Sweezy, Paul M(arlor) 1910-2004

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SWEEZY, Paul M(arlor) 1910-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 10, 1910, in New York, NY; died of congestive heart failure, February 28, 2004, in Larchmont, NY. Economist, editor, educator, and author. A leading economist of his day, Sweezy was the founder of the important Marxist journal the Monthly Review. His beliefs that government should play an important role in curtailing the excesses of capitalism arose during his college years in the Great Depression. He was a graduate of Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. in 1931 and, after a year at the London School of Economics, finished his Ph.D. in 1937. Sweezy began teaching at Harvard in 1934, becoming an assistant professor of economics in 1940. During World War II he served in the Office of Strategic Services, returning to Harvard only to resign in 1946 after he was refused tenure. Fortunately for Sweezy, he had inherited money from his banker father, which allowed him to pursue his own career path. He decided to found the Monthly Review, an independent periodical that published articles by intellectuals and radicals ranging from Che Guevera and Jean Paul Sartre to Albert Einstein and W. E. B. Du Bois. His Marxist beliefs naturally led him to come under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and at one point the state of New Hampshire imprisoned him for "contempt." The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957, where Sweezy was exonerated. While his journal never had a circulation much above 12,000 even at its height, Sweezy continued to run it well into the 1990s, and it is still published today. Also the founder of Monthly Review Press, he wrote and edited numerous publications, including Socialism (1949), The Theory of U.S. Foreign Policy (1960), Modern Capitalism and Other Essays (1972), and Post-Revolutionary Society (1980), among others.



New York Times, March 2, 2004, p. A25.

Times (London, England), March 8, 2004, p. 27.

Washington Post, March 5, 2004, p. B8.