America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy

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9780471790020: America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy
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Be prepared for a mind-opening experience.
-The Christian Century

""Highly readable; excellent for students. . . . A tonic and eye-opener for anyone who wants a politics that works.""
-Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

""America Beyond Capitalism comes at a critical time in our history-when we all know our system isn't working but we are not sure what can be done about it. This book takes us outside the confines of orthodox thinking, imagines a new way of living together, and then brings that vision back into reality with a set of eminently practical ideas that promise a truly democratic society.""
-Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

""Succeeds brilliantly in taking the Jeffersonian spirit into the last bastion of privilege in America, offering workable solutions for making the American economy one that is truly of, by, and for the people.""
-Jeremy Rifkin, author of The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream

""The kind of careful, well-researched, and practical alternative progressives have been seeking. And it's more-visionary, hopeful, even inspirational. I highly recommend it.""
-Juliet Schor, author of The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need

""A compelling and convincing story of the future.""
-William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

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From the Inside Flap:

We can all imagine a future where there’s more to the American way than our current no-holds-barred capitalism, but will that future ever arrive?

In his new book, Gar Alperovitz, the renowned scholar of politics, economics, and history, predicts that we’ve reached a major turning point in history. America Beyond Capitalism argues that the first decade of the twenty-first century–challenged by growing economic inequality, the devaluing of civil liberties, and a government unresponsive to the people–is already producing conditions that will force the United States to undergo historic changes.

There have been five major political realignments in American history, from before the Progressive Era to beyond the New Deal. All have occurred in the face of the argument that major change was impossible. America Beyond Capitalism shows that increasing numbers of citizens are also quietly beginning to take meaningful local and national action that can ultimately give explosive force to a new approach.

The fall of communism and the painful ramifications of a globalized market free-for-all have left many yearning for a realistic alternative. Alperovitz makes clear that capitalism and socialism are academic ideas that have never existed in their purest forms anywhere. Our nameless current system, which is a haphazard one, mostly controlled by the largest corporations, is not the only one possible.

If we look closely, America Beyond Capitalism suggests, the basic outlines of an achievable and community-sustaining vision are quietly taking shape–a vision that offers far better market-based ways to use our vast wealth to realize equality, democracy, and liberty.

The rapid changes of the early 1960s, a time of explosive ferment and new ideas, seemed to come out of nowhere. So, too, did the modern conservative revolution–which once was seen as a marginal political project. Fundamental change, Alperovitz suggests, is the rule, not the exception, in history, including in our own time, here and now.

Eloquently reasoned, passionately argued, and grounded in a wealth of irrefutable facts and data, America Beyond Capitalism offers anyone who wants to take part in this momentous enterprise a new way to think about–and then get to work to help build–a new future.

About the Author:

GAR ALPEROVITZ is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. Among his many books are The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and Rebuilding America (with Jeff Faux). His articles have appeared in Mother Jones, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and the Atlantic Monthly. He is also a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative.

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