Garet Garrett

Garet Garrett

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Garet Garrett born Edward Peter Garrett, was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 and author who was noted for his criticisms of the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 and U.S. involvement in the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...



Garet Garrett was born February 19, 1878 at Pana, Illinois, and grew up on a farm near Burlington, Iowa. He left home as a teenager, finding work as a printer's devil in Cleveland. In 1898 he moved to Washington, D.C., where he covered the administration of William McKinley as a newspaper reporter, and there changed his first name to "Garet," which he pronounced the same as "Garrett." In 1900 he moved to New York City, where he became a financial reporter. By 1910, he had become a financial columnist for the New York Evening Post. In 1913 he became editor of The New York Times Annalist, a new financial weekly, and in 1915, he joined the editorial council of The New York Times. 1916, at 38, he became the executive editor of the New York Tribune. In 1922, he became the principal writer on economic issues for the Saturday Evening Post, a position he held until 1942. From 1944 to 1950 he edited American Affairs, the magazine of The Conference Board
The Conference Board
The Conference Board, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan business membership and research group. It has approximately 12,000 executives in its network, from 1200 corporations in 60 countries. It holds conferences, convenes executives, conducts economic and business management research, and is seen...

. In his career, Garrett was a confidant of Bernard Baruch
Bernard Baruch
Bernard Mannes Baruch was an American financier, stock-market speculator, statesman, and political consultant. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters and became a philanthropist.-Early life...

 and Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...


Garrett wrote 13 books: "Where the Money Grows" (1911), "The Blue Wound" (1921), "The Driver" (1922), "The Cinder Buggy" (1923), "Satan's Bushel" (1924), "Ouroboros, or the Mechanical Extension of Mankind" (1926), "Harangue" (1927), "The American Omen" (1928), "A Bubble That Broke the World" (1932), "A Time Is Born" (1944), "The Wild Wheel" (1952), "The People's Pottage" (1953) and "The American Story" (1955).

Garrett's most-read work is The People's Pottage, which consists of three essays: "The Revolution Was", "Ex America" and "Rise of Empire". "The Revolution Was" portrays the New Deal as a "revolution within the form" which undermined the American republic. "Ex America" charts the decline in America's individualist values from 1900 to 1950. "Rise of Empire" argues that America has become an imperial state, incompatible with what Garrett called "a constitutional, representative, limited government in the republican form."

Garet Garrett was married three times: to Bessie Hamilton in 1900, Ida Irvin in 1908 and Dorothy Williams Goulet in 1947. He had no children. He died November 6, 1954, at his home in Tuckahoe, N.J., while inspecting the proofs of "The American Story."

Political viewpoint

Garett was called a conservative in his obituary, and after his death his book "The People's Pottage" was adopted as one of the "twelve candles" of the John Birch Society
John Birch Society
The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing....

. He is now sometimes called a member of the Old Right
Old Right
Old Right may refer to:* Old Right , the ideology and policies of the Conservative Party that predated the ideological shift led by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher...

, and is seen as a proto- libertarian
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 or classical liberal
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....


Under editor George Horace Lorimer
George Horace Lorimer
George Horace Lorimer was an American journalist and author. He is best known as the editor of The Saturday Evening Post....

 at the Saturday Evening Post, in the 1920s Garrett attacked proposals for American forgiveness of the war debts of European states and for the bailout of American farmers. After the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he became one of the most vocal opponents of centralization of political and economc power in the federal government. He attacked the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 in articles in the Saturday Evening Post between 1933 and 1940. In 1940 he became the Post's editorial-writer-in-chief. Garrett opposed the Roosevelt Administration's moves toward intervention in the war in Europe, and was one of the most widely read "isolationists." After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Garrett supported the war, but still was fired from the Post.

Connection to Ayn Rand

Libertarian writer Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo is an American author and the editorial director of the website He describes himself as a "conservative-paleo-libertarian."-Background:...

 argued that Garrett's novel The Driver
The Driver (novel)
The Driver is a 1922 novel by Garet Garrett. It tells the story of financial speculator Henry M. Galt who, through his own vision and work ethic, takes over a failing Great Midwestern Railroad, turning it into a hugely productive and profitable asset for the benefit of himself and the rest of the...

, which is about a speculator called Henry M. Galt who takes over a failing railroad, was the source of the name "Galt" and the rhetorical device, "Who is John Galt?" for Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

 in her novel, "Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing...

", which has a mystery character named John Galt
John Galt
John Galt was a Scottish novelist, entrepreneur, and political and social commenter. Because he was the first novelist to deal with issues of the industrial revolution, he has been called the first political novelist in the English language.-Life:Born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, Galt was...

. In contrast, Chris Matthew Sciabarra
Chris Matthew Sciabarra
Chris Matthew Sciabarra is a Brooklyn, New York-based political theorist. He is the author of three scholarly books—Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical; Marx, Hayek, and Utopia; and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism—as well several shorter works...

 argued Raimondo's "claims that Rand plagiarized...The Driver" to be "unsupported." Garrett's biographer, Bruce Ramsey, wrote, "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."


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