ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

Cliches such as hope and disappointment perhaps do not impress personalities of the timber of Paul Sweezy. They remain ensconced in their integrity, and that is the reward they enjoy the most.

Paul Sweezy is 90. To celebrate the event, Monthly Review has issued a special number in which eminences from all over have gone into raptures while describing Sweezy’s contributions to the social sciences. The contributors range from John Kenneth Galbraith and Shigeto Tsuru to Noam Chomsky and Robert Heilbroner, with a surprise in the form of Pete Seeger thrown in the middle. Seeger claims to have been Sweezy’s student at Harvard and is a devotee ever since.

Most of the eminences, as is obvious, were not Marxists. Some of them hold beliefs which are miles distant from Sweezy’s own yet they thought it their duty to pay homage to Sweezy’s integrity and his indifference to the honours that could have been his if only he had agreed to compromise with the establishment even for a brief while. His faith in Marxism has withstood each and every buffeting over the past half a century and more. He treated with scorn the McCarthyite attempts in the late forties to scare him into conformity. Sweezy could not be cowed down, the annals of his career since then constitute a wondrous story of tenacity, fearlessness and loyalty to one’s creed.

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