OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Gar Alperovitz

Portrait of Gar Alperovitz

Gar Alperovitz is a professor emeritus of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a cofounder of The Democracy Collaborative. He has written on nuclear weapons and the origins of the Cold War and on new possibilities for systemic change in advanced societies. His books include Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (1965), The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb (1995), and America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy (2005, reissued with extended introduction in 2011). A coauthor of Unjust Deserts (2008), which deals with the socially created and inherited sources of wealth and the implications for a new theory of distribution, he is the author most recently of What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About The Next American Revolution (2014), a book about paths to the democratization of wealth and systemic change.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

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The stalemated American system is creating numerous cooperatives, worker owned firms, social enterprises,on the one hand, and crisis developments in major sectors (e.g. health, finance, etc.) on the other. It has also demonstrated a capacity to produce crises in 'systemically critical' sectors (e.g. autos, where nationalization recently occurred. These are some of the signs of a growing crisis. At the same time a major debate is underway just beneath the horizon of public awareness on "systems" that might take us beyond both corporate capitalism and state socialism, and evolve out of the emerging crisis-driven patterns now quietly developing.