Archive | Contributions

Forewords, Introductions and Afterwords to Books by Others

The Rediscovery of Imperialism

The concept of “imperialism” was considered outside the acceptable range of political discourse within the ruling circles of the capitalist world for most of the twentieth century. Reference to “imperialism” during the Vietnam War, no matter how realistic, was almost always a sign that the writer was on the left side of the political spectrum. […]

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Helen Keller and the Touch of Nature: An Introduction to Keller’s The World I live In

Mark Twain asserted that Helen Keller (1880-1968) was immortal—fellow to Caesar, Homer, and Shakespeare—and would “be as famous a thousand years from now as she is to-day” (Twain, 1924, Vol. 2, p. 297). Elementary school teachers have told the story of Keller’s childhood for more than a hundred years, whereas her activist and intellectual developments […]

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George Perkins Marsh and the Transformation of the Earth: An Introduction to Marsh’s Man and Nature

George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) stated that his book, Man and Nature, was “a little volume showing the whereas [Carl] Ritter and [Arnold] Guyot think that the earth made man, man in fact made earth” (as cited in Lowenthal, 2000, p. 267). With this position, Marsh inverted a dominant theoretical transformation— both destruction and revitalization— of […]

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In Defense of History

Are we now in an age of “postmodernity”? Even as some on the right have proclaimed the “end of history” or the final triumph of capitalism, we are told by some left intellectuals that the “modern” epoch has ended, that the “Enlightenment project” is dead, that all the old verities and ideologies have lost their […]

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“Introduction to Special Issue Commemorating the Twentieth Anniversary of Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital”

It is a measure of the influence of Harry Braverman and radical labor process analysts generally that only two decades after the publication of Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (1974) it is difficult to recall the absolute confidence with which the orthodox view of work relations was espoused […]

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“The discovery of America and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope,” Adam Smith wrote in 1776 in his Wealth of Nations, the book that more than any other was to mark the birth of liberal political economy, “are the two greatest and most important events recorded in […]

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