Gardner is one of those people who created our world but is little remembered by it

Sunday, June 27th, 2021

I was reading Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, when the tech billionaire advising the White House asked our protagonist, “Are you familiar with John Gardner?”:

“Gardner is one of those people who created our world but is little remembered by it. He engineered what were called the ‘Great Society’ reforms back in the 1960s. The program changed everything in America, from guaranteeing voting rights for the groups that were then minorities to establishing a government role in medical and retirement assistance, to even creating the public broadcasting networks that gave your child Sesame Street.”

Naturally I wanted to find out more:

A native of California, Gardner attended Stanford University. As an undergrad he set several swimming records and won a number of Pacific Coast championships, and graduated “with great distinction.” After earning a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1938, Dr. Gardner taught at Connecticut College and at Mount Holyoke.

During the early days of World War II he was chief of the Latin American Section, Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service. He subsequently entered the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to the O.S.S., serving in Italy and Austria.

He joined the staff of the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1946, and in 1955 he became president of that group, and concurrently, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also served as an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and as a consultant to the U.S. Air Force, which awarded him the Exceptional Service Award in 1956. He was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the Educational Testing Service and a director of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He served as chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Panel on Education, and was chief draftsman of that group’s widely circulated report, The Pursuit of Excellence.

Gardner was the founder of two influential national U.S. organizations: Common Cause and Independent Sector. He authored books on improving leadership in American society and other subjects. He was also the founder of two prestigious fellowship programs, The White House Fellows and The John Gardner Fellowship at Stanford University and U.C. Berkeley. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. In 1966 Gardner was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.

Gardner’s term as Secretary of HEW was at the height of Johnson’s Great Society domestic agenda. During this tenure, the Department undertook both the huge task of launching Medicare, which brought quality health care to senior citizens, and oversaw significant expansions of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that redefined the federal role in education and targeted funding to poor students. Gardner resigned as head of HEW because he could not support the war in Vietnam.

P.W. Singer and August Cole previously wrote Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, which I discussed a few times.


  1. Harper’s Notes says:

    I have an old VHS tape of a video biography about him. Haven’t watched it. DVD only two dollars on Amazon. Narrated by Richard Dreyfus I think.

  2. Dan Kurt says:

    So you have highlighted a worm in the apple that is the USA who among other progressive annelids have behind the scenes, the proverbial deep state actors, ushered in utter decadence, the ruins we see around us, destruction increasing very day.

  3. JBP says:

    You got it, Dan.

  4. Wang Wei Lin says:

    Need to really ‘eff up a nation? Get a psychologist involved.

  5. VXXC says:

    Read on George Ball, Viceroy of France for Imperial America, founder of the Bilderbergers, signed the coup order against Diem [then undermined the ensuing Vietnam War] and his memoirs The Past has another Pattern. This is our Empire. And the Empire exists now to crush the domestic threat.

  6. Bomag says:

    That all worked out so well that Biden et al are re-running the plan with a zero added to the end of the spending amounts.

    I’m waiting for them to get tired of winning.

  7. Altitude Zero says:

    When future Chinese historians start looking into who was responsible for destroying America, this guy’s name is going to be pretty high on the list, but unfortunately, he had lots of company.

  8. End them Early says:

    If that dude and his ilk had not existed or had been made to stop existing America would still be a Constitutional Republic instead of a memory.

  9. VXXC says:

    Not too late Mr. Early et al. Is it too late for us? Yes, the Republic is gone.

    Now: do we want to live?

  10. Longarch says:

    “Now: do we want to live?”

    It does not matter whether we personally live, the only question is whether the nation can live. The Republic can only live if the swamp is destroyed.

  11. VXXC says:

    The people need a nation to live. By “we” I meant Americans. As for the Republic, we need a nation first.

    Mr. Longarch, the Republic fell in January. Why, the Dems even had the decency to give it a State Funeral, complete with the imagery of a cemetery. It’s gone, sir. Now we — we Americans — decide whether we want to live on as a nation. Here’s the Republic’s funeral:;0,0&resize=900:*

  12. Sam J. says:

    If I ever perfect time travel I’ll have to remember to kill him.

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