Note: All books are in paperback unless specified.
David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous
A study of phenomenology and the ways in which our contemporary rationalistic thought patterns interfere with our ability to perceive the living universe around us.
Maude Barlow, Lori Wallach, Tony Clarke, MAI: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment and the Threat to American Freedom
An extremely important expose on the Agreement, which is being negotiated largely in secret and which expand the present World Trade Organization system to grant multi-national corporations equal status to sovereign states under international law. If you are troubled by the economic and cultural implications of NAFTA and the WTO, this book is a must...
Constance L. Benson, God and Caesar: Troeltsch's Social Teaching As Legitimation
With a forward by Cornel West, this fascinating and thoroughly researched new book by FEM member Constance Benson shatters the accepted interpretation of the life and thought of one of the most important liberal Protestant theologians of century. Benson demonstrates that Troeltsch's theology, far from being the paradigm of liberal Protestant thought, in fact legitimiazed class, religious, and gender inequality, which she situates within Troeltsch's ties to key ideologists of late Imperial and then Nazi Germany.
Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination
In this fascinating book, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann offers a message of transformation quite in line with the POM, from a more Christian perspective. Using material from the Old and New Testaments, Brueggemann contrasts the "royal imagination," rooted in status quo power and oppression, with the "prophetic imagination," which seeks to expose the pain created by the status quo, and to liberate the healing and transformative energy of the Divine.
Mark Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, eds., Chicken Soup for the Soul.
A great collection of inspiring and uplifting stories from some of America's best motiviational speakers. Also available: A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Third Helping..., A Fourth Helping..., and A Fifth Helping...
Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life
An examination of several current scientific theories (including chaos theory and the Gaia theory) that contend that the network is a better organizational model than the Cartesian hierarchy. A sort of scientific confirmation of our belief in community and cooperation.
Alfie Cohen, No Contest: The Case Against Competition
Updated for the 1990s, the award-winning book that stands as the definitive critique of competition. Kohn says that contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to "human nature," but actually poisons our relationships, damages our self-esteem, and holds us back from doing our best. Includes new matial on "cooperative learning" in the classroom. " By perceiving that cooperation is the answer, not competition, Alfie Kohn opens a new world of living."--Dr. W. Edwards Deming.
Alfie Cohen, Punished by Rewards: The Trouble With Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A'S, Praise, and Other Bribes
Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were : American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
Coontz debunks the myths of the traditional American family, and challenges the over-simplicity of the Family Values debate
Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America's Changing Families
A reasonable, well-documented look at the problems facing today's families, offering reasonable, non-scapegoating possibilities for solutions.
Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade
Riane Eisler, Tomorrow's Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century
Back in 1987, Riane Eisler's The Chalice & the Blade outlined an innovative revisionist account of the evolution of society. Basing her theories on the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, Eisler rebuffed the caveman model and instead visualized a peaceful prehistoric community rooted in goddess religion with equality between the sexes. That way of life, she elaborated, declined with the intrusion of male-oriented conquerors. In Tomorrow's Children, Eisler applies her concept of a gender-equal, multicultural, environmentally sensitive world to the modern education system, advocating a kinder, gentler curriculum in which aggressive "dominator" cultures are contrasted with "partnership" cultures. Students, she argues, must be taught beliefs, stories, and values that support the latter type of culture as the correct one. The partnership approach will give students an enlightened context and make life more meaningful to them.
Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society
Jacques Ellul, a French sociologist, demonstrates that technology, which we continue to conceptualize as the servant of humanity, will overthrow everything that prevent the internal logic of its development, unless we take the necessary steps to move human society out of the environment that "technique" is creating to meet its own needs.
John Entelis, Islam, Democracy and the State in North Africa
One of the best books written on the relationship between the desire for democratic reforms, political autocracy, and increasing religious sentiment and activism in the Middle East.
John Entelis, The Algerian Civil War: 1990-1998
Tom Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism
In his book-length essay The Conquest of Cool, Thomas Frank explores the ways in which Madison Avenue co-opted the language of youthful '60s rebellion. It is "the story," Frank writes, "of the bohemian cultural style's trajectory from adversarial to hegemonic; the story of hip's mutation from native language of the alienated to that of advertising." This appropriation had wide-ranging consequences that deeply transformed our culture--consequences that linger in the form of '90s "hip consumerism." According to Frank, the '60s live on in the near-archetypal dichotomy of "hip" and "square," now part of advertising vernacular, signifying a choice between consumer styles.
Tom Frank, Matt Weiland, eds., Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from the Baffler
In this thought-provoking collection of essays, editor Thomas Frank and other contributors to the contrarian journal the Baffler examine the unprecedented ascendancy of business as the dominating force in American life. If the closest historical parallel is with the Gilded Age and its all-powerful robber barons, Frank and his ilk clearly see themselves as the muckrakers out to expose the absurdities and abuses of big business.
Anthony Giddens, Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics
Anthony Giddens, The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy
In these two books Anthony Giddens, one of the most important European sociologists of the last thirty years, and most recently an advisor (and then critic) of British PM Tony Blair, lays out a British-inspired version of the Politics of Meaning which is an interesting and illuminating compliment to Michael Lerner's analysis of the American scene. His argument is extremely well-argued yet free of the jargon and unnecessarily complicated language that plague many similar critiques
Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence
This best-seller details the results of scientific studies indicating that intelligence is more than a matter of rational thought and that rational thought is heavily affected by the areas of the brain dealing with emotion. The book makes a powerful point that a truly intelligent and effective person has learned and uses the qualities of empathy, compassion, self-awareness, and self-control. A sort of scientific confirmation of some of the basic principles of the Politics of Meaning.
Roger Gottleib, ed., A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth
A powerful vision of the spiritual life as centering on emotional and political resistance to unjustified pain. Roger Gottlieb's eloquent plea for more spirituality in a world of constant upheavals will touch the reader's heart and move it to moral commitment. Elie Wiesel calls the book "eloquent and passionate."
Jonathan Greenberg, ed., Buying America Back
A wonderful collection of essays by the founder of former NY Times journalist and gist.com founder that lays out a blue print for Americans retaking control of their economic and politica destiny.
David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change
Undoubtedly the most thoroughly researched yet simply argued analysis of of the phenomena of Postmodernism ever written. A wealth of information on the economic and cultural aspects of globalization.
David Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference
In this book Harvey engages with the politics of social and environmental justice, and seeks new ways to think about the future of urbanization in the twenty-first century. He describes how geographical differences are produced, and shows how they become fundamental to the exploration of political, economic, and ecological alternatives to contemporary life.
Cliff Havener, Meaning: The Secret of Being Alive
By looking at our "human condition" in the context of general systems, Meaning: The Secret of Being Alive reveals why so many things don't work, don't make sense - why we have an "emptiness of spirit". It shows how and why our social institutions deny their own spirit and persecute the authenticity of the people who participate in them. It also shows how the individual person can reclaim his or her own spirit and why this is the critical requirement for restoring the spirit of our social systems.
Paul Hawken, Hunter Lovins, Amory B. Lovins, Natural Capitalism
Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability
Lamont C. Hempel, Environmental Governance: The Global Challenge
Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery
Jason Hill, Becoming a Cosmopolitan: What it Means to be a Human Being in the New Millennium
To dispense with tribal identities is to construct a new type of moral human being. By forgetting where we came from we do not lose our essence. Rather, we find new ones through radical contacts with those whom we've though different. To find this new essence is to make a covenant with the new millennium: to admit that we are unfinished specimens in human creation and to recommence the journey of our moral evolution.
James Hillman and Michael Ventura, We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse
This is a truly provocative book that challenges the isolated individualism of our current models of personality and psychotherapy. The authors, in an engaging, conversational style, throw open the gates to the possibility of a psychology that recognizes our place in the body politic and the soul of the world.
Arianna Huffington, How to Overthrow the Government
"Our government is no longer serving us," declares Arianna Huffington in How to Overthrow the Government. "[It] is slow, unfair, corrupt, and peopled by politicians living on graft and sinecure." While the political class gloats about unprecedented prosperity, Americans are more turned off by their rulers than ever before: the public holds deeply cynical views about Washington, voter turnout continues to drop, and "modern campaigns ... are so thoroughly dominated by pollsters and consultants that there's no oxygen left for ideas that might challenge the status quo." Politicians have turned a blind eye to America's real problems. "Glad-handing lobbyists" (there are roughly 38 per member of Congress, says Huffington) and "the seductive allure of incumbency" have made lawmakers resistant to necessary reforms. "It's this vicious cycle that explains why 35 million Americans are living in poverty and more children are homeless than at any time since the Great Depression; why middle-income Americans are saddled with crippling levels of debt; why our children attend drug-ridden schools where they are not safe and cannot learn." Much of this book reads like an extended political column, full of anecdotes and zinging one-liners. Yet there's also more earnestness and less satire on these pages than was glimpsed in Huffington's previous book Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom. How to Overthrow the Government and its provocative recommendations will appeal mainly to the supporters of America's dissident politicos, such as Sen. John McCain, Ralph Nader, and the Reform Party.
Arianna Huffington, Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom
Syndicated columnist (and frequent Politically Incorrect panelist) Arianna Huffington takes up political satire in this fictional account of her weekend as a guest in the Clinton White House. As interns scramble to assure her that everything is under control, and Al Gore gathers dust in the basement, Huffington gets her soundest advice from Socks, the First Cat. More than Primary Colors without the names changed, Greetings From the Lincoln Bedroom contains a sustained attack on the campaign finance scandals that have affected both parties and which, in Huffington's view, threaten American democracy at its core
Robin Kelley, Race Rebels, Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class
Mark Kingwell, Dreams of Millennium: Report from a Culture on the Brink
Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies
In No Logo, Klein patiently demonstrates, step by step, how brands have become ubiquitous, not just in media and on the street but increasingly in the schools as well. The global companies claim to support diversity, but their version of "corporate multiculturalism" is merely intended to create more buying options for consumers. When Klein talks about how easy it is for retailers like Wal-Mart and Blockbuster to "censor" the contents of videotapes and albums, she also considers the role corporate conglomeration plays in the process. How much would one expect Paramount Pictures, for example, to protest against Blockbuster's policies, given that they're both divisions of Viacom? Klein also looks at the workers who keep these companies running, most of whom never share in any of the great rewards. But resistance is growing, and the backlash against the brands has set in. Street-level education programs have taught kids in the inner cities, for example, not only about Nike's abusive labor practices but about the astronomical markup in their prices. Boycotts have commenced: as one urban teen put it, "Nike, we made you. We can break you." But there's more to the revolution, as Klein optimistically recounts: "Ethical shareholders, culture jammers, street reclaimers, McUnion organizers, human-rights hacktivists, school-logo fighters and Internet corporate watchdogs are at the early stages of demanding a citizen-centered alternative to the international rule of the brands... as global, and as capable of coordinated action, as the multinational corporations it seeks to subvert." No Logo is a comprehensive account of what the global economy has wrought and the actions taking place to thwart it.
David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World
In his piercing analysis if economic globalization, Korten blames the corporate quest for short-term financial gain for creating a "market tyranny that is extending its reach across the planet like a cancer, colonizing ever more of the planet's living spaces, destroying livelihoods, displacing people, rendering democratic institutions impotent, and feeding on life." The solution, he argues, is to "re-create societies that nurture cultural and biological diversity [and get] corporations out of politics... creating localized economies."
David Korten, The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism (hardcover), The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism (paperback)
Korten offers a practical, human-centered alternative to global capitalism run amok and advocates a global network of small-scale market economies that empower citizens and embrace community values.
John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
Satish Kumar, Path Without Destination: An Autobiography
Michael Lerner, The Politics of Meaning: Restoring Hope and Possibility in an Age of Cynicism
A thought-provoking critique of contemporary liberalism and conservatism alike offers a detailed program for reinstituting a spiritually sensitive and ethical society and challenges the modern-day materialism and selfishness of today's market-driven culture.
Michael Lerner, Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation
In Jewish Renewal, Lerner helps us reunderstand the classic Jewish texts, presents a startling new approach to God and prayer, and offers a masterly reinterpretation of Jewish history and destiny from the ancient world through the Holocaust and contemporary Israel. Finally, his book opens to us the process of Jewish renewal, which is today bringing thousands of Jews back to a Judaism that they are both discovering and helping create.
Michael Lerner, Surpluss Powerlessness
Michael Lerner and Cornel West, Race Matters
Alasdair MacIntyre, Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
Jerry Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations
Mander goes beyond television (which he proclaimed as being dangerous to personal health and sanity in Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television) to critique our technological society as a whole, challenge its utopian promises, and track its devastating impact on native cultures worldwide. "Will interest all readers concerned about our environment and quality of life."-- Publishers Weekly.
Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith (editors), The Case Against the Global Economy: And for a Turn Toward the Local
The 43 essays in this collection comprise a point-by-point analysis of globalization and its consequences that demonstrates that the future may not be as bright as business leaders tell us. Among the highlights: William Greider examines how General Electric works to shape (with the goal of controlling) the political arena; Ralph Nader and Lori Wallach attack NAFTA and GATT for undermining the sovereign authority of democratic governments; and Wendell Berry looks at the concerted efforts of big business to destroy local, particularly rural, communities in order to plunder the environment without opposition. Several authors, including Satish Kumar, Jeanette Armstrong, and Kirkpatrick Sale, outline alternatives to the global economy based on "bioregional" principles of local self-sufficiency.
Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson, Spiritual Politics: Changing the World from the Inside Out
Knowledgeable and pragmatic, these academic scholar-authors charge American culture with emphasizing the wrong things, and they offer, instead, the spiritual guidance of "the Ageless Wisdom" of Eastern religions, historied secret societies, and New Age approaches from around the world. They make good use of their material, which ranges from real-life stories to modern-day physics; they link esoteric doctrines to practical political practices. Their approach is stimulating, yet their critique and solutions have foundations some readers will question. The synthesis they seek includes a large dose of mysticism, ranging from universally shared, God-imminent, existence to direct links between body parts and spiritual properties. A tantalizing argument for restructuring American public and private life that should appeal to a variety of reformers.
Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats
This book will remind people why they became vegitarians while giving those still living a carnivorous life good reason to consider making the switch.
Ann Powers, Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America
In a thoughtful mixture of autobiography, journalism, and cultural criticism, Ann Powers examines how "bohemian" culture--which many consider dead and buried--has seeped into the American mainstream. While writing extensively about her own trajectory from communal living and a dead-end record-store job in San Francisco to cohabital bliss and a staff position as a rock critic for The New York Times, Powers also takes great care to include the perspectives of her peers, even when their impressions clash violently with her own. In doing so, she turns Weird Like Us into a frontline analysis of how the members of Generation x try to find significance and purpose in their lives.
Daniel Quinn, Ishmael
Daniel Quinn, My Ishmael
My Ishmael is the sequel to Ishmael, and is a work of deep ecology and that reenforces the POM philosophy. Here is a crucial passage:
"If you want to survive on this planet, the people of your culture are going to have to start listening to your neighbors in the community of life. Incredible as it may seem, you don't know it all. And, incredible as it may seem, you don't have to invent it all. You don't have to contrive things that work, you only have to visit the treasury around you. There's no reason to be surprised that Leaver peoples should enjoy cradle-to-grave security... as a species, you came into being in communities in which cradle-to-grave security was the rule, and the same rule has been followed throughout the development of homo sapiens right up to the present moment -- in Leaver societies. It's only in Taker societies that cradle-to-grave security has become a rarity, a special blessing of the privileged few... I'm afraid that I don't have much sympathy for the 'healing' approach to your problems. You're not ill. Six billion of you wake up every morning and start devouring the world. This isn't a sickness that you contracted one night while sitting in draft. Healing is always a hit-or-miss proposition... Sometimes chemotherapy kills the cancer and sometimes it doesnt. You can't afford to fool around 'healing' yourselves. You've got to start living a different way, and you've got to do it very soon." pp. 177-178
Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends
Politics and transcendence in post industrial society. "I believe we have arrived, after long journeying, at an historical vantage point from which we can at last see where the wasteland ends and where a culture of human wholeness and fulfillment begins." (from the introduction.)
Edward Said, Orientalism
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism
Jeffrey K. Salkin, Being God's Partner: How to Find the Hidden Link Between Spirituality and Your Work
Saskia Sassen, Globalization and its Distontents (hardcover), Globalization and its Distontents (paperback)
A brilliant analysis of the political economy of globalization which focuses on the growing disparity between rich and poor in the great "world cities" like New York.
E. F. Schumacher, James Robertson (Preface), Paul Hawken (Introduction), Small Is Beautiful : Economics As If People Mattered : 25 Years Later...
Small is Beautiful is the perfect antidote to the economics of globalization. As relevant today as when it was first published, this is a landmark set of essays on humanistic economics. This 25th anniversary edition brings Schumacher's ideas into focus for the end-of-the-century by adding commentaries by contemporary thinkers who have been influenced by Schumacher. They analyze the impact of his philosophy on current political and economic thought. Small is Beautiful is the classic of common-sense economics upon which many recent trends in our society are founded. This is economics from the heart rather than from just the bottom line.
Randy Shaw, The Activist's Handbook: A Primer for the 1990s and Beyond
"Randy Shaw gives us a serious and respectful treatment of the strategic problems and opportunities that confront grassroots activists. This is a dimension of contemporary politics that is rarely treated, and welcome for that reason. Moreover, in developing his analysis, Shaw draws on numerous cases of local struggles to remind us of what the media has come to ignore, the persistent and insuppressible popular activism that is part of American political life." (Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York)
Randy Shaw, Reclaiming America: Nike, Clean Air, and the New National Activism
"Randy Shaw provides the definitive account of the historic national campaign to reform Nike's labor practices. Reclaiming America is a must read for everyone seeking to achieve greater social and economic fairness in the 21st Century." --Medea Benjamin, Co-Director, Global Exchange... "Reclaiming America is an outstanding and innovative work that provides new understanding of events and patterns in American society. Shaw's activist-oriented analysis of methods of effective mobilization campaigns is unique and extremely important for scholars and practitioners alike." --Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia.
Juliet Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure.
Michael Sorkin, Exquisite Corpse: Writings on Buildings
A wonderful compilation of essays from one of American's premier architects, critics and ethicists.
Michael Sorkin, Wiggle
This monograph documents over a decade's worth of projects from one of the most important architectural firms in New York. Although urban areas are most frequently the subject of the Studio's iconoclastic rejuvenation, an attention to nature and natural form is nonetheless ubiquitous.
P.A. Sorokin, The Crisis of Our Age
Professor Sorokin, of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University, asserts that the whole of modern culture is undergoing a period of transition: the fine arts and science, philosophy and religion, ethics and law, our ways of thoughts. It is a systematic analysis of the nature, causes and consequences of today's crisis.
David Trend, ed., Radical Democracy: Identity, Citizenship, and the State
This edited volume, which features contributions by Barbara Ehrenreich, Henry Giroux, Manning Marable, Gayatri Spivak, and other leading cultural critics, addresses the loss of faith in conventional party politics, arguing for new ways of thinking about diversity, liberty, and civic responsibility. The debates go far beyond conventional and conservative rhetoric to examine just how radical "radical democracy" might be in a nation like the United States.
Jim Wallis, Faith Works
Jim Wallis, ed., The Soul of Politics: A Practical and Prophetic Vision for Change
A passionate plea for social justice and renewal, from the nationally known activist, preacher, and editor of Sojourners magazine. Drawing on his firsthand experience of inner-city life in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago and his visits to trouble spots such as Nicaragua, the Philippines, and South Africa, Wallis (The Call to Conversion, 1981) sets out his vision of a new politics.
Jim Wallis, ed., The Soul of Politics: Beyond 'Religious Right' and 'Secular Left'
The Soul of Politics responds to signs of cultural breakdown and political impasse with a resounding call to reintegrate politics and spirituality. Wallis draws on his own experience in the urban ghettos of Washington, D.C., to show why traditional liberal and conservative options that emphasize either social justice or personal values fall short of solutions.
Neil Donald Walsh, Conversations with God, Vol. I
Neil Donald Walsh, Conversations with God, Vol. II
Neil Donald Walsh, Conversations with God, Vol. III
Arthur Waskow, Down-To-Earth Judaism : Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life
Arthur Waskow, Godwrestling Round 2 : Ancient Wisdom, Future Paths
Cornel West, Race Matters
Dr. West calls for the application of POM principles to counter what he sees as the deep despair of Black America.
Cornel West and Roberto Mangabeira Unger, The Future of American Progressivism: An Initiative for Political and Economic Reform
Marianne Willamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles for a Course in Miracles
Michele Wucker, Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola
The Caribbean island of Hispaniola is home to historic, ongoing strife between two countries deeply divided by race, language, and history yet forced constantly into confrontation by their shared geography. In her first book, American journalist Michele Wucker reports from both Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the complex relations between these two cultures and sheds light on the sources of their struggles both in their island home and in the United States.
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