[OPE-L:7543] [OPE-L:1083] historical materialism appeal (fwd)

Fri, 27 Aug 1999 17:10:57 GMT

Dear friends,
The following was sent out to advisory editors of Historical Materialism but I believe it deserves wide circulation among Marxist theorists. In particular, I think you will find the symposium on Brenner and crisis an essential addition to your and your university library.
in solidarity,
mike lebowitz

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Esther Leslie"
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 16:32:53 +0100
Subject: historical materialism appeal

historical materialism: research in critical marxist theory
Dear advisory editor

The fourth issue of Historical Materialism is about to appear. It is a
collection of essays on the world crisis by leading Marxist economists, and
is set to be a significant contribution to understanding the contemporary
world. It also contains a number of review essays of the type that have
garnered us much praise in the past – substantial, considered, and elegantly
written. Issue 5 – with a focus on culture and Marxism – is in preparation.
We hope that you will agree that from modest resources with little money and
much energy we have managed to produce a fine journal with persuasive
arguments for the continuing relevance of the Marxist critical project.
Until now the London School of Economics has given us a small amount of
institutional support – an email address, a post-box and some contribution
towards postage of the journals. We have been told that this is to be
withdrawn. An inability to find a commercial publisher so far has caused
the LSE to drop us, for they are currently operating according to a ruthless
business logic. They do not want to keep us on if publishers are not also
prepared to invest in us. The emergence of online-journals is one reason
for publishers’ timidity, but another factor that has weighed against us, is
the lack of library/institutional subscriptions on our database. We have
been able to build an audience only amongst individual subscribers, and this
continues to grow encouragingly. However, none of us have much clout with
those responsible for ordering in university libraries. This is why we are
appealing to you, in a final attempt to show the LSE that we do have the
potential to be adopted by university libraries. If you hold any sway with
particular institutions, please insist that they take out a subscription to
Historical Materialism immediately! A flurry of activity might persuade the
LSE to rethink, and might aid us in finding a publisher. Even if neither of
these things is accomplished, we would at least be on a securer financial
We have been advised by the LSE’s publications officer to cease publishing
the journal – for reasons of our personal financial risk. This advice comes
despite the fact that we have several hundred subscribers and have managed
to produce a journal of quality on scant resources. We believe that its
loss would be a great pity, and are happy to continue producing it “at our
own risk” and under our own efforts, if need be. We request of you that you
support us in whatever way that you can in this endeavour. Should you be
visiting conferences at home and abroad, promotional materials are
available. Recommendations by word of mouth are precious. Citations in
articles help spread the word. Reviews of our issues or the series as a
whole are vital. Paid adverts (for books, courses, journals etc.) are
available, and exchange adverts can be arranged. Donations are appreciated!
We are also keen to know if you have any advice, on this particular
situation (perhaps stemming from your own experience of journal publishing)
or in general, in relation to the continued success of the venture.
We thank you for your continuing support

The editors
historical materialism
please reply to hm@lse.ac.uk