James Petras

State University of New York

James Petras is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the State University of New York. He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • The Power of Israel in the United States

    By James Petras     January 2007

    This book is a chapter-by-chapter analysis and documentation of the power of Israel via the Israeli, Jewish or Pro-Zionist Lobby on u.S. Middle East policy. It raises serious questions as to the primary beneficiary of u.S. policy and its destructive results for the united States. The extraordinary extent of political, economic, military and diplomatic support for the state of Israel is explored, along with the means whereby such support is generated and consolidated. Contending that Zionist power in America ensured unconditional u.S. backing for Israeli colonization of Palestine and its massive uprooting of Palestinians, it views the interests of Israel rather than those of Big Oil as the primary cause of the disastrous u.S. wars against Iraq and threats of war against Iran and Syria.

    Learn More
  • Empire with Imperialism

    The Global Dynamics of Neoliberal Capitalism

    By Mauro Casadio, James Petras, Luciano Vasapollo and Henry Veltmeyer     January 2005

    This work calls into question the assertion that global capitalism functions as an autonomous empire ruled only by the market and multinational corporations. In contrast, it is argued, the role of the imperial state is central in regard to the form taken by capitalist development. Within the context of a broad discussion that takes us from Latin America to Russia and China, to Iraq and around the world, this work analyzes the economic base of imperial power and actions of the state in the maintenance and spread of empire. It also demonstrates the limits and costs of empire to the citizens of the United States.

    Learn More
  • System In Crisis

    The Dynamics of Free Market Capitalism

    By James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer     January 2003

    In the late 1960s the operating world capitalist system hit a snag, exposing cracks that went to its very foundations. At first, this crisis was viewed as part of a normal business cycle of capital accumulation in which markets become saturated. The reaction created a mass of unemployed workers, reduced purchasing power and consumption capacity which initiated a further downward cycle of disinvestment and recession. The efforts to revitalize the capitalist system included the restructuring of world production, new information-based technologies designed to revolutionize the structure of production, a new mode of capital accumulation and regulatory regime, and a program of policy reforms and structural adjustments.

    Learn More
  • Globalization Unmasked

    Imperialism in the 21st Century

    By James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer     January 2001

    In this book, the authors contend that “globalization” is little more than imperialism in a new form. They argue that the “inevitability” of globalization and the adjustment or submission of peoples all over the world to free market capitalism depends on the capacity of the dominant and ruling classes to bend people to their will and convince people that their interests are the people’s interests. A key element in theorizing about globalization and in organizing to resist it is an understanding that globalization is propagated not to bring a better and more just world to the masses of the people but, as has always been the case with imperialism, to advance the interests of those who already enjoy power and privilege.

    Learn More