Monthly Review organized and held 6 panels on topics ranging from the issues about science and reality raised by Alan Sokal, to globalization, postmodernism, universalism, and nationalism. These panels were very well attended. A lively discussion took place at each session. We have in this issue two papers given at the Conference. The first is Ellen Meiksins Wood’s “Back to Marx” (the Review of the Month), and the second is William Tabb’s “Globalization is an Issue, The Power of Capital is the Issue.” At the conference there was more interest than we have seen in many years in the state of the U.S. labor movement. The 1997 double summer issue will be devoted to the problems (and potential) of the labor movement here and abroad.
Plans are already being made for next year’s Socialist Scholars Conference, and MR intends to maintain (and expand) its presence. We hope to see you there.
We are also pleased to announce the publication of Doug Dowds new book Blues for America: A Critique, a Lament, and some memories. On May 7 the Monthly Review office was the site of a book party to celebrate both book and author. This was only one of several such parties that have been held from coast to coast, and will continue to be in the following months.
In Blues for America, Dowd has written a narrative that part autobiography, part economic history, and part critique of the “American Century.” He has intertwined the stories of his life with the history of his time. Dowd was chair of the Economics Department at Cornell University in the 1960s, as well as a national figure in the movement to end the Vietnam War. In a recent radio interview (with Studs Terkel in Chicago) Dowd said: “I wrote this book in an attempt to make history understandable and readable….One of the two main focusses of the book is a critique of the cold war which I think has been an enormous continuing fraud, and the other is a critique of capitalism, which is like the bad kid on the block, except that this bad kid owns the block, and owns the cops, and owns everything. It doesn’t matter what you do with capitalism its just got this bad blood and its gonna come out and poison.”