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Political Economy

Put To Work: The WPA and Public Employment in the Great Depression

Put To Work: The WPA and Public Employment in the Great Depression

With unemployment surging to record levels and the economy in freefall, experts are looking to the Great Depression for lessons in stimulating job creation. Then, as now, the system was unable to provide the jobs and financial support desperately needed by millions of people. But then—in the 1930s—the state intervened to create massive employment programs that put people to work on socially useful projects in states, cities, and towns across the country. The scope of these programs was unprecedented and never repeated in the decades that followed. Today, as the severity of the economic crisis increasingly resembles that of the Great Depression, the time for a reappraisal of the New Deal employment programs has never been more necessary. | more…

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States

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 Conquest of America: How the Indian Nations Lost Their Continent

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…

Transforming the Revolution: Social Movements and the World-System

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 Great Reversal: The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Great Reversal: 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…

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…

The Irreversible Crisis (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. V)

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…

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…

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