Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd (born 1919) is an American political economist, economic historian and political activist.


Academic career

From the late 1940s until the late 1990s he taught at Cornell University, UC Berkeley and other universities. He has authored books that criticize capitalism in general, and US capitalism in particular.

Now in his eighties and semi-retired, he continues to publish and has for many years offered a free class in San Francisco, California where he used to live for half the year. Now he lives full-time in Bologna, Italy. He teaches at the nearby University of Modena.

Many of his writings and audio transcripts are available on his web site:


He is the son of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. The strong dislike for each side of the family for the other side lead him to embrace an anti-religious attitude during his youth.[1] He claims to be "non-religious" but its not clear whether he is agnostic or atheistic in his belief. He was a young man during the US Depression years, and lived through and participated in most of the major social and political events over the decades. He was a pilot for the United States during WW II, for example. His teaching and writings are peppered with colorful anecdotes and language, adding a very personal touch to his teaching. (Plus, his comprehensive knowledge of history and historical events provides an excellent background to his "I was there" and "I did this" adventures.)

Electoral candidate

Dowd was one of the nominees of the Peace and Freedom Party for Vice President in the 1968 U.S. presidential election. He agreed to be on the ticket in New York in order to prevent the selection of Jerry Rubin.[2] The party's presidential candidate that year was Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, who finished a distant fifth in the election.


  • Modern Economic Problems in Historical Perspective (1965)
  • Thorstein Veblen: A Critical Reappraisal; Lectures and Essays Commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of Veblen's Birth (1965)
  • America's role in the world economy:the challenge to orthodoxy (1966)
  • The twisted dream: capitalist development in the United States since 1776 (1974) ISBN 978-0-87626-881-0
  • Waste of Nations: Desfunction in the World Economy (1989) ISBN 978-0-8133-0810-4
  • Blues for America: A Critique, a Lament, and Some Memories (1997) ISBN 978-0-85345-982-8
  • Against the Conventional Wisdom: A Primer for Current Economics Controversies and Proposals (1997) ISBN 978-0-8133-2796-9
  • Capitalism and Its Economics: A Critical History (2000) ISBN 978-0-7453-1643-7
  • Understanding Capitalism : Critical Analysis from Karl Marx to Amartya Sen (2002) ISBN 978-0-7453-1782-3
  • Getting Haiti Right This Time : The U.S. and the C (2004)

Further reading


  1. ^ Mentioned by Mr. Dowd in many of his free classes on Economics, mp3 files of which can be obtained from his web site [1].
  2. ^ Wells, Tom. The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam. p 264
Preceded by
Peace and Freedom Party Vice Presidential candidate
1968 (lost)
Succeeded by
Julius Hobson (People's Party)

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