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Thorstein Veblen’s Grandmother, Berit Bonde

December 31, 2015
Einar & Berit Bonde

Berit and Einar Bonde, parents of Tosten Bonde, who settled in Nerstrand, Minnesota, along with his wife Ingabor. They were parents of my grandpa Carl T.

My great-great-grandmother grew up in Vang, Norway.  I hate to make it sound like I’m boasting, but, well, one of her daughters was Thorstein Veblen’s mother.

Who, you might ask, was Thorstein Veblen?  (I clear my throat.)  I’m sure you could look up his name in Wikipedia.  He was the economist who wrote a book titled, “Theory of the Leisure Class.

Thorstein grew up in Minnesota, near where my grandfather grew up.  Only my grandfather didn’t write a book about economics.

Until recently, I always thought I’d never understand the famous book.  Then I found another book he wrote in a used bookstore in Washington, D.C.  titled, “Absentee Ownership.”  I read the forward and preface.  Turns out Thorstein’s works were satire.  He was a socialist who, in a round about way, made fun of the big shots who did no useful work but bought and sold the work of others.

 

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