The Monthly Review
, established in 1949, is an independent socialist magazine
published monthly in New York City
. The publication is the longest continuously published socialist magazine in the United States.
Following the failure of the independent 1948 Presidential campaign
of Henry A. Wallace
, two former supporters of the Wallace effort met at the farm in New Hampshire
where one of them was living. The two men were literary scholar and Christian socialist F.O. "Matty" Matthiessen
and Marxist economist Paul Sweezy
, who were former colleagues at Harvard University
. Matthiessen came into an inheritance after his father died in an automobile accident in California
and had no pressing need for the money. Matthiessen made the offer to Sweezy to underwrite "that magazine [Sweezy] and Leo Huberman were always talking about," committing the sum of $5,000 per year for three years. Matthiessen's funds made the launch of Monthly Review
possible, although the amount of the seed money was reduced to $4,000 per year in the second and third years by the executors of Matthiessen's estate following his suicide in 1950.
Although Matthiessen was the financial angel of the new publication, from the outset the editorial task was handled by Sweezy and his co-thinker, the left wing popular writer Leo Huberman
. The author of an array of books and pamphlets during the 1930s and early 1940s, the New York University
-educated Huberman worked full-time on Monthly Review
from its establishment until his death of a heart attack
Sweezy and Huberman were complementary figures guiding the publication, with Sweezy's theoretical bent and writing ability put to use for a majority of the editorial content, while Huberman took charge of the business and administrative aspects of the enterprise. Sweezy remained at home in New Hampshire, traveling down to New York City once a month to read manuscripts
, where Huberman conducted the day-to-day operations of the magazine along with his wife, Gerty Huberman, and family friend Sybil Huntington May.
Briefly joining Sweezy and Huberman as a third founding editor of Monthly Review
— although not listed as such on the publication's masthead
— was German émigré Otto Nathan
(1893-1987). Although his time of editorial association with MR
was short, Nathan was instrumental in obtaining what would become a seminal essay for the magazine, a lead piece for the debut May 1949 issue by physicist Albert Einstein
entitled "Why Socialism?
Another key contributor during the first 15 years of MR
was economist Paul Baran
, frequently considered as the third member of an editorial troika including Sweezy and Huberman. A tenured
professor at Stanford University
, Baran was one of a very few self-identified Marxists to teach economics at American universities during the Cold War
period. Baran worked closely with Sweezy on a book regarded as a landmark in Marxist theory entitled Monopoly Capital,
although he died of a heart attack prior to the work's first publication in 1966.
launched in 1949 with a circulation of just 450 copies, most of whom were personal acquaintances of either Huberman or Sweezy.
The magazine's ideology and readership closely paralleled that of the independent Marxist weekly newspaper The National Guardian
, established in 1948. Despite a conservative political climate in the United States, the magazine quickly reached a critical mass of subscribers, with its paid circulation rising to 2,500 in 1950 and to 6,000 in 1954.
In 1953, the magazine added veteran radical Scott Nearing
to the magazine's ranks. From that date and for nearly 20 years Nearing authored a column descriptively entitled "World Events". During the Truman and Eisenhower years, a number of left wing intellectuals found a space for their work in MR,
including a number that would gain in stature in the ensuing liberalized decade, such as pacifist activist Staughton Lynd
(1952), historian William Appleman Williams
(1952), and sociologist C. Wright Mills
New Left era and after
From the middle years of the 1960s, radical political theory saw a resurgence in association with the emergence of a New Left
in Europe and North America. Monthly Review
grew in stature in tandem with this resurgence.
While remaining an intellectual journal not oriented towards acquiring a mass readership, circulation of the publication nonetheless grew throughout this era, approaching 9,100 in 1970 before peaking at 11,500 in 1977.
The Monthly Review
editorial staff was joined in May 1969 by radical economist Harry Magdoff
, replacing Leo Huberman, who had died in 1968. Magdoff, a reader of the publication from its first issue in 1949, bolstered the already well-developed "Third-Worldist
" orientation of the publication, based upon revolutionary events in Cuba
, China, and Vietnam
. Certain Maoist
influence made itself felt in the content of the publication in this period.
...the Communist regimes of the Soviet bloc have become the expression and the guardians of a new rigidified hierarchical structure which has nothing in common with the kind of socialist society Marxists have always regarded as the goal of modern working class movements."
Despite an apparent decline of the American Left in the 1980s, MR'
s circulation hovered in the 8,000 range throughout the decade.
Between 1997 and 2000, Monthly Review
was co-edited by Ellen Meiksins Wood
, Magdoff and Sweezy.
Since 2006 John Bellamy Foster
has been the sole editor. Brett Clark
is the associate editor, and the magazine also has one assistant editor and an editorial committee.
From its first issue, Monthly Review
attacked the premise that capitalism
was capable of infinite growth through Keynesian macroeconomic
fine-tuning. Instead, the magazine's editors and leading writers have remained true to the traditional Marxist perspective that capitalist economies contain internal contradictions which will ultimately lead to their collapse and reconstitution on a new socialist basis. Topics of editorial concern have included poverty
, unequal distribution of incomes and wealth.
Although not averse to discussion of esoteric matters of socialist theory, MR
was generally characterized by an aversion to doctrinaire citations of Marxist canon in favor of the analysis of real-world economic and historical trends. Readability was emphasized and the use of academic jargon discouraged.
Editors Huberman and Sweezy argued as early as 1952 that massive and expanding military spending was an integral part of the process of capitalist stabilization, driving corporate profits, bolstering levels of employment, and absorbing surplus production. They argued the illusion of an external military threat was required to sustain this system of priorities in government spending; consequently, effort was made by the editors to challenge the dominant Cold War paradigm of "Democracy versus Communism" in the material published in the magazine.
In its editorial line Monthly Review
offered critical support of the Soviet Union
during its early years although over time the magazine became increasingly critical of Soviet dedication to Socialism in One Country
and peaceful coexistence
, seeing that country as playing a more or less conservative role in a world marked by national revolutionary movements. After the Sino-Soviet split
of the 1960s, Sweezy and Huberman soon came to see the People's Republic of China as the actual center of the world revolutionary movement.
remained true to an independent orientation throughout its history and never aligned with any specific revolutionary
movement or political organization. Many of its articles have been written by academics, journalists, and freelance public intellectuals, including Albert Einstein
, Tariq Ali
, Isabel Allende
, Samir Amin
, Julian Bond
, Marilyn Buck
, G. D. H. Cole
, Bernardine Dohrn
, W. E. B. Du Bois
, Barbara Ehrenreich
, Andre Gunder Frank
, Eduardo Galeano
, Che Guevara
, Lorraine Hansberry
, Edward S. Herman
, Eric Hobsbawm
, Michael Klare
, Saul Landau
, Michael Parenti
, Robert W. McChesney
, Ralph Miliband
, Marge Piercy
, Frances Fox Piven
, Adrienne Rich
, Jean-Paul Sartre
, Daniel Singer
, E. P. Thompson
, Immanuel Wallerstein
, and Raymond Williams
"The Monthly Review
... was and is Marxist, but did not hew to the party line or get into sectarian struggles."
In addition to the U.S.-based magazine, there are seven sister editions of Monthly Review
. They are published in Greece; Turkey; Spain; South Korea; as well as separate English, Hindi, and Bengali editions in India.
Monthly Review Press
Monthly Review Press, an allied endeavor, was launched in 1951 in response to the inability of the maverick left-wing journalist I. F. Stone
to otherwise find a publisher for his book The Hidden History of the Korean War
. Stone's work, which argued that the still ongoing Korean War
was not a case of simple Communist military aggression but was rather the product of political isolation, South Korean military buildup, and border provocations, became the first title offered by the MR Press in 1952.
From 2005 to 2016, Monthly Review
published an associated website, MRzine
. At its closure, Monthly Review
announced that it would maintain an online archive of the site.
Abstracting and indexing
has had six editors listed on its masthead:
- ^ C. Phelps (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1.
- ^ Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 3-4
- ^ Savran, S.; Tonak, E. A.; Sweezy, P. M. (1987). "Interview with Paul M. Sweezy". Monthly Review. 38 (11): 1. doi:10.14452/MR-038-11-1987-04_1. p. 32-33
- ^ Einstein, A. (2009). "Why Socialism?". Monthly Review. 61 (1): 55–61. doi:10.14452/MR-061-01-2009-05_7. HTML version available at the Monthly Review website: "Why Socialism?". May 1949. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- ^ a b c "About Monthly Review".
- ^ Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 4-5.
- ^ Savran, S.; Tonak, E. A.; Sweezy, P. M. (1987). "Interview with Paul M. Sweezy". Monthly Review. 38 (11): 1. doi:10.14452/MR-038-11-1987-04_1. p. 43-44
- ^ Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 7-9.
- ^ a b Paul Sweezy, 93, Marxist Publisher and Economist, Dies, The New York Times, March 2, 2004.
- ^ Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 18-19.
- ^ John Bellamy Foster, "Monthly Review," in Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas (eds.) Encyclopedia of the American Left New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1990; p. 485.
- ^ a b Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 20-21.
- ^ Phelps, C.; Magdoff, H. (1999). "Interview with Harry Magdoff". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 54–73. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_3. p. 54, pp. 61-64
- ^ Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 24-25.
- ^ Sweezy, P. M. (1983). "The Suppression of the Polish Workers Movement". Monthly Review. 34 (8): 27–30. doi:10.14452/MR-034-08-1983-01_3. p. 30
- ^ a b John Bellamy Foster, "Monthly Review," in Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas (eds.)Encyclopedia of the American Left. New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1990; p. 484.
- ^ Monthly Review Archives, "Editorial Team."
- ^ Peter Clecak, "Monthly Review (1949—)," in Joseph R. Conlin (ed.), The American Radical Press, 1880-1960: Volume 2. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1974; pg. 667.
- ^ Clecak, "Monthly Review (1949—)," p. 671.
- ^ "Foreign Editions of Monthly Review". Archived from the original on 2017-08-18. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- ^ a b Phelps, C. (1999). "Introduction: A Socialist Magazine in the American Century". Monthly Review. 51 (1): 1–21. doi:10.14452/MR-051-01-1999-05_1. p. 15-16.
- ^ Baran, Paul A. (2000). The political economy of growth. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 0853450765.
- ^ Hinton, William (2008) . Fanshen. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 978-1583671757.
- ^ Baran, Paul A.; Sweezy, Paul M. (1966). Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 0853450730.
- ^ Galeano, Eduardo (1997) . Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9780853459910.
- ^ Amin, Samir (1973). Unequal development. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9780853453802. OCLC 477201729.
- ^ Amin, Samir (2010) . Eurocentrism (2nd ed.). New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9781583672075.
- ^ Braverman, Harry (1998) . Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 0853459401.
- ^ Yates, Michael D. (2003). Naming the System. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 1583670793. OCLC 477201729.
- ^ Foster, John Bellamy (2000). Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 1583670122.
- ^ Césaire, Aimé (2000) . Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 1583670254.
- ^ Magdoff, Fred; Foster, John Bellamy (2009). The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9781583671849.
- ^ Lewontin, Richard; Levins, Richard (2007). Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, Agriculture, and Health. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9781583671573.
- ^ Panitch, Leo; Albo, Greg; Chibber, Vivek, eds. (2013). Registering class: socialist register 2014. New York: Monthly Review Press. pp. 335. ISBN 978-1583674314. OCLC 844308930. Also see the full listing Socialist Register books.
- ^ "MR's Upgrade". Monthly Review. December 31, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- ^ "Journals Ranked by Impact: Political Science". 2014 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2015.
- Paul A. Baran, The Longer View. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969.
- Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff, Rethinking Marxism: Essays for Harry Madgoff and Paul Sweezy. Brooklyn, NY: Audomedia, 1985.
- Savran, S.; Tonak, E. A.; Sweezy, P. M. (1987). "Interview with Paul M. Sweezy". Monthly Review. 38 (11): 1. doi:10.14452/MR-038-11-1987-04_1.
- "From the Left: Harry Magdoff; A Free-Market Failure," New York Times, November 1, 1987.
- Robert W. McChesney, "The Monthly Review Story: 1949-1984," MRzine, June 5, 2007.
- Attewell, Paul A. (1984). Radical political economy since the sixties: a sociology of knowledge analysis. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813510538. OCLC 10230097.
Last edited on 21 April 2021, at 16:21
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