A brilliant Marxist sociologist and a concerned scholar and intellectual has left us. Erik Olin Wright’s thoroughly researched realistic dreaming and utopian thinking has been an inspiration to many of us at CES (Center for Social Studies, at the University of Coimbra, Portugal). He visited us more than once and often welcomed several of us in the Sociology Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He left a huge amount of scholarly books, essays, and articles which are proof of his collaborative and international commitment. His readers are never left in doubt about which side his scientific endeavors are on. Whether discussing capitalism, class, democracy or socialism, Erik Olin Wright’s major preoccupation was the rising inequality of our time and how rigorous knowledge of current social conditions could help change them. He completed his last, forthcoming book – How to Be an Anti-Capitalist for the Twentieth-First Century – while he was already bravely fighting a vicious form of leukemia. Those of us who had the privilege of having him as a friend, and followed his courageous diaries during his illness, take solace in remembering as well the hospitality he often generously shared in his family home. Thanksgiving Day was very special. Erik would play the violin after a delicious meal he and Marcia had cooked for all of us.


Boaventura de Sousa Santos, scientific director of the Center for Social Studies, at the University of Coimbra Portugal