Shuman begins his book about the "local-first" movement by describing his annual trip to Wal-Mart to purchase a sturdy yet inexpensive pair of sneakers; he concludes it with a visit to his physical therapist, who tells him those same sneakers have exacerbated his chronic back pain. These two anecdotes provide context for Shuman's thesis: locally owned businesses are more beneficial to their communities than massive chains like Wal-Mart. The author (Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age) outlines strategies that small and home-based businesses-and, by extension, consumers, investors and policymakers-can follow to compete against the world's largest companies; his strategies hinge on going local, though some ideas are more credible than others (readers are advised to shop at locally owned businesses and do business with local banks, but to forego credit cards, as "nearly all credit card processing is nonlocal"). Shuman writes in a surprisingly lively and occasionally self-deprecating style uncommon to business texts, and his research is backed with hundreds of source notes. Though Shuman has his moments of naïve idealism, his "don't get mad, get even" ideology will resonate with forward-thinking consumers and small business owners.
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Praise from the Publisher
"This is a badly needed book."
--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
"The Small-Mart Revolution reveals why supporting small business makes good economic sense and how they offer the only real long-term solution for the health of our neighborhoods and our nation. It will touch your heart, while showing you how to better mind your wallet."
--Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Vice President for Consumer Education, Johnson & Johnson, and Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania
"There are precious few good alternatives to the `Wal-Martization' of our communities. The Small-Mart Revolution not only provides an alternative analysis, it tells us how we can make it happen."
--Robert Greenwald, director of the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price"
"The Small-Mart Revolution is an essential resource for every local business owner, government official, and public interest citizen advocate. Michael Shuman makes a convincing case that the future belongs to the small and local. This is an authoritative, practical, and highly readable handbook on rebuilding local economies as an alternative to corporate-led economic globalization by the leading guru of local economic development."
--David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
"The Small-Mart Revolution provides the most important blueprint for economic development I've ever seen. It shows how communities can prosper by putting local constituents and businesses first. The book should be required reading for local elected officials and civil servants across America."
--Larry Agran, Mayor of Irvine, California (2000-2004)
"Some of us have embraced globalization without worrying overmuch about the consequences. Others of us are fighting pointless battles against progress, technology, and capitalism. Here, Michael Shuman presents a badly needed Third Way. He says that by strengthening our local businesses and communities we'll be creating a better capitalism and a better world. And he backs it up with logic, examples, statistics, and passion! This is the kind of book that could launch a whole new social-political movement."
--Mark Satin, author of Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now
"Michael Shuman has done it again. He shows the power of grassroots economics--not as mere theory about a future world--but as real people, today, creating an equitable economy from the grassroots up. This book will revolutionize your thinking about "development." Do yourself and all of us a favor by reading it and then acting on it."
-- Kevin Danaher, Co-Director, Global Exchange
"The world is about to become a larger place again. Globalism is toast. Caught up in raptures of credit-fueled discount shopping, few Americans realize how profoundly our society is about to change. We are sleepwalking into a permanent global energy crisis that will compel us to live much more locally than we have for generations. We face a desperate need to reconstruct local networks of economic relations--and we should have begun this great task yesterday. This is an invaluable guide to how we might accomplish this."
--James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency
"As global markets explode, Michael Shuman offers a compelling alternative for growth towards a healthier civil society. Anyone interested in the consequences of globalization dominated by multinationals should read this book."
--Michele Barry, Professor of Medicine and Global Health, Yale University
"Going Local became my economic development bible. Small Mart Revolution is Shuman's new testament to America's progress toward genuine economic stability. Good words leading us to good jobs."
--Paul Glover, Founder, Ithaca Hours
"Shuman takes on the single-factor analysts who argue that the future lies in outsourcing our lives by showing how locally based businesses and economies are a happier, healthier solution for all. In the end, it's not how far our dollars travel that matters but how well and often they multiply near where they are earned and spent. Shuman shows how to stop local economies from being drained through the avaricious pipelines of globalization and be turned instead into deep wells serving their own communities."
--Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review
"Following in the footsteps of E.F. Schumacher and Jane Jacobs, who elegantly described the `why' of local and regional economies, Michael Shuman's new book provides the much needed `how'--with compelling examples from around the world."
--Susan Witt, Executive Director, E.F. Schumacher Society
"This powerfully argued book explains how small, innovative, and locally-oriented economies can undermine the power of globalized mega-companies like WalMart, building healthier, wealthier, and happier local communities in the process. Even if you don't agree with all his economic arguments, his many examples of creative communities that have taken charge of their own economic, social, and cultural futures cry out for wide replication."
--John McClaughry, formerly Senior Policy Advisor in the Reagan White House and President, The Ethan Allen Institute
"Get out of the big-box; get into your community and its economy! Shuman shows why a vibrant local economy is important, how to make it happen, and how doing so could help each of us. He offers sound analysis, and a style that emphasizes action. This book is addressed to consumers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers, and its message could not be more timely."
--Christopher Gunn, author of Third Sector Development
"Our actions as consumers, investors, and policymakers have put us in bondage to a global economy that jeopardizes the future well-being of our communities and ourselves. Shuman offers a compelling alternative vision of a more robust, more sustainable economy built around independent, locally-owned organizations. Anyone who desires to live in a free and prosperous future must read and take to heart the message in The Small-Mart Revolution."
--H. Thomas Johnson, Professor of Business Administration, Portland State University
"This is a terrific book. Fast-moving, full of facts and fresh analysis, a bundle of real things you can do to rebuild your own community. A practical tour-de-force. Bravo!"
--Gar Alperovitz, Lionel Re. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland, and author of America Beyond Capitalism --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
As someone with limited knowledge on local economics, I enjoyed the lessons here in Michael's book, including learning about TINA and LOIS. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dave Rothacker
Exellent experience. Book came even sooner than promised and although it was a used book, it was in absolutely new condition! Very happy with purchasePublished on June 15, 2010 by Karen M. Roper
This is an interesting, well-documented book that inspired me to try, as much as possible, to buy products from my local community's producers and vendors. Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by mcsal
It's a great primer for local sustainability, but lacks much of the detail needed for implementing the concepts suggested. I recommend it for anyone starting out on local ED work.Published on July 24, 2008 by M. Henry
Michael Shuman follows his earlier "Going Local" with this wonderful volume that continues to make the case for building economies from the inside out. Read morePublished on July 20, 2008 by Alec Johnson
In one brief and well-crafted volume, Michael Shuman has managed to explain both the wide range of effects of the multinational corporation's hegemony and the backlash against this... Read morePublished on December 9, 2007 by Nat Zorach
Michael Shulman has done a heroic job shifting our focus to what really matters. There is a great deal of focus in government and in the media on what large corporations are... Read morePublished on August 9, 2007 by Lynn M. Benander
This book brings some themes about the impact of the Big Companies into the small comunities . It's a great oportunity to think about the risks of the global business.Published on June 27, 2007 by Andre Souza