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Alan

Alan

[al-uhn]
Lomax, Alan: see under Lomax, John Avery.
Greenspan, Alan, 1926-, American economist, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (1987-2006), b. New York City. Influenced by the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Greenspan is a strong supporter of the free market and an opponent of government intervention in the economy. He was private economic consultant (1954-74, 1977-87) and served (1974-77) as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the administration of President Gerald Ford. From 1981 to 1983 he also chaired the bipartisan National Commission on Social Security Reform, which restructured the financing of the U.S. social security system to help assure its solvency.

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan appointed him chairman of the Federal Reserve System, replacing Paul Volcker. Reappointed by Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, he served in the office for nearly two decades. As Federal Reserve chairman, he earlier emphasized controlling inflation over promoting economic growth, but by 2003 a prolonged economic slowdown had shifted concern to possible deflation. During the 10-year expansion that began in 1991, Greenspan won widespread praise for what was regarded as the deft manipulation of interest rates, but the cutting of rates to historic lows during the 2001-3 slowdown only gradually produced the desired growth. A side effect, however, of the historically low interest rates was a significant increase in housing prices (in some parts of the country) and consumer indebtedness, both of which contributed to economic difficulties after Greenspan retired as Federal Reserve Board chairman in 2006. Greenspan's resistance in general to governmental regulation of financial markets also contributed to the economic crisis that began in 2007. Since retiring, he has headed an economic consulting firm and served in a number of advisory positions.

See his The Age of Turbulence (2007); D. B. Sicilia and J. L. Cruikshank, The Greenspan Effect (1999); J. Martin, Greenspan: The Man behind Money (2000); B. Woodward, Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom (2000).

Paton, Alan, 1903-88, South African novelist. A devoted leader in the struggle to end the oppression of the South African blacks, he served (1935-47) as principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory (near Johannesburg) for delinquent boys, where he instituted many reforms. After the publication of his first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), he became active in South African political affairs. He helped form the Liberal Association of South Africa, which later emerged as a political party. Paton's fiction, written with simplicity and compassion, reflects the deep conflicts that continue to exist in South Africa today. His second novel, Too Late the Phalarope, appeared in 1953, and Tales from a Troubled Land, a collection of short stories, in 1961. Among his other works are South Africa in Transition (1956); Hope for South Africa (1958); The Long View (1968), a volume of essays; and For You Departed (1969), a memoir and tribute to his wife. Maxwell Anderson's play Lost in the Stars (1948) was based on Cry, the Beloved Country.

See biography by P. F. Alexander (1995).

Seeger, Alan, 1888-1916, American poet, b. New York City, grad. Harvard, 1910. During World War I he served in the French Foreign Legion and was killed in battle in 1916. He is famous for his war poem, "I Have a Rendezvous with Death."

See his Collected Poems (1916) and his letters and diary (1917).

Hovhaness, Alan, 1911-2000, American composer, b. Somerville, Mass., as Alan Vaness Chakmakjian. Hovhaness was of Armenian and Scottish descent, and many of his works are based on Armenian culture or show influences from Middle Eastern, Asian, or early European music. Inspired by nature and Christian mysticism, he was also interested in unusual sonorities, rejecting the harmonic complexities of much modern music in favor of melody, clarity, simplicity, and an encompassing musical atmosphere. Hovhaness was enormously prolific; although he destroyed many compositions in 1940, his extant works number about 500, including nearly 70 symphonies. Among his works are Lousadzak [coming of light] (1945), for piano and strings; the widely played Second Symphony, subtitled Mysterious Mountain (1955); the symphonic poem Ukiyo-Floating World (1965); And God Created Great Whales (1970), for orchestra and recorded humpback whale; and Mt. Katahdin (1987), a piano sonata.

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