High IMPACT Reading:



The Corporation : The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
by Joel Bakan

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Joel Bakan's new book is a brilliantly argued account of the corporation's pathological pursuit of profit and power. An eminent law professor and legal theorist, Bakan contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality whose destructive behavior, if left unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin. In the most revolutionary assessment of the corporation as a legal and economic institution since Peter Drucker's early works, Bakan backs his premise with the following claims:

While corporate social responsibility in some instances does much good, it is often merely a token gesture, serving to mask the corporation's true character.

Governments have abdicated much of their control over the corporation, despite its flawed character, by freeing it from legal constraints through deregulation and by granting it ever greater authority over society through privatization.

Despite the structural failings found in the corporation, Bakan believes change is possible and outlines a far-reaching program of concrete, pragmatic, and realistic reforms through legal regulation and democratic control.

Backed by extensive research, The Corporation draws on in-depth interviews with such wide-ranging figures as CEO Hank McKinnell of Pfizer, Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, business guru Peter Drucker, and critic Noam Chomsky of MIT.




The Problem of the Media
by Robert McChesney

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The symptoms of the crisis of the U.S. media are well-known—a decline in hard news, the growth of info-tainment and advertorials, staff cuts and concentration of ownership, increasing conformity of viewpoint and suppression of genuine debate. McChesney's new book, The Problem of the Media, gets to the roots of this crisis, explains it, and points a way forward for the growing media reform movement.

"Robert McChesney's work has been of extraordinary importance. . . . It should be read with care and concern by people who care about freedom and basic rights."
—Noam Chomsky

"Robert McChesney is one of the nation's most important analysts of the media."
—Howard Zinn



The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution
by George Draffan

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A new book from the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD), goes behind the veil of giant corporations -- Enron, Bechtel, Halliburton, Monsanto, Pfizer, and others making our daily news -- to show how the "system" really works. Unlike muckraking books about scandals in one industry or another, Draffan focuses on the mechanisms of power wielded by the entire network of corporate players.




Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights
by Thom Hartman

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Unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal influence, unequal privacy, and unequal access to natural resources and our commons-- these inequalities and more are the effects of corporations winning the rights of persons while simultaneously being given the legal protections to avoid the responsibilities that come with these rights. Hartmann tells the intriguing story of how it got this way-- from the colonists' rebellion against the commercial interests of the British elite to the distorted application of the Fourteenth Amendment-- and how to get back to a government of, by, and for the people.



When Corporations Rule the World
by David Korten

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David Korten offers an alarming expose of the devastating human and environmental consequences of global corporatization and a passionate message of hope in this well-reasoned, extensively researched analysis. He explains why human survival depends on a community-based, people-centered alternative. Korten offers viable national and global reforms to localize economies and globalize consciousness.




Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy
Edited by Dean Ritz

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This 352-page book collects 70 published and unpublished articles, essays, speeches, letters, harangues, and screeds in which POCLADers grapple with the reality that giant corporations -- backed by law -- govern our communities, our nation and the Earth. Edited by Dean Ritz. Includes an extensive bibliography, an index of court cases (including reporter citations), and a subject index. Detailed editor's notes cross-reference the many related topics covered in the articles, provide insightful commentary, and document sources.


Killing Hope : U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II_Updated Through 2003
by William Blum

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Is the United States a force for democracy? In this classic and unique volume that answers this question, William Blum serves up a forensic overview of U.S. foreign policy spanning sixty years. For those who want the details on our most famous -actions (Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, to name a few), and for those who want to learn about our lesser-known efforts (France, China, Bolivia, Brazil, for example), this book provides a window on what our foreign policy goals really are. "Far and away the best book on the topic."- Noam Chomsky


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
by John Perkins

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Listen to an audio interview with the author.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man reveals a game that, according to John Perkins, is "as old as Empire" but has taken on new and terrifying dimensions in an era of globalization. And Perkins should know. For many years he worked for an international consulting firm where his main job was to convince LDCs (less developed countries) around the world to accept multibillion-dollar loans for infrastructure projects and to see to it that most of this money ended up at Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root, and other United States engineering and construction companies. This book, which many people warned Perkins not to write, is a blistering attack on a little-known phenomenon that has had dire consequences on both the victimized countries and the U.S.




An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire
by Arundhati Roy

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Roy brings a novelistic readability and immediacy to her impassioned critiques of imperialism, the corporate media and their "neo-liberal project". Her unequivocally critical look at the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq will likely lead American readers to label her as either brilliantly astute or strongly anti-American. Roy delivers a scathing critique of the current state of democracy: "The project of corporate globalization has cracked the code of democracy. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities on sale to the highest bidder." In addition to observing problems; Roy offers non-violent solutions. Regardless of whether one agrees with her ideas, Roy crafts articulate and convincing arguments that deserve their place in any debate on globalization, democracy or Iraq.




People Before Profit : The New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money, and Economic Crisis
by Charles Derber

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Has globalization failed us? The promises of economic stability, increased prosperity, and cultural cooperation seem more like a pipe dream than ever before. But rather than stop globalization, Charles Derber challenges us to rewrite its rules in order to fulfill its potential as an agent of democracy and global harmony. In this provocative and optimistic work, one of the first examinations of globalization after September 11, 2001, Derber argues that only a democratic cure--begun at the grassroots level--will end global terror and economic insecurity. People Before Profit provides an essential understanding of our world economy as well as a practical guide for building a stable and more equitable global community.



Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit
by Vandana Shiva

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The clash of water as a commons versus its degradation into a commodity was perhaps best illustrated in Cochambamba, Bolivia in 1999. In response to the sell off of a municipal resource to Bechtel, the huge military contractor to the Pentagon, peasant groups formed a coalition to address skyrocketing water bills and poor service. After several serious skirmishes, the peasant coalition prevailed and reasserted their sovereignty over water.



Parecon: Life After Capitalism
by Michael Albert

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"What do you want?" is a constant query put to economic and globalization activists decrying current poverty, alienation and degradation. Michael Albert provides an answer: Participatory Economics, "Parecon" for short—a new economy, an alternative to capitalism, built on familiar values including solidarity, equity, diversity and people democratically controlling their own lives, but utilizing original institutions fully described and defended in the book.




Alternatives to Economic Globalization

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Written by a premier group of thinkers from around the world, Alternatives to Economic Globalization is the defining document of the anti-globalization movement. The culmination of a three-year project by the International Forum on Globalization, whose members include Ralph Nader, David Korten, John Cavanagh, Lori Wallach, and Jerry Mander, it presents both a sober critique of globalization as well as practical, thoughtful alternatives. The authors assert ten core requirements for democratic societies, including equality, basic human rights, local decision making, and ecological sustainability, and demonstrate how globalization undermines each. Offering specific strategies for reining in corporate domination, they address alternative systems for energy, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing; ideas for weakening or dismantling the WTO, World Bank, and IMF; and rebuilding economies that are responsive to human needs.



A People's History of the United States 1492-Present
by Howard Zinn

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A People's History of the United States 1492-Present (Now updat Known for its lively clear prose as well as its scholarly research, it is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of - and in the words of - America's women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.  As Zinn himself explains, "My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)--that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."

"Zinn has written a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those who have been exploited politically and economically and whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories... the book is an excellent antidote to establishment history…."           - Library Journal



Radical Democracy
by C. Douglas Lummis

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Radical Democracy is an extraordinary primer on how to think about democracy.  Radical Democracy is one of those rare books where you can feel during the read that your perception of the world changes. Things which you thought about before, but couldn't quite figure out, suddenly appear in beautiful clarity. The book is written in beautiful, clear, easy-to-understand prose and the author is very apt at translating concepts he is trying to explain into telling examples. But more than these formal things counts what Lummis has to say: he does away with all those ideological myths with which we have surrounded the concept of democracy so that it does fit our inherently, structurally undemocratic world system. Lummis takes the concept back to what it really means: power to the people. This is the highest possible form a society can take, it is self-determination of people over their own lives. Lummis then shows how little our current world has to do with this concept, determined as it is by an economic system (capitalism) which is structurally, inherently and necessarily antidemocratic. The best part of the book is when Lummis takes apart, bit by bit, the ideology of (economic) development. This book, in short, is an absolute must for every body remotely concerned about human freedom, self-determination, justice and sustainable society.



The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America
by Lawrence Goodwyn

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Seldom in our nation's history have there been widespread, grass-roots challenges to the economic and political system. According to the author, the agrarian movement of the late 1880s, otherwise known as Populism, was in fact the last such great challenge. Beyond the history of the movement, the author is much concerned with the implications for future democratic movements….  The author's insights into forming mass democratic movements and mounting cultural challenges are outstanding. Those insights add to the understanding of Populism. It should give anyone pause when considering the ability of modern movements to impact the status quo.



Arise! Bookstore
2441 Lyndale Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-871-7110

http://arisebookstore.org/
About Arise!


How to Purchase Books from Arise!

The best method of purchasing books from Arise! is to pick them up from their store.  Almost all of the books on the High IMPACT Reading list are consistently available at Arise!, however they often only carry a few copies, so there is a chance that they may be sold out of the book you are looking for.  For this reason, it is wise to check for availability before stopping by.  Any of the books can be special ordered.  Also it is possible to purchase over the phone from Arise! although they need to be prepurchased meaning that you can use a credit card or a debit card over the phone and have it delivered to your home.

To special order a book email Madeleine Baron at madeleine.baron@gmail.com



Mayday Books
301 Cedar Avenue
Minneapolis, Minneapolis 55454
612-333-4719

http://www.maydaybookstore.org/
About Mayday

How to Purchase Books from Mayday Books

Mayday is very much like Arise! in how you can purchase books from them.  Give them a call to ensure that the book you want is in stock, then either go pick it up from their store, or order it over the phone using a credit/debit card and have it mailed to your house.  Some books may have to be special ordered though.



MnLINK

What is MnLINK?

MnLink is a program that allows your local library to pool its books together will all other libraries in the network.  So if you want to check out a certain book that your local library doesn't have, but one of the other libraries does have, you just request the book.  The other library ships it to whichever library you'd like to pick it up from, and then you can pick it up and return it like you normally would.  This does require that you have a library card though.


How do I use MnLINK?

The most convenient way to use MnLINK to check out a book is to use your internet browser to go to the MnLINK Gateway.  Here you can enter the some keywords into the search feature (next to where it says "Enter Keywords:")  Some convenient things to enter here are the author's name and/or distinguishing words in the title you are looking for.  Then click the "Search" button.  It will take you a new page that will show the results of the search, although it make take a little while for the results to be displayed.  The results are all the books in all the libraries that match the search terms you inputted, so often times you might have to browse through the results to find the book you want or you might have to re-search using more distinguishable terms.  It is also important to note that often times you'll see multiple results for the same book, because they are at different libraries.  They are all still available to be checked out.  It is often convenient to use the "Merge Duplicates" option to group all the results of the same book but from different libraries in case you are looking for a book that is often times checked out.   This is found on the left-hand side and is under the results heading.  After finding the result that you are looking for click on the headline for it.  This will bring you to a page that shows more specifics about the book, such as how many copies are in the system, which libraries they are housed at, and whether or not they are available to be checked out.  Once you find a book that you'd like to check out and is available to be checked out, click on the "Get It!" link in the upper right-hand corner.  All you have to do now is to type in the number under the bar code of your library card where it asks for it and to select the library that you'd like to pick the book up at.