Seeks to reclaim a history that has remained largely ignored by most historians, this dramatic and storing account examines each of the definitive American cooperation movements for social change that have all but been erased from popular memory


10 thoughts on “For All The People

  1. Dan Dan says:

    For All the People isof an encyclopedia than a good read But the amount of information on collectives and communes that figured directly in U.S history is quite staggering There was quite a bit I did not know and I read a lot of books on U.S history.I found the second third of the book, which roughly covers the 20th century collectives and unions to be better researched than the rest of the book.There is a little too much of the author s experiences inserted in the latter portion of th For All the People isof an encyclopedia than a good read But the amount of information on collectives and communes that figured directly in U.S history is quite staggering There was quite a bit I did not know and I read a lot of books on U.S history.I found the second third of the book, which roughly covers the 20th century collectives and unions to be better researched than the rest of the book.There is a little too much of the author s experiences inserted in the latter portion of the book for my liking but perhaps for those who have adopted his philosophy it would resonate.I gave this book four stars primarily because it is an honest, broad and unique compilation of an overlooked area of U.S history There is little to compare this book to except Howard Zinn s People s History of the U.S Take note that For All the People is largely a well structured catalog of events with little space devoted to stories It left me in many cases wanting to knowI did not find the book to be overly preachy even though I don t subscribe to many of the author s beliefs


  2. PM Press PM Press says:

    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 strug 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


  3. Kate Kate says:

    Between Howard Zinn and John Curl, we might finally have a couple of historians who can teach us our history, so that we are not doomed to repeat it Curl s book focuses on the history of cooperative work and communal living, and the aggressive tactics of capitalist, corporate and governmental entities to cut democracy off at the knees Time and time again, the coop loses That s the depressing part And, time and time again, the workers rise That s the part that gives me hope Unlike previous Between Howard Zinn and John Curl, we might finally have a couple of historians who can teach us our history, so that we are not doomed to repeat it Curl s book focuses on the history of cooperative work and communal living, and the aggressive tactics of capitalist, corporate and governmental entities to cut democracy off at the knees Time and time again, the coop loses That s the depressing part And, time and time again, the workers rise That s the part that gives me hope Unlike previous reviewers, my issues with the book are not the number of footnotes, dates, and names Those reviews, in my opinion, shoud be struck The book is, for the most part, a serious, well documented history To criticize it for its dates and names is like criticizing a picture book for having too many pictures.My main issue with the book is the omission of the entire decade of the 1950s It s not there, and, given the social economic conflicts of the McCarthy era, I was surprised to see that it wasn t there My second issue, is less heartfelt Toward the end of the section on Cooperatives, Curl abruptly shifts into discussing his experiences with San Francisco cooperatives These are very informative and useful as we begin to understand, on aintimate level, the forces working for and against cooperatives But we lose the broad scope of history as he discusses his experience The communal chapters are also interesting, and easily linked to the cooperative chapters that precede them As a teenager, I was able to participate very briefly in a commune Koinonia Farm , from which sprung Habitat for Humanity, and so I found kindred spirits throughout that section of the book I look at the Occupy Movement, and the work being done by Yes Magazine, and the myriad of networks of average people working to return the country to the vision of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, and I think, this book is for them If we don t learn from our history heck if we don t even know our history, we are doomed to repeat it Even though so many cooperatives are doomed to fail, so many wonderful things arise from them that serve humanity The 40 hour work week, community supported agriculture, even things like Habitat for Humanity which is, in itself, a nonprofit housing cooperative This is a good book An important book A reference book I highly recommend it


  4. Worker Co-op & Economic Democracy Reading List Worker Co-op & Economic Democracy Reading List says:

    This book documents the importance of cooperatives, particularly worker cooperatives, throughout our country s history and their particular relevance today It is indeed inspiring, in the face of all the misguided praise of the market , to be reminded by John Curl s book of the noble history of cooperative work in the United States Howard Zinn, author of A Peoples History of the United States


  5. Christina Zawadiwsky Christina Zawadiwsky says:

    I received this book as a win from Goodreads, and entered to win it because its title piqued my curiosity I did not expect it to be SO packed with historical data that it was hard to find the human interest in the book, however A bit heavy going and heavily foot noted, I would recommend it primarily to historians I received this book as a win from Goodreads, and entered to win it because its title piqued my curiosity I did not expect it to be SO packed with historical data that it was hard to find the human interest in the book, however A bit heavy going and heavily foot noted, I would recommend it primarily to historians


  6. Robert Stayton Robert Stayton says:

    A very revealing history of cooperatives in America In our history there have been wave after wave of cooperatives started by people who are sick of corporate control and wanting something better for themselves by helping themselves through working with others Often coops were started by unions on strike to help their members Even today millions of Americans are part of coops through agriculture coops and credit unions, which are coop banks The author tries to be complete, but sometimes that A very revealing history of cooperatives in America In our history there have been wave after wave of cooperatives started by people who are sick of corporate control and wanting something better for themselves by helping themselves through working with others Often coops were started by unions on strike to help their members Even today millions of Americans are part of coops through agriculture coops and credit unions, which are coop banks The author tries to be complete, but sometimes that completeness bogs down the reader But the story of the rise and fall of the People s Food System in the San Francisco Bay Area is gripping


  7. Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea says:

    An interesting idea the history of the cooperative and communalist movements in the US certainly a history worth telling Mr Curl, however, writes like a researcher and not a writer The first half of the book is a chronological history of these movements and coops but he is never quite able to weave together a compelling narrative It reads like snapshots in history Bland and almost unreadable When he writes from his own experiences though, his writing shines and I could really feel and gr An interesting idea the history of the cooperative and communalist movements in the US certainly a history worth telling Mr Curl, however, writes like a researcher and not a writer The first half of the book is a chronological history of these movements and coops but he is never quite able to weave together a compelling narrative It reads like snapshots in history Bland and almost unreadable When he writes from his own experiences though, his writing shines and I could really feel and grasp his motivation and interest in the topic Unfortunately, he does this very little Honestly, this feltlike a reference book than anything Good topic, good information, just wish it could have been presented in a farcompelling way


  8. Matt Matt says:

    Picked this up because it was Howard Zinn endorsed Not as readable as the back cover would have you believe and certainly not as readable as Zinn it s a bit heavy handed with the dates and names, but the relatable human interest points are what keep it compelling I particularly enjoyed the beginning and the speculation on what might have been if we d not gone the indentured servitude route in designing the labor force Probably good for a classroomand classroom discussion.


  9. Allee Allee says:

    Finished about 2 3 of it. there s some interesting analysis in there, but there s also a lot of really tedious recitation of every co op that ever existed for 2 months and then failed I get that it kind of serves as a historical record, these people were here, let s not forget them, but it did not make for very interesting reading.


  10. Patrick Patrick says:

    Good book on a subject I care about I m hoping that books like this will help spread the word about the benefits of cooperative movements I won this book from First Reads and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the author had signed it for me Thanks