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America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy, 2nd Edition Paperback – November 9, 2011


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America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy, 2nd Edition + What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution + Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Democracy Collaborative Press / Dollars and Sense; 2nd edition (November 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984785701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984785704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. He is a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard's Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a founding principal of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute (NEI).

More information at http://garalperovitz.com

Customer Reviews

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A very worthy read!
Malcum Little
Gar Alperovitz explains this clearly in observations of current America...and gives some guidance as to where we might be going.
Robert S Bogner
I, like Gar, believe that America's best days can still be in front of us.
Cyrus Webb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By George Marin on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
First published prior to the housing collapse, financial crisis, and great recession, this book was originally years ahead of its time. At a time of relative (or perhaps perceived) prosperity, it predicted longer term economic pain and political stagnation (2nd ed.; pp. 6-7); At a time of relative (or perhaps perceived) social tranquility and political lethargy, it anticipated popular upheavals and political realignment (2nd ed.; p. 8 & 236); At a time when inequality was generally ignored or considered an acceptable byproduct of a successful economy, it used the language of 2011's "Occupy Movement" to criticize a system in which "the top 1 percent now garners for itself more income each year than the bottom 100 million Americans combined," (2nd ed; p. 1) and proposed a new model "based on the judgment that greater equality, greater individual economic security, greater amounts of free time, and--upon this basis--the reconstitution of a culture of common responsibility are ultimately required if we are ever to reorient our community and national priorities in general" (2nd ed; p.234); At a time when most were focused solely on political change at the top (replacing President George W. Bush), it explicitly identified as its central argument the belief that the early years of the 21st century would involve a serious debate about systemic questions and that actual events would open the space for a bottom-up movement towards eventual systemic change (2nd ed; p.234); And critically, when such efforts were not seriously considered in mainstream discourse, it identified an expanding set of community wealth building and democratizing initiatives as possible building blocks for the next system (2nd ed; part II).Read more ›
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J.P. Franks on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
If I were to propose a way to put the United States, and the rest of the world, on a path towards a sustainable economy and a liveable, humane, and vibrant society, I would begin like this: First, I would nationalize the media, revising the constitution to institute the media as a democratically-controlled, de jure fourth branch of government. I'd then turn to the nationalization of the banks, energy companies, and all other natural monopolies, creating a democratic governing structure for nationalized industries equally responsive to their workers and the public at large. Then I'd cut the military by 80% or so, re-purposing "defense" companies with government contracts to build a sustainable energy infrastructure, and a sustainable agriculture system. Maybe then I'd focus on democratizing university governing structures while increasing funding both to eliminate tuition fees and to equip them to produce far more graduates with advanced degrees to form the core of a massive increase in adult education nation- and worldwide. Oh, and then there's the matter of instituting maximum work weeks and work-sharing requirements, to both increase free time and eliminate unemployment.

Unfortunately, taking a flight of fancy such as this soon puts one in the position of a Wiley E. Coyote, pausing and looking down to realize that he has left the ground beneath him a while ago, and is now hundreds of meters above the floor of a canyon. As one plummets down, reality becomes clear: the next presidential election will be between a Mormon private equity capitalist and a milquetoast reformer with the daring of an ostrich and a big crush on financiers. There. Is. No. Hope.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Malcum Little on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fine collection of alternative methods of economic development instead of following the same old neoclassical capitalist model. Richly described examples of things occurring beneath the mainstream media's radar yet viable on small to moderate scale by factual existence and providing plausible choices for large scale deployment if and when the opportunity comes nationally. Makes the excellent connection between need for new institutions to promote community wealth acquisition, community stability and real democracy versus plutocracy. A very worthy read!
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Format: Paperback
We all have our views, and I think that is fine; however, at the end of the day our goal should be to look for solutions instead of just reasons to fight and try to keep someone else from a victory. That is seen all around us, but especially in politics. When it comes to what will help us to be the country we were meant to be, it is books like Gar Alperovitz's AMERICA BEYOND CAPITALISM that helps us to remember what is really important today.

Though it is obvious he is more a supporter of the Progressive movement and the direction they would like to see the country head in, Gar is open to the fact that all of us regardless of our political views have to be able to work together to see the kind of sweeping reform that is needed for us to thrive. There is nothing wrong with being progressive or conservative. What is wrong is how far you are willing to take your views just to see your side win instead of the country winning.

I read this book not just the sobering facts that it presented, but with the hope that all of us should have when it comes to the country and what is still possible. I, like Gar, believe that America's best days can still be in front of us. What we have to learn to do, however, is get bi-partisanship more involved in the decision-making and not allow our egos and rigid thinking destroy us or any chance for recovery.
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