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Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age Hardcover – February 12, 1998
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About the Author
Michael H. Shuman, co-director of the Village Foundation's Institute for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, is author of five books and numerous articles on the relationship between community and international affairs. His work has appeared in The Nation, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post. He lives in Washington, DC. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The chapters are divided logically and can easily stand alone. Shuman refers to a wide variety of credible sources when making his arguments: history, government statistics, economists and sociologists. The Appendix includes an extensive list of helpful organizations, businesses, non-profits, etc., complete with phone numbers, websites and email addresses. The Notes section contains a complete bibliography of all of the books referenced.
Shuman not only points out what is wrong with the practice of globalism, but also what is right about the practice of localism. What surprised me even more is that he actually makes realistic suggestions for how to practice localism.
My favorite quote from this book is in the Introduction and reads:
"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."
Going Local is not about isolationism, but grass-roots empowerment and how to make municipalities work. The treasure chest of tools to regain local self-determination through community is wonderfully explored with examples that reverberate. If you are running or thinking of running for city or state government or are an activist looking to create living democracy and to rebuild our economics where it really matters to people, then you can find no better handbook then Going Local.
As a companion, I strongly suggest the works of Henry George, who is mentioned in GL. His Progress and Poverty, once one of the major American works on sustainable economics through land value tax, has been slighted over the years. Considered one of the greatest thinkers by some of the worlds greatest thinkers, Progress and Poverty is one of the most beautifully written books on a topic not known for beauty - how progress creates poverty and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. Our cities live this reality today and both Shuman and George show us a new way.
Shuman is one of several thinkers who has extended E.F. Schumacher's powerful work on human-scalability and provides a real hands-on set of tools to realize the important vision of a sustainable world.
For those who feel like DC and even state power centers are too remote and disempowering, Shuman breaths new life in the power of going Local.