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Gar Alperovitz: Wikis


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Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. He is a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State.

Alperovitz is a political economist and revisionist historian whose numerous articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The Nation, and The Atlantic among other publications. Alperovitz has been profiled by The New York Times, the Associated Press, People, UPI, and Mother Jones and has been a guest on numerous network TV and cable news programs, including Meet the Press, Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, Crossfire, and The O'Reilly Factor.

Dr. Alperovitz is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy and was named "Distinguished Finalist" for the Lionel Gelber Prize for The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, (Knopf, 1995). Dr. Alperovitz's most recent book is America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy. [1] (November 2004). Today his research interests include[2]:

  • community-based political-economic development, and in particular new institutions of community wealth ownership;
  • political-economic theory, including system-wide political-economic design particularly as related to normative issues of equality, democracy, liberty, community and ecological sustainability;
  • local, state and national policy approaches to community stability in the era of globalization;
  • the history and future of nuclear weapons; arms control and disarmament strategies, including work on the conditions of peace and related long term political economic structural change.

Several recent articles include 'Another World is Possible' published recently in Mother Jones, 'A Top Ten List of Bold New Ideas' published recently in The Nation and 'You Say You Want a Revolution?' in WorldWatch.


Excerpts from America Beyond Capitalism

'[T]he seemingly radical idea of the workers and community owning and running a giant steel mill was hardly radical at all at the grass-roots level. Indeed, the vast majority of the community, the local congressional delegation, both senators, and the conservative governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, supported it.' (p. v)

'Way back when–in my early days in Wisconsin–Senator Joseph McCarthy of our state dominated politics, both nationally and locally. “They shot anything that moved politically,” people used to say. Fear dominated every suggestion that progressive ideas might be put forward. Anyone who thought otherwise was obviously foolish. But of course, what came next was the 1960s.'(p. vii)


Alperovitz' writings criticizing the decision by U.S. President Harry S Truman to use the atomic bomb against Japan have been characterized as revisionist by a number of historians, including Robert James Maddox, Professor Emeritus of History at the Pennsylvania State University. Maddox has criticized Alperovitz for "his unscholarly use of ellipsis" and other alleged misrepresentation of sources. Maddox also accuses Alperovitz of cherry picking his sources, ignoring those that undermine his thesis.[3]

A summary of the debate over the work can be found here between several major critics and Professor Alperovitz.[4]


  • Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965). Other editions: German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, British.
  • Cold War Essays, with an Introduction by Christopher Lasch, (New York: Doubleday, 1970).
  • Strategy and Program, with S. Lynd,(Boston: Beacon Press, 1973).
  • Rebuilding America, with J. Faux, (New York: Pantheon, 1984).
  • American Economic Policy, ed. with R. Skurski,(Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984).
  • The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995). Other editions: German, Japanese, Korean, British.
  • The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, (New York: Vintage Books, 1996). British edition (Harper Collins).
  • Making a Place for Community, with D. Imbroscio and T. Williamson (New York: Routledge, 2002).
  • America Beyond Capitalism, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons) October 2004.
  • Building Wealth: The New Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems, (Washington, D.C.: The Aspen Institute), April 2005. (Democracy Collaborative Report, under the direction of Gar Alperovitz)


  1. ^ America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy
  2. ^ See his university webpage at
  3. ^ Maddox, Robert James, ed. 2007. Hiroshima In History: The Myths of Revisionism. ISBN 978-0-8262-1732-5
  4. ^ H-Net debate: summary:

External links



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