Socialism: Past and Future

Socialism: Past and Future

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by Michael Harrington

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Editorial Reviews

Herbert Mitgang
After reading Mr. Harrington on democratic Socialism, you don't want to pick up a gun; rather, you pick up a book to reload long-forgotten theories. ''Socialism: Past and Future'' boldly challenges traditional ideas. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By ``democratic socialism,'' Harrington means something vastly different from the Soviet or Chinese systems, which he regards as ``bureaucratic collectivisms.'' Calling socialism the major hope for human freedom and justice in the 21st century, the author of The Other America and The New American Poverty demands meaningful worker-involvement in decision-making, reorganization of markets away from pure profiteering, decentralization and a move toward an egalitarian global economy. Today's ``free market'' economies, he argues, are controlled by socially authoritarian, militarist, debt-financed regimes like those of Reagan and Thatcher. Harrington is a nondogmatic thinker, and this succinct, readable synthesis of the various strands of his thought conveys a sense of urgency deepened by his struggle with inoperable cancer. His blueprint for a ``visionary gradualism'' deserves a reading. (July)
Library Journal
As this may be Harrington's last major work (he is battling inoperable cancer), it is worthy of careful attention even though it covers some familiar territory. It is both a condensation of and a sequel to his massive theoretical study Socialism ( LJ 6/1/72), and it also refines and supports arguments put forth in writings such as Toward a Democratic Left ( LJ 3/15/68) and The Next Left ( LJ 1/15/84). He argues that socialist renewal is the only hope for progress and freedom in the next century and he tries to clear away the ``deadwood of the socialist past.'' He is convincing in his application of classic socialist theory to current economic situations, and he examines the validity of the idea of ``visionary gradualism'' in bringing about a socialist agenda. Recommended for all academic libraries.-- Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.
The New York Times
“Mr. Harrington is a sensitive, compassionate advocate of a just, humane, and civilized future.”
Los Angeles Time Book Review
“Magnificent…more than anything, this is a book about hope.”

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Product Details

Pluto Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)

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