Following the financial crisis of 2007 the space in the mainstream media for alternative economic ideas to neoliberalism expanded. The media opportunities for Marxian economists increased and Wolff is one of those to have benefitted. He has achieved something of a celebrity status in the United States in the past five years with regular radio and television appearances. In a world where the name of Karl Marx is generally media-unfriendly, Wolff in particular has achieved attention through his media-friendly personality and style. Stephen Resnick co-wrote several books with Wolff and they worked together for many years at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and their work has been labelled ‘Amherst Marxism’.
In 1987 Resnick and Wolff published a book titled Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical and recently they expanded and updated the theme with the publication of Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian and Marxian (2012). On the face of it a book which compares Marxian economics favourably with neo-liberal and Keynesian economics appears as if it should be given a warm welcome by socialists. But all is not quite as it seems. By far the longest section of the book, that dealing with Marxian economic theory, does not a present a summary of Marxian economics but the theories of Resnick and Wolff. At first glance their work may appear to be merely a quirky presentation of Marxian economics but the further you read the more it becomes clear that they are revising it to incorporate their own theories. One of their other books is called New Departures in Marxian Theory (2006) and their work as a whole should really been seen in this light. Not so much building critically on Marxian theory (which is how they would like to see themselves) but departing from it.