“At a time when many people have fallen into despair, when our opponents seem invulnerable, it’s critical to have a magazine that challenges us to think, inspires us to action, and makes us realize that the impossible is only difficult, not insurmountable. That magazine is Monthly Review.”
HISTORY — In May 1949 Monthly Review began publication in New York City, as cold war hysteria gathered force in the United States. The first issue featured the lead article Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein. From the first Monthly Review spoke for socialism and against U.S. imperialism, and is still doing so today. From the first Monthly Review was independent of any political organization, and is still so today. The McCarthy era inquisition targeted Monthly Review’s original editors Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman, who fought back successfully. In the subsequent global upsurge against capitalism, imperialism and the commodification of life (in shorthand “1968”) Monthly Review played a global role. A generation of activists received no small part of their education as subscribers to the magazine and readers of Monthly Review Press books. In the intervening years of counter-revolution, Monthly Review has kept a steady viewpoint. That point of view is the heartfelt attempt to frame the issues of the day with one set of interests foremost in mind: those of the great majority of humankind, the propertyless.
“Monthly Reviewcan show an impressive record of committed left publishing. Through the thick and thin of American politics it has continued to carry the standard of thoughtful and critical radicalism. International in scope, it has combined the best of the old left with creative insights of new social movements.”
TODAY — Monthly Review has had but 6 editors. The original editors were Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman. Leo Huberman died in 1968, and Harry Magdoff became an editor in 1969. Ellen Meiksins Wood served ably as editor in the period 1997-2000. In May 2000 John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney, themselves of the “1968” generation and educated by Monthly Review, took over the primary editorial responsibilities. Founding editor Paul Sweezy died on February 27, 2004, and a special issue devoted to his work appeared in October 2004. On June 1, 2004 Robert W. McChesney ceased to be formally designated as an editor, while continuing as a contributor and a Director of the Monthly Review Foundation, the not-for-profit entity that operates both Monthly Review magazine and Monthly Review Press. Harry Magdoff died on New Year’s Day, 2006. A special issue focusing on his contribution to the understanding of capitalism and imperialism appeared in October, 2006. John Bellamy Foster, the current editor, continues the tradition of combining accounts of what is new (without falling for fads) with the equally vital task of seeing the longer process. That tradition, as summarized by Paul Sweezy, is to see the present as history. On July 14th, 2006 we began a daily web magazine, MRzine, featuring a broad range of articles, reviews and commentary. Revenues from subscriptions and the sales of books have always fallen short of the demands on Monthly Review’s resources. This is inevitable; in today’s world any anti-imperialist and socialist enterprise that finds its resources sufficient to the tasks we face must either be moribund or false. The contributions—over and above subscriptions and book sales—of a global community of several thousand people sustain Monthly Review. Monthly Review today places most of its articles on the web and our daily web magazine has attracted a substantial and growing readership. If you have found our website of value, please consider subscribing to the magazine or, better yet, becoming an Associate.