Kind words from Monthly Review on my work and new book

From the editor’s introduction to the April 2013 issue (

One of the most notable left intellectuals in the United States is Gar Alperovitz, professor of political economy at the University of Maryland. As an undergraduate Alperovitz studied at the University of Wisconsin under the great revisionist historian William Appleman Williams (a frequent contributor at the time to Monthly Review). He went on to pursue a PhD in economics at Cambridge University under Joan Robinson (also an MR contributor). Alperovitz’s doctoral dissertation, which was eventually published as the book Atomic Diplomacy, constituted a revisionist historical account of the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He demonstrated that Truman’s decision to use the bomb on civilian populations was opposed by U.S. military leaders—and was not so much the last act in the Second World War as the first act in the Cold War. (Truman’s objective in dropping the bomb was to force an immediate unconditional surrender—Japan had offered to surrender but the security of the emperor remained a sticking point—in order to preempt the further advance of Soviet troops into Asia and the expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence.) Alperovitz’s latest initiative is represented by his brand new book,What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution. He describes the systemic crisis in which the United States is trapped as one of “punctuated stagnation”: The nature of our current economic predicament, he writes, “is not [one of] collapse, but rather an odd form of painful stagnation—the hallmark of which is economic decay, with occasional significant downturns and (at best) modest and temporary upticks around a sickening, uncertain and debilitating norm” (126). […] We strongly agree with Alperovitz that a “punctuated stagnation,” in the sense he has described it, is the most accurate reading of contemporary economic reality and sets the stage for what could be “the next American revolution.” His book can be obtained from Chelsea Green Publishing at


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