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Capitalism is in crisis mode. It is no longer serving ordinary people, while continuing to enrich the 1%. But as journalist Nathan Schneider shows, there is a democratic alternative to the robber-baron economy hiding in plain sight; we just need to know where to look. Cooperatives -- jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprises that advance the economic, social, and cultural needs of the members -- have provided that alternative for centuries. They often emerge during moments of capitalist crisis not unlike our own, putting people in charge of the credit unions, hardware stores, grocery stores, healthcare, and homes they depend on.
After the economic crisis that began in 2008, the cooperative movement is coming back with renewed vigor. Based on years of reporting, Schneider chronicles this economic and social revolution -- from the taxi cooperatives in Colorado that are keeping Uber and Lyft at bay; to the mayoral administration in Jackson, Mississippi, that is giving citizens control over their economy; to the French hacker who is building a cooperative version of bitcoin; to the electricity coop members who are propelling an outdated system into the future.
As these pioneers show, cooperative enterprise is poised to revolutionize our lives, put people like us in charge of our economy, and engender creativity and innovation that serves us all.
Nathan Schneider is a journalist and professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has written for publications including Harper's, The New Republic, The Nation, the New York Times, and The Catholic Worker. This is his third book. Schneider lives in Boulder, CO.