Michael D. Yates

Michael D. Yates

Class: A Personal Story

Class: A Personal Story

 I was born in 1946 in a small mining village in western Pennsylvania, about forty miles north of Pittsburgh, along a big bend in the Allegheny River. The house in which I lived during my first year of life had neither hot water nor indoor plumbing. It was a company house, and my grandmother had […]

Teaching Workers

Teaching Workers

 Karl Marx’s famous dictum sums up my teaching philosophy: “The philosophers of the world have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” As I came to see it, Marx had uncovered the inner workings of our society, showing both how it functioned and why it had to be transcended […]

Choosing an Occupation: The "Science" of Economics

Choosing an Occupation: The “Science” of Economics

The name, “Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science,” tells us that those who give the prize believe that economics is a science. This is certainly what my professors thought when I was a student. One argued that every good economist is a good physicist. There was even a joke that an exceptional economist who dies […]

The Road Beckons: Excerpt from Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate

The Road Beckons: Excerpt from Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate

 [Since Monthly Review Press made my book the special sale feature for September, I thought that it would be appropriate to end the month with an excerpt]  The distance between Pittsburgh and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is about seventy-five miles. Most of the trip is on Route 22, a dismal and depressing stretch of highway that perfectly […]

Memorializing Martin Luther King, Jr.

Memorializing Martin Luther King, Jr.

We often visit the monuments and museums along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and each time I am surprised at my heightened emotions when we are there. Maybe it is because the museums are free and some of the memorials grand and inspiring, and I can imagine for a few hours that this country […]