Economics professor publishes plethora of work

Michael Perelman, professor of economics, has publish 19 books.Photo credit: Frances Mansour

Economics professor Michael Perelman has written 19 books since 1977 and overcame adversity to further his studies.


He published “Manufacturing Discontent: The Trap of Individualism in a Corporate Society” in 2005 and he was later awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Political Economy from the World Association for Political Economy.


“How Rogues, Crooks and Scoundrels Created Modern Economics Before it Got Whittled Down” is Perelman’s latest work and waiting to be published. He is currently writing another novel as well.

Each semester, I tell my classes that everybody has the potential to be the world’s best at something,” Perelman said. “Once they discover what that is, things will open up for them. But it will be hard work and there will be some setbacks.“

Perelman grew up in Pennsylvania and attended undergraduate school at the University of Michigan, he said.

“After I graduated I had no idea what I wanted to do,“ Perelman said.


Perelman went to Berkeley, Calif. to fight forest fires. He met a Dutch friend in Berkeley and went to stay with him in Holland. He went back to the University of Michigan a year later to continue his studies.

“I wasn’t a good student,” Perelman said. “But I would find one class that I really liked and just pour everything into that.”

A professor at the university accepted him into a graduate class, “The History of Economic Thought.” When the teacher retired, he recommended Perelman to be his replacement.

Perelman then went to San Francisco State and worked two jobs but never finished his master’s degree, he said.

Perelman got accepted into graduate school at UC Berkeley in 1965, he said. He graduated with a doctorate in agriculture economics in 1970 and applied for a job at Chico State.


He came to Chico in 1971 and began his teaching career.


“It was a very, very interesting and lucky experiment how I got here,” Perelman said.







He has used seven or eight of his books in his years of teaching, he said.


“For me, writing a book is learning about something, something I didn’t know about,” Perelman said.


He has written books about history, work, wealth and equality.

In Perelman’s book “Manufacturing Discontent: The Trap of Individualism in a Corporate Society” he discusses individuals’ rights in a corporate society. His worksThe Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers,” “Class Warfare in the Information Age” and “The Perverse Economy: The Impact of Markets on People and Nature are about instability of markets, the effects of new technology and the impact of the market on people and nature.

He gives speeches at seminars and travels to educate the public by sharing his knowledge of economics.


“I get invited to go places all over on the basis of my books,” Perelman said.




Amanda Hovik can be reached at [email protected] or @AmandaHovik on Twitter.