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Only People Make Their Own History: Writings on Capitalism, Imperialism, and Revolution

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Introduction by Aijaz Ahmad

Radical political economist Samir Amin (1931–2018) left behind a cherished oeuvre of Marxist writings. Amin’s intellectual range—from economics to culture—was admirable, and his lessons remain essential. Monthly Review Press is honored to publish this volume, culled from the Monthly Review magazine, of ten of Samir Amin’s most significant essays written in the twenty-first century. The collection is introduced by Amin’s friend and comrade, the Marxist philosopher Aijaz Ahmad, who provides a comprehensive survey of Amin’s life and path-breaking work. Ahmad also offers a contextual focus by which to read such stunningly astute pieces as “Revolution or Decadence?” and “Contemporary Imperialism.”

Only People Make Their Own History is a loving and enlightening look at what the work of Samir Amin has meant—and will mean—to millions of people the world over.

What is splendid in Amin’s writing…is his lucidity of expression, his clear consistency of approach, and, above all, his absolutely unwavering condemnation of the ravages of capital and of bourgeois ideology in all its forms.… Amin remains an essential point of reference, and an inspiration.

—Bill Bowring, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Samir Amin was born in Cairo in 1931 of an Egyptian father and a French mother. He was director of the Third World Forum and president of the World Forum for Alternatives. He died in Paris in August 2018. Among his many books are Modern Imperialism, Monopoly Finance Capital, and Marx’s Law of Value; The World We Wish To See; Eurocentrism (2nd ed.); and The Liberal Virus.

Publication Date: March 2019

Number of Pages: 246

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-769-8

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-770-4

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-771-1