Essential Reading

We always tell any supporter to read Andrew Kimbrell’s Salmon Economics (and other lessons) but here are a few more essential books for any bookshelf.

Annotated Reading List (Compiled by Yorick Blumenfeld and Randy Hayes)

  • Ivan Alexander, The Civilized Market.(1997) A businessman gives a humanist perspective on capitalism. One of the best works written by a non-economist but an author with great insight into the troubles facing capitalism.
  • Gar Alperovitz, America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy. (2005) Consistent in many respects with “Dollars or Democracy, but more labour oriented. Wants to see the expansion of worker cooperatives.
  • Raymond Baker, Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money. (2005) A foray into capitalism’s dark underbelly showing the incredible penetration of dirty money into nearly ever aspect of global capitalism’s infrastructure.
  • Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons ( 2006)
  • Yorick Blumenfeld, Dollars or Democracy: A Technology-Driven Alternative to Capitalism. (2004)
  • David G. Korten, The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism. (1999) This is by now classic in its field and provided a refreshing signpost for the future.
  •  Anti-Capitalism: A guide to the Movement. (Editors: Emma Bircham & John Charlton). (2001) A collection of worthwhile articles by Susan George, Ann Pettifor, George Monbiot and Alex Callinicos.
  • Seymour Melman, After Capitalism. (2001) Offers an intelligent approach towards the future direction of workplace democracy as an alternative to capitalist managerialism.
  • George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism. (1998) Soros takes a look at where capitalism may be headed and warns that with the collapse of capitalism a fascist dictatorship would most likely follow.
  • Harry Shutt, The Trouble with Capitalism. (1998) Shut exposes the imperfections and lies of capitalism which threaten our democratic survival. He believes that profit-maximizing capitalism has run its course.
  • James Turk and John Rubino, The Coming Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from It. (2004) Viewed from the perspective of the investor, the mountain of credit fostered by the monopoly of the world’s central banks will cause a global collapse of the dollar. Their viewpoint is of relevance to all of us.
  • Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, by Karl Polanyi (2001) Worth a read. I recently came across a new edition of it with a foreword by Joseph Stieglitz. It makes a good case that the establishment of “free” markets is quite a coercive process.
  • Sustainability in Austerity: How Local Government Can Deliver During Times of Crisis’ by Philip Monaghan (2010). The book should be read as a survival guide for local leaders, to learn how they can keep progressing towards sustainability even in the toughest of times.