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America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy

by

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We can all imagine a future where there’s more to the American way than our current no-holds-barred capitalism, but will that future ever arrive?

In his new book, Gar Alperovitz, the renowned scholar of politics, economics, and history, predicts that we’ve reached a major turning point in history. America Beyond Capitalism argues that the first decade of the twenty-first century–challenged by growing economic inequality, the devaluing of civil liberties, and a government unresponsive to the people–is already producing conditions that will force the United States to undergo historic changes.

There have been five major political realignments in American history, from before the Progressive Era to beyond the New Deal. All have occurred in the face of the argument that major change was impossible. America Beyond Capitalism shows that increasing numbers of citizens are also quietly beginning to take meaningful local and national action that can ultimately give explosive force to a new approach.

The fall of communism and the painful ramifications of a globalized market free-for-all have left many yearning for a realistic alternative. Alperovitz makes clear that capitalism and socialism are academic ideas that have never existed in their purest forms anywhere. Our nameless current system, which is a haphazard one, mostly controlled by the largest corporations, is not the only one possible.

If we look closely, America Beyond Capitalism suggests, the basic outlines of an achievable and community-sustaining vision are quietly taking shape–a vision that offers far better market-based ways to use our vast wealth to realize equality, democracy, and liberty.

The rapid changes of the early 1960s, a time of explosive ferment and new ideas, seemed to come out of nowhere. So, too, did the modern conservative revolution–which once was seen as a marginal political project. Fundamental change, Alperovitz suggests, is the rule, not the exception, in history, including in our own time, here and now.

Eloquently reasoned, passionately argued, and grounded in a wealth of irrefutable facts and data, America Beyond Capitalism offers anyone who wants to take part in this momentous enterprise a new way to think about–and then get to work to help build–a new future.

Review:

"Scheduled for publication on the 75th anniversary of the Black Thursday stock market crash, this closely argued treatise from University of Maryland political economist Alperovitz (The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb) claims we are in the midst of another deep economic, social and political crisis. Capitalism, democracy, equality and liberty have disappeared from the United States, he says. Corporations and rich people control the wealth and government; their power destroys liberty and the entrepreneurial freedom necessary for capitalism. Traditional reforms are inadequate. Progressive taxation and social programs only redistribute income; we need to redistribute wealth. Easier voter registration and campaign finances miss the point; federal power must be reallocated to regional governments and local citizens' associations whose scale makes participatory democracy possible. We need shorter work weeks, stronger labor unions, worker-owned or directed firms, less debt and more respect for the environment. The first six chapters could have been written in the 1970s. The statistics and quotes are current, but there is no discussion of recent global experience with many of the ideas. The remainder of the book combines these ideas into what the author calls '21st century populism' working toward a 'Pluralist Commonwealth.' The book's strength lies in its integration of diverse populist issues into a coherent agenda rooted in deep American values from the Declaration of Independence." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Major structural change is needed in American politics and the economy, argues Alperovitz (political economy, U. of Maryland), if we are to reclaim the values of equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy. He presents his prescription for such change, based on worker-owned firms, shorter work weeks, public trust investment to narrow income gaps, and other measures designed to lessen economic disparity and its attendant distortions of democracy.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Major structural change is needed in American politics and the economy, argues Alperovitz (political economy, U. of Maryland), if we are to reclaim the values of equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy. He presents his prescription for such change, based on worker-owned firms, shorter work weeks, public trust investment to narrow income gaps, and other measures designed to lessen economic disparity and its attendant distortions of democracy. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"Be prepared for a mind-opening experience."

-The Christian Century

"Highly readable; excellent for students. . . . A tonic and eye-opener for anyone who wants a politics that works."

-Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"America Beyond Capitalism comes at a critical time in our history-when we all know our system isn't working but we are not sure what can be done about it. This book takes us outside the confines of orthodox thinking, imagines a new way of living together, and then brings that vision back into reality with a set of eminently practical ideas that promise a truly democratic society."

-Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"Succeeds brilliantly in taking the Jeffersonian spirit into the last bastion of privilege in America, offering workable solutions for making the American economy one that is truly of, by, and for the people."

-Jeremy Rifkin, author of The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream

"The kind of careful, well-researched, and practical alternative progressives have been seeking. And it's more-visionary, hopeful, even inspirational. I highly recommend it."

-Juliet Schor, author of The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need

"A compelling and convincing story of the future."

-William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

Synopsis:

-William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

About the Author

GAR ALPEROVITZ is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and a former Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard and of King’s College, Cambridge University. His previous books include The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the Nation, and the Atlantic Monthly. He has appeared on numerous television news programs, including Meet the Press, Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, The O’Reilly Factor, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Alperovitz is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative.

Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Part I: The Pluralist Commonwealth: Equality, Liberty, Democracy.

1. Equality: Beyond Tax-and-Spend.

2. Liberty: Money, Time, and Real Freedom of Choice.

3. Democracy: From the Ground Up.

4. Democracy: Inequality and Giant Corporations.

5. Democracy: Is a Continent Too Large?

6. The Pluralist Commonwealth.

Part II: The Democratization of Wealth.

7. A Direct Stake In Economic Life: Worker-Owned Firms.

8. Enterprising Cities: Right, Left, and Center.

9. Building Community: Neighborhoods and Nonprofits with a Mission.

10. State and National Innovators.

11. Coda: The Democratization of Wealth and the Era of Deepening Fiscal Crisis.

Part III: Local Democracy and Regional Decentralization.

12. Is Local Democracy Possible in the Global Era?

13. Community, the Environment, and the “Nonsexist City”.

14. The Regional Restructuring of the American Continent.

Part IV: Twenty-First-Century Populism.

15. The Logic of Long-Term Political Refocusing.

16. Social Security, Retirement, and Health Care.

17. A Twenty-Five-Hour Week?

18. Beyond Super-Elites and Conspicuous Consumption: Real Ecological Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century.

19. Coda: Twenty-First-Century Populism.

Part V: Toward a Morally Coherent Politics.

Conclusion: The Challenge of the Era of Technological Abundance.

Notes.

Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780471667308
Author:
Alperovitz, Gar
Publisher:
Wiley (TP)
Location:
Hoboken, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Wealth
Subject:
Free Enterprise
Subject:
Income distribution
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Income distribution -- United States.
Subject:
Democracy -- United States.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
General & Introductory History
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
03-11
Publication Date:
October 2004
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.7 x 5.8 x 1.1 in

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Related Subjects

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Business » Management
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History and Social Science » Economics » General
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History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$34.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9780471667308 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Scheduled for publication on the 75th anniversary of the Black Thursday stock market crash, this closely argued treatise from University of Maryland political economist Alperovitz (The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb) claims we are in the midst of another deep economic, social and political crisis. Capitalism, democracy, equality and liberty have disappeared from the United States, he says. Corporations and rich people control the wealth and government; their power destroys liberty and the entrepreneurial freedom necessary for capitalism. Traditional reforms are inadequate. Progressive taxation and social programs only redistribute income; we need to redistribute wealth. Easier voter registration and campaign finances miss the point; federal power must be reallocated to regional governments and local citizens' associations whose scale makes participatory democracy possible. We need shorter work weeks, stronger labor unions, worker-owned or directed firms, less debt and more respect for the environment. The first six chapters could have been written in the 1970s. The statistics and quotes are current, but there is no discussion of recent global experience with many of the ideas. The remainder of the book combines these ideas into what the author calls '21st century populism' working toward a 'Pluralist Commonwealth.' The book's strength lies in its integration of diverse populist issues into a coherent agenda rooted in deep American values from the Declaration of Independence." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , "Be prepared for a mind-opening experience."

-The Christian Century

"Highly readable; excellent for students. . . . A tonic and eye-opener for anyone who wants a politics that works."

-Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"America Beyond Capitalism comes at a critical time in our history-when we all know our system isn't working but we are not sure what can be done about it. This book takes us outside the confines of orthodox thinking, imagines a new way of living together, and then brings that vision back into reality with a set of eminently practical ideas that promise a truly democratic society."

-Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"Succeeds brilliantly in taking the Jeffersonian spirit into the last bastion of privilege in America, offering workable solutions for making the American economy one that is truly of, by, and for the people."

-Jeremy Rifkin, author of The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream

"The kind of careful, well-researched, and practical alternative progressives have been seeking. And it's more-visionary, hopeful, even inspirational. I highly recommend it."

-Juliet Schor, author of The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need

"A compelling and convincing story of the future."

-William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

"Synopsis" by , -William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

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