Sweezy was born in New York City. His father, Everett B. Sweezy, was a vice-president of First National Bank of New York. Sweezy attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to Harvard and was editor of The Harvard Crimson, graduating in 1931. He then spent a year at the London School of Economics, where he was first exposed to Marxian economic ideas. Returning to Harvard, he received his doctorate in 1937, after which he began teaching economics there. In 1942, he published The Theory of Capitalist Development, a book which summarized economic ideas of Marx and his followers. It was the first book in English that dealt with certain questions thoroughly such as the transformation problem. From 1942 to 1945, he worked for the research and analysis division of the Office of Strategic Services. He later taught at The New School.
Founder of Monthly Review
In 1949, he founded Monthly Review with Leo Huberman, with money from historian and literary critic F. O. Matthiessen. The first issue appeared in May of that year. It is a socialist magazine founded in the midst of the American Red Scare. In 1954 New Hampshire Attorney General Louis C. Wyman subpoenaed Sweezy and made inquiries into his political beliefs and associations, demanding to know the names of his political associates. Sweezy refused to comply, citing his First Amendment right of freedom of expression. He was cited for contempt of court, but the US Supreme Court overturned that citation in 1957.
- Interview of Paul M. Sweezy by Christopher Phelps and Andor Skotnes
- Obituary (Monthly Review)
- Obituary (The New York Times)
- Obituary (The Guardian)
- Paul Sweezy, 93; Marxist, economist, Harvard teacher (The Boston Globe)
- Marxist Thinker, Former Prof. Dies (The Harvard Crimson, 2004)
- "Remembering Paul Sweezy" (by Robert Pollin, CounterPunch)
- Why The Soviet Bureaucracy is not a New Ruling Class (Ernest Mandel comments on Sweezy's view of the USSR 1979)
- Memorial Service for Paul Marlor Sweezy (1910-2004). Monthly Review.
- , Bellod Redondo, J. F. "Monopolio e Irracionalidad: Microfundamentos de la Teoría Baran - Sweezy" in Principios - Estudios de Economía Política, pp 65 – 84, nº 10, Fundación Sistema, Madrid. (2008)
- Foster, John Bellamy. Paul Sweezy & Monopoly Capital (Pluto Press, Sterling, 2002).