Doug was my undergraduate teacher at San Jose State, 1976-1979. He changed my life. Doug had a passion for history that he combined with profound insights and a deep, deep sense of humanism. He always had hope that progressive change is possible.
"Accumulation and Crisis in U.S. Capitalism," is one of Doug's finest works and should be more widely available.
From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Cypher
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 3:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [AFEEMAIL] Doug Dowd, 1919-2017
Dear AFEE Colleagues,
I learned of Doug Dowd's death yesterday. He was perhaps best known in institutionalist circles for his 1958 collection of essays, "Thorstein
Veblen: a critical reappraisal; lectures and essays commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Veblen's birth", which presented the ideas of an array of noted scholars including J. Dorfman and W. Hamilton.
Over many decades Dowd communicated Veblen's core ideas to generations of his students in the US and later in Italy. Dowd was determined to disseminate his Veblenian perspective to as many individuals as possible through his tireless and brilliant efforts to utilize any and all forums available to him, including public sponsored radio, television (where he debated Milton Friedman and later Condoleezza Rice), the web, and numerous public classes held at progressive bookstores around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dowd studied under Robert Brady at U.C. Berkeley--an intellectual giant whose dual grasp of Veblen and economic history greatly shaped Dowd's approach to economics.
Dowd was a "public intellectual" exhibiting a remarkable and unflagging commitment to progressive social change. His disdain for conventional economics and economists (who he often said had acquired a "trained incapacity" to understand economic processes) was omnipresent both in his many books and articles and in his countless public appearances.
If you did not have the great honor and pleasure to know Doug Dowd as an individual I would recommend his masterful biography "Blues for America". I had the remarkable opportunity to share the microphone with Dowd for over ten years in a monthly radio program "Shouting Out with Mama O'Shea" on KPFA, broadcast throughout northern California.
Every time we went on the air I ended up learning as I listened to Doug who could communicate the essence of economic issues better than anyone. Doug lived by and almost always worked-into his presentation the famous quote "If not us, who? If not now, when?" Indeed!
James M. Cypher