Most of my gifted mentors, born in the nineteenth century, lacked today's 'political (and ethnic) correctness.' There were of course some honorable exceptions among both my Yankee and European teachers. Reder (2000) has provided a useful exploration of such unpleasantries. Central to his expositions were appraisals of the triad John Maynard Keynes, Joseph A. Schumpeter, and Friedrich Hayek on the subject of anti-semitism.
Unexpectedly, I was forced in the end to conclude that Keynes's lifetime profile was the worst of the three. In the record of his letters to wife and other Bloomsbury buddies, Keynes apparently remained in viewpoint much the same as in his Eton essay on the subject as a callow seventeen-year-old. Hayek, I came to realize, seemed to be the one of the three who at least tried to grow beyond his early conditioning. The full record suggests that he did not succeed in fully in cleansing those Augean stables. Still a B grade for effort does trump a C-.
I note a curious irony in that about the same time that Samuelson was not getting hired at Harvard largely due to anti-Semitism (although Schumpeter reportedly alleged that it was due to jealousy of Samuelson's brilliance by his erstwhile peers), Milton Friedman had the same experience at my alma mater, the supposedly progressive University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was not renewed for a position after one year of appointment. No, this was not institutionalist progressives upset about his pro-laissez faire views, which were not particularly public at that time. Rather, the other issues involved besides the evident anti-Semitism on the part of certain supposedly progressive institutionalists was that he was identified as being a mathematically oriented econometrician who thus threatened the institutionalism then dominant in the department. Over two decades later the final victory of policy-oriented econometrics in the department over the old institutionalists would be led by another Jewish econometrician, Arthur Goldberger, who died at 79 on Dec. 11. Just to really tie all this up in a knot, the very worthy and justly eminent Goldberger (whom I knew and admired personally) was a student of Nobelist Lawrence Klein (with many saying he should have shared the Nobel with Klein), who in turn was a student of Samuelson, although it is a famous old wisecrack that "Samuelson never ran a regression in his lifeюЭ