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Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is an American political economist and historian. He was the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics from 1999 to 2015. Alperovitz was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of the Harvard Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. He also served as a Legislative Director in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate and as a Special Assistant in the US Department of State. Alperovitz is a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute[1][2] and a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative. As of April 2015, he serves on the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States as "New Economy Advisor to the President".[3]


Alperovitz's 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.

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 and the Architecture of an American Myth, (Knopf, 1995). His research interests include:[4]

  • 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.

Alperovitz's articles include "Worker-Owners of America, Unite!" (published in The New York Times), "Ten Ways To Democratize Our Broken Economy" (published by Truthout and Bill Moyers), and "Inequality's Dead End—and the possibility of a new long-term direction" (published by Nonprofit Quarterly).

America Beyond Capitalism


This book is subtitled "Reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy." A recurring theme throughout the book is that for democracy to work on a large scale, people need to gain experience with it on a small scale. He recommends cooperatives in part because they give people experience with democracy on a relatively small scale. That, in turn, provides experience and a depth of understanding of how to work with others, which can be translated into more effective political action at larger levels, like state and national politics.


'[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)


  • 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: Reclaiming our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy (John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0471667307, 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)
  • Unjust Deserts: How The Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back, with Lew Daly (New York: New Press, 2008)
  • What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, 2013)


  1. ^ "Directors". New Economics Institute. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Staff". Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Green Shadow Cabinet Members". Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  4. ^ See his university webpage at