s interpreter (“Der Führer says ...”). I even recall being taken by my father to hear Eduard Benes and Fiorello LaGuardia denounce the Munich Agreement. My father, a journalist, was one of the founders of the American Newspaper Guild and an active Zionist. He was one of the Jewish leaders who attended the San Francisco Conference, concerned to protect the interests of the Jewish community in Palestine, and he was later a member of Israel’s first delegation to the United Nations, which may be why I became very interested in the work of that organization. During my college years, in fact, I obtained accreditation as a UN correspondent for Columbia University’s student-run radio station and a network of other such stations.

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