Samir Amin, who died in August, was a leading Marxist thinker in the Global South. Unlike many of his contemporaries he did not retreat from radicalism with the collapse of the “communist” east. In the period since the millennium he threw himself into the World Social Forum.
Amin was born in Egypt in 1931, to an Egyptian father and a French mother. His parents were both doctors. He went to university in Paris in the 1950s. He returned to Egypt as a member of the Communist Party during the excitement and ferment of radical nationalist Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule.