Wednesday September 2nd, 2015, 12:57 pm (EDT)

Political Economy

Honest, Able, and Fearless

Victor Rabinowitz, Unrepentant Leftist: A Lawyer’s Memoir (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996), 352 pp., $29.95, cloth.

Among the questions that divide my friends is whether it is possible that widespread revolutionary organization may someday occur even in the United States, the Belly of the Beast as goes a phrase all my fellow 68ers will recall. If you think the question deserves to be asked, then the history of the repression of the U.S. Left after the Second World War (and of what survived the storm) is worth your attention. After all, if this history is forgotten then the question is indeed not worth asking. How the ruling class of the United States manages its domestic repression is, in any event, of general relevance in many other places as well. Victor Rabinowitz at age eighty five offers a sharp, fascinating, and superbly written report on this question from inside that structured but flexible Great Intestine of the United States, its legal system.… | more |

Walter Reuther, “Social Unionist”

Nelson Lichtenstein, The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit: Walter Reuther and the Fate of American Labor (New York: and Chicago: Basic Books, 1995), 575 pp., $35.00, cloth.

A New York Times obituary for Sophie Reuther on February 23, 1996, declared her husband, Victor, a co-founder of the United Auto Workers. So now the myth that Walter Reuther founded the UAW is extended to include his brother. Unfortunately, the new biography of Walter Reuther by Nelson Lichtenstein will do very little to squelch the myth; this despite the fact that the book documents Reuther’s career, warts and all.… | more |

Red Cat, White Cat

Red Cat, White Cat

China and the Contradictions of ‘Market Socialism’

After years of pro–market reforms, China faces a fundamental choice. Will it move toward private capitalism, or toward a renewal of the collective and socialist basis of its revolution? Red Cat, White Cat begins by examining the tensions growing within “market socialism.” Weil provides background on marketization, the class forces that produced it, and the polarization and social dislocation that it is generating.… | more |

The Triumph of Financial Capital

The announced subject of this conference is “New Trends in Turkey and the World.” I shall not try to say anything about new trends in Turkey, partly because of my ignorance but more importantly because Turkey is very much part of the world, and in this period the mother of all new trends is global in nature. To understand what is happening in any part of the world, one must start from what is happening in the whole world. Never has Hegel’s dictum “The Truth is in the Whole” been as true and relevant as it is today.… | more |

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs

Employment and Unemployment in the United States

Millions unemployed… fewer people working harder for less pay and shrinking benefits… the assets of the wealthiest one percent of the population growing as the population below the poverty line swells… the next generation facing an even more bitter future… Why? Most working people cannot answer this question. In this user-friendly book, Michael Yates explains how employment and unemployment are inextricably connected in an economic system where employers are driven by the search for profits. … | more |

The Rush to Development

The Rush to Development

Economic Change and Political Struggle in South Korea

After thirty years of rapid economic growth, South Korea is widely promoted as demonstrating the superiority of free market capitalism. Along with Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, it is considered a great success story and model for third world development.… | more |

The Conquest of America

The Conquest of America

How the Indian Nations Lost Their Continent

This sequel to the author’s best-selling Columbus: His Enterprise provides, in ten short chapters, a brilliant account of the ongoing war waged by Europeans against the native peoples of the Americas in the five centuries after Columbus arrived. Ranging from the Spanish conquest to the colonization of North America, from the seizure of land from the native inhabitants to present-day military interventions, Koning’s provocative and readable history provides students with a different perspective on U.S. history and a framework for understanding U.S. policy toward indigenous and foreign peoples. … | more |

New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism

New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism

This pathbreaking collection of essays recasts the prevailing conceptions of the historical roots and role of the U.S. Communist Party and its social setting. The contributors focus on the movement that formed around the party and the popular culture it expressed, particularly in the period from 1930 to 1960. They look at the impact of the part and its followers in the areas of education, literature, and the arts, in the African-American community, and on the women’s and labor movements.… | more |

The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Great Reversal is the first critical study of the widely heralded reforms currently transforming China’s economy. From his long experience in Chinese agriculture, Hinton first examines the course of agricultural reform over the past decade, then looks at its consequences in different areas of the countryside and considers its implications for the country as a whole. He raises troubling questions about China’s capitalist future—the growing landlessness, increasing inequality, and above all, the destruction of the nation’s natural resources and the collectively built infrastructure that was the great achievement of the revolution. In so doing he sheds new light on the sources of discontent behind the demonstrations that culminated in the Tiananmen massacre of June 1989.… | more |

Transforming the Revolution

Transforming the Revolution

Social Movements and the World-System

In this successor volume to the widely read Dynamics of Global Crisis, the authors engage in a provocative discussion of the history and contemporary dilemmas facing the movements that are variously described as antisystemic, social, or popular. The authors believe that these movements, which have for the past 150 years protested and organized against the multiple injustices of the existing system, are the key locus of social transformation. … | more |

The Poor and the Powerless

The Poor and the Powerless

Economic Policy and Change in the Caribbean

Argues than another form of development—by the poor and for the poor—is not only possible but necessary.… | more |

The Irreversible Crisis

The Irreversible Crisis

Economic History as it Happened, Vol. V

The economies of the capitalist world-individually and as part of a closely knit global system-have been in an ongoing state of crisis since the early 1970s when the long post World War II boom finally came to an end. This crisis has gone through several phases but has not at any time shown signs of giving way to a renewed long wave of prosperity.… | more |

Economic History as it Happened, Vol IV

Stagnation and the Financial Explosion

Economic History As It Happened, Vol. IV

This is the fourth in the magisterial series of essays by the former editors of Monthly Review on the state of the U.S. economy and its relation to the global system. Like its predecessors, this volume focuses on the development of U.S. capitalism as it takes place, and covers the 1980s. The authors stress the profound contradictions of the underlying processes of capital accumulation and identify, before any other economic commentators, the immense implications of the use of the explosion of debt to attempt to solve the problems presented by the underlying stagnation in the real economy.… | more |

The Financial Explosion

Credit where credit is due. For a long time now we have been harping in this space on the theme of a monetary system out of control; of the wild proliferation of new financial institutions, instruments, and markets; of the unchecked spread of a speculative fever certainly more pervasive and perhaps even more virulent than any recorded in the long history of capitalism’s get-rich-quick obsessions. With few exceptions, accredited economists, as is their wont, have ignored these bizarre goings-on: they are not part of the way the economy is supposed to operate and are hence unworthy of “scientific” attention. … | more |

Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars

Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars

Life and Culture on the Lower East Side, 1890–1925

At the turn of the century, millions of European women set sail with their families for the United States. Behind them stood a world of peasant agriculture and small town life. Ahead lay the concrete metropolis, swept by the winds of industrial development. Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars tells the story of the Jewish and Italian women who came to inhabit New York’s Lower East Side during this period of massive migration. By looking at two generations — mothers born in the Old World, and daughters born in the new — and making extensive use of oral histories, Elizabeth Ewen presents the compelling tale of a metamorphosis in life and in perception. … | more |

Memoirs of Bernardo Vega

Memoirs of Bernardo Vega

A Contribution to the History of the Puerto Rican Community in New York

When Bernardo Vega arrived in New York from Puerto Rico in 1916, he was at the forefront of a migrant stream that was soon to become a flood. His memoirs—perceptive, lively, and politically aware—provide us with a unique and often humorous firsthand account of the life of an immigrant, as well as of the concerns and activities of the Puerto Rican community in New York in the period between the wars.… | more |

The Faltering Economy

The Faltering Economy

The essays in this volume, by veteran economists as well as younger scholars, are part of a radical attempt to grapple with the problems of advanced capitalist development without discarding the real theoretical breakthroughs made by Keynes. The contributors argue that Keynes was correct in pointing to the economic contradictions stemming from unemployment, incoming inequality, and speculative finance, but failed to consider the class composition of social output, the macroeconomic effects of the modern firm, and the atrophy of investment under conditions of capitalist maturity. … | more |

Social Security: The Phony Crisis

In a recent speech, the head of the main government workers union in the United States accused the Reagan administration of “bleeding” the nation in order to finance defense spending and tax breaks for the rich. It is now clear that one cherished national social institution which is scheduled by the Reagan crowd for a major blood-letting is the Social Security System.… | more |

The Struggle to Save Social Security

Jacob Morris has effectively exposed the attack on Social Security for what it is, and he has done this within the framework of the existing system. The underlying assumption is that Social Security must be paid for out of an accounting reserve supported by payroll taxes. Based on this premise, generally accepted by liberals and conservatives alike, the financial integrity of the reserve is taken as equivalent to the integrity of Social Security itself. But the real questions are different. Why use an accounting reserve and why apply the test of financial integrity? No such tests are applied to any other part of the federal budget, surely not to the enormous armaments expenditures. Basically, what is at issue here is not a financial but a social problem.… | more |

Dynamics of Global Crisis

Dynamics of Global Crisis

Preeminent theoreticians of the world economy set out their understanding of the long-term dynamics of global capitalism.… | more |

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