For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America
By Curl John
The survival of indigenous communities and the first European settlers alike depended on a deeply cooperative style of living and working, based around common lands, shared food and labor. Cooperative movements proved integral to the grassroots organizations and struggles challenging the domination of unbridled capitalism in America’s formative years. Holding aloft the vision for an alternative economic system based on cooperative industry, they have played a vital, and dynamic role in the struggle to create a better world.
Seeking to reclaim a history that has remained largely ignored by most historians, this dramatic and stirring account examines each of the definitive American cooperative movements for social change-farmer, union, consumer, and communalist-that have been all but erased from collective memory. Focusing far beyond one particular era, organization, leader, or form of cooperation, For All the People documents the multigenerational struggle of the American working people for social justice. With an expansive sweep and breathtaking detail, the chronicle follows the American worker from the colonial workshop to the modern mass-assembly line, ultimately painting a vivid panorama of those who built the United States and those who will shape its future.
John Curl, with over forty years of experience as both an active member and scholar of cooperatives, masterfully melds theory, practice, knowledge and analysis, to present the definitive history from below of cooperative America.