The Optimism of the Heart

The Optimism of the Heart“, (memorial to Harry Magdoff), Monthly Review, vol. 58, no. 5 (October 2006), pp. 10-26. DOI: 10.14452/MR-058-05-2006-09_2

The following intellectual biography of Harry Magdoff is a slightly revised and expanded version of a piece that was posted on MRzine a few days after Harry’s death on January 1, 2006. It evolved out of an earlier biography I wrote for the Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists in 2000. Since the aim of this biography was to present the basic facts of Harry’s intellectual career, personal feelings and observations were largely excluded. A brief word on Harry’s character and the warm emotions he engendered within those who knew him therefore seems essential here.

Online draft, placed on

  • Translated in Monthly Review, Turkish edition, no. 2 (2006), pp. 9-22.
  • Bangla translation included in in the Rank of the Wretched: A collection of Short Biographies of Albert Einstein, Paul M. Sweezy, and Harry Magdoff. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Shrabon Prokashoni, 2006.
  • Chinese translation by Shoutao Sun in Foreign Theory Dynamics, 3 (2006).


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