Ellen Meiksins Wood
April 12, 1942
New York City, New York, US
|Died||January 14, 2016 (aged 73)|
|Other names||Ellen Wood|
|Thesis||Epistemological Foundations of Individualism (1970)|
|School or tradition||Political Marxism|
|Notable ideas||Political Marxism|
|Influenced||Gáspár Miklós Tamás|
Ellen Meiksins Wood FRSC (April 12, 1942 – January 14, 2016) was an American-Canadian Marxist political theorist and historian.
Wood was born in New York City on April 12, 1942, as Ellen Meiksins one year after her parents, Latvian Jews active in the Bund, arrived in New York from Europe as political refugees. She was raised in the United States and Europe.
Wood received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Slavic languages from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962 and subsequently entered the graduate program in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, from which she received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1970. From 1967 to 1996, she taught political science at Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
With Robert Brenner, Ellen Meiksins Wood articulated the foundations of political Marxism, a strand of Marxist theory that places history at the centre of its analysis. It provoked a turn away from structuralisms and teleology towards historical specificity as contested process and lived praxis.
Meiksins Wood's many books and articles were sometimes written in collaboration with her husband, Neal Wood (1922–2003). Her work has been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Romanian, Turkish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Of these, The Retreat from Class received the Deutscher Memorial Prize in 1988.[verification needed] Wood served on the editorial committee of the British journal New Left Review between 1984 and 1993. From 1997 to 2000, Wood was an editor, along with Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy, of Monthly Review, the socialist magazine.
In 1996, she was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada, a marker of distinguished scholarship. She and Neal Wood divided their time between England and Canada until he died in 2003.
In 2014, she married Ed Broadbent, former leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, with whom she lived in Ottawa and London for six years until her death from cancer at the age of 73.