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Reagan and Keynes: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

•, by John Cassidy
 Henderson, a British mandarin—Stowe, Oxford, G.C.M.G., K.C.V.O.—wasn’t exactly impressed with the former actor from Eureka, Illinois. “He has clear-cut opinions, not to say prejudices, as was apparent to me when he told me à propos Keynes that it must not be forgotten that he was a homosexual,” Henderson wrote.

Henderson’s account, which came to light in some newly released diplomatic papers that The Daily Beast spotted, is interesting in a number of respects. For one thing, it suggests that Reagan had somewhere picked up on a homophobic critique of Keynes that had been circulating in conservative circles for decades. According to Robert Skidelsky, the author of a monumental biography of Keynes, it dates back at least to Keynes’s death, in 1946, when Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian economist, who moved to Harvard, wrote in an obituary, “He was childless and his philosophy of life was essentially a short-run philosophy.”

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