Walljasper, a contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler, provides a reader-friendly primer on the idea of a commons-based society, which he defines as one that places as much emphasis on social justice, democratic participation, and environmental protection as on economic competitiveness and private property. What seems to be a Far Left dream is remarkably realistic under Walljasper’s careful analysis. He presents real-world examples of resource sharing, such as how communal meadows for cow grazing have been remarkably efficient for centuries. Techies will appreciate the attention given to digital commons, while cultural historians will consider efforts to save endangered languages (one of the world’s commons) a valuable project. Wisely, Walljasper understands many Americans don’t recognize the extent to which they have already embraced the commons in their daily lives, and points out the significance of sidewalks, parks, coffee shops, and pedestrian shopping zones in our cities and towns. Covering subjects ranging from conservation efforts to Bob Dylan, this is a diverse guide for everyone looking to the future. --Colleen Mondor
About the Author
Jay Walljasper is a fellow at and editor for On the Commons and the former longtime editor of Utne Reader. He is the author of The Great Neighborhood Book and the co-author of Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life. Bill McKibben, who wrote the introduction, is an American environmentalist and the bestselling author of Deep Economy. On the Commons is a commons movement strategy center, connecting organizations, community leaders, and individuals with new ideas, practical solutions, and each other to create change.