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2000 PhD Sociology and Geography, London School of Economics and Political Science

1994 B.A. Interdisciplinary Social Science, New School for Social Research


Christian Parenti is Professor of Economics at John Jay College, City University of New York. His undergraduate and graduate teaching, and research, focus on: American economic history, environmental history, and the history of capitalism; climate change and sustainable energy; as well as war, policing, and political violence. His books include Radical Hamilton: Economic Lessons from a Misunderstood Founder, (Verso, 2020); Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, (Nation Books, 2011); The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, (The New Press, 2004); The Soft Cage: Surveillance from Slavery to the War on Terror, (Basic Books, 2003); and Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (1999/2008, Verso). Previously, as a journalist, he reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, and various parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America for The Nation, Fortune, The London Review Books, The New York Times, and other publications.

Scholarly Work


2020               Radical Hamilton: Economic Lessons from a Misunderstood Founder (Verso ); 

Audiobook by Audible, September.

2011                Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence  (Nation Books)

                         Prize: Santa Monica Public Library, Green Prize For Sustainable Literature 2012

 Translated into Arabic سلسلة عالم المعرفة [Knowledge of World Series], المجلس الوطني للثقافة والفنون والآداب [National Council for Culture, Arts and   Letters] 2014 Audiobook by Audible.

2004                The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq (The New Press)

2003               The Soft Cage: Surveillance from Slavery to the War on Terror (Basic Books)  

1999/2008      Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (Verso)


Books in progress:

Storm Socialism and the Power of the Sun

South, North, and West: An Economic and Environmental History of The United States

ARTICLES (*indicates peer-reviewed)

2021*         "The First Privilege Walk," Nonsite, November 18

2020*         "The Surprising Geography of Police Killings," Nonsite, July 9

2015*         “The Environment Making State: Territory, Nature, Value,” Antipode 47(4), 829-848.

2015*         “Flower of War: An Environmental History of Opium Poppy in Afghanistan,” SAIS Review of International Affairs 35 (1): 183-200.

2008*         “Afghanistan: Uses and Abuses of a Buffer State,” New Political Science, 30(1), 89-101.

2003           “Back to the Motherland: Cuba in Africa,” Monthly Review, 55 (2), 52-58.

2001*          “America’s Jihad: A History of Origins,” Social Justice, 28 (3), 31-38.

2001           “The ‘New’ Criminal Justice, 1968 to 2001,” Monthly Review, 53(3), 19-28.

2000*         “Crime As Social Control,” Social Justice, 27(3), 43-50.

1998*          “Postmodern Maroon in the Ultimate Palenque,” Peace Review, 10 (3), 419-426.


2020      “Climate in the Age of Neoliberalism,” Michael Boyden, (ed.), Themes in American Literature and Culture, Cambridge University Press.

2020        “A Left Defense of Carbon Dioxide Removal: the state must be forced to deploy civilization saving technology,” in J.P. Sapinski, Holly Jean Buck      and Andreas Malm, (ed.s), Has it Come to This? The Promises and Pitfalls of Geoengineering, Rutgers University Press.                           

2020     Book Chapter “Maximalist Elites and The Ecological Burden of Southern History,” in Michael Sorkin and Daniel Monk, (ed.s) Catastrophe and Revolution: Essays for Mike Davis, Terreform/Urban Research Press.

2017    “Climate Change and Conflict"
in Paul Joseph (ed.)
The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspectives, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

2016     “Environment-Making in the Capitalocene Political Ecology of the State,” in Jason W. Moore, (ed.), Anthropocene or Capitalocene?  Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism. Oakland: PM Press, 166-185. 

2016    “The Catastrophic Convergence: Militarism Neoliberalism and Climate Change,” in Nick      Buxton and Ben Hayes, (ed.s), The Secure in The Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate Changed World. London: Pluto, 23-39.

2013     “This is Your Mind on Lockdown,” in Anthony J. Nocella II and David Gabbard, (ed.s) Policing the Campus: Academic Repression, Surveillance, and the Occupy Movement. New York: Peter Lang, xi-xiii.

2007    “Planet America: The Revolution in Military Affairs as Fantasy and Fetish,” in Ashley  Dawson and Malini Johar, (ed.s), Exceptional State. Durum: Duke University Press, 88-104.

2006    “The Big Easy Dies Hard,” in, Betsy Reed, (ed.), Unnatural DisastersNew York: Nation Books, 7-13.

2006    “New Orleans: Raze or Rebuild?” in, Betsy Reed, (ed.), Unnatural DisastersNew York: Nation Books, 153-161.

2006    “Afghanistan: The Other War,” in Royce Flippin, (ed.), Best American Political Writing of 2006, New York: Avalon, 287-297.

2004    “Lied to, Stretch Thin and Mistreated,” in Mark LeVine and Viggo Mortensen, (ed.s), Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation, 101-107. 

2003    “Bring Us Your Chained and Huddled Masses,” in Thomas Frank, (ed.), Boob Jubilee: More Salvos From the Baffler, New York: Norton, 51-60.  

2003    “Us Against Them in the Me Decade,” in Thomas Frank, (ed.), Boob Jubilee: More Salvos From the Baffler, New York: Norton, 328–340. 

2003    “Deadly Nostalgia: The Politics of Boot Camps,” in Tara Herivel and Paul Wright, (ed.s), Prison Nation, New York: Routledge, 85-92.

2002    “American Jihad,” in Phil Scraton, (ed.), Beyond September 11, London: Pluto, 10-19.

2002    “Satellites of Sorrow: Prison in the Circuitry of Social Control,” Deepak Sawhney, (ed.), Unmasking LA, New York: Saint Martin’s, 47-66.

2002    “State Repression,” Joy James, (ed.), States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and PrisonsNew York: Palgrave, 303-311.

2001    “Colony Kosovo,” in, Russ Kick, (ed.), You Are Being Lied To, New York: Disinformation Books, 111-113.

2001    “Rehabilitating Prison Labor: The Uses of Imprisoned Masculinity,” Terry Kupers, (ed.), Prison Masculinities,Philadelphia: Temple, 247-254.


2020      “Our Economy Is a Sick Beast: The Corporate Debt Crisis Explained,” Common Dreams, March 28, w/ Dante Dallavalle.

2020      “Wall Street Is High on Government Supply,” Jacobin, March 9, w/ Dante Dallavalle.

2020      “Impeachment Without Class Politics: An Autopsy” Jacobin, January 9.

2019       “Saving the Planet Without Self-Loathing,” Jacobin, October 3. 

2019      “The Limits of ‘Experiencing’ the Climate Crisis,” Jacobin, August 23 w/ Dante Dallavalle.

2019      “Make Corporations Pay for the Green New Deal,” Jacobin, March 13.

2017      “If We Fail,” Jacobin, August 29.

2017      “Free Speech as Battleground,” Jacobin, April 1.

2017      “Trump’s ‘Hard Power’ Budget,” Jacobin, February 18.

2016      “Listening to Trump,” Jacobin, November 22.

2016      “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Clinton's Ground Game,” Jacobin, November 11.

2016      “The Next Refugee Crisis,” Jacobin, January 26.

2015    “Farmer suicides, Naxal Violence and Climate Change,” Times of India, December 2.

2015      “Why the State Matters,” Jacobin, October 30. 

2015      “The Making of the American Police State,” Jacobin, July 28.

2014      “Reading Hamilton from the Left,” Jacobin, August 26.

2014      “Rethinking the State: Shadow Socialism in the Age of Environmental Crisis,” New Politics, Winter.

2013      “A Radical Approach to Climate Change,” Dissent, Summer. 


Honors and Awards

The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, 2012

Emmy Award Nomination, Outstanding Investigative Journalism, 2010

Lange–Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke, 2009 

Best Magazine Writing, SDX Prize, Society of Professional Journalists, 2008

National Council on Crime and Delinquency, PASS Award, “Literature,” 2000

National Council on Crime and Delinquency, PASS Award, “Magazine,” 1998