Re: (OPE-L) Remembering James F. Becker

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Tue Mar 16 2004 - 22:21:02 EST

At 18:36 16/03/2004, Jerry wrote:
>    I learned recently of the death of James F. Becker,  a
>retired member of the Economics Department faculty at New
>York University (NYU).  This came as quite a blow to me since
>he was one of the most influential mentors that I have ever had.

Thanks so much for your memories and celebration of Jim Becker, Jerry. I
also was one of Jim's students--- back when he was teaching at NYU's School
of Commerce (now Business). I remember him at the time as someone who made
economics genuinely interesting and remember in particular a course on
business cycles that he taught. I didn't think of him at the time as
especially left, though, (neither was I) and I suspect his other students
felt the same--- he just seemed an interesting and passionate teacher.
After I went off to graduate school at Wisconsin in 1960, I subsequently
realised that he had played an important role in my own development. So, I
visited him when I came back east, and discovered for the first time he was
into Marx. We'd talk on my visits to his apartment on 8 east 8th about Marx
and Veblen, and I remember his excitement as he told me about the
Grundrisse (which he had in German). I think I convinced him to publish his
article in Studies on the Left on whose board I was then. All I can
remember about the last time I saw him was that we went off to see Bertell
Ollman, who I suspect probably could tell us more about his last years.
         Thanks again, Jerry.
         in solidarity
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at

Residencias Anauco Suites
Departamento 601
Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
Caracas, Venezuela
(58-212) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Mar 18 2004 - 00:00:02 EST