Consumers Against Capitalism?: Consumer Cooperation in Europe, North America and Japan,1840-1990

Overview

There is a growing scholarly interest in the historical development of what has been called a "consumer society". In this important collection of essays, historians from six different countries trace the history of the consumer cooperative movement in much of western Europe and North America from its inception to the present. The consumer cooperative, as the contributors show, bears directly on the role of socialist parties, the nascent feminist movement, and conceptions of the worker's role in a changing economy...
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Overview

There is a growing scholarly interest in the historical development of what has been called a "consumer society". In this important collection of essays, historians from six different countries trace the history of the consumer cooperative movement in much of western Europe and North America from its inception to the present. The consumer cooperative, as the contributors show, bears directly on the role of socialist parties, the nascent feminist movement, and conceptions of the worker's role in a changing economy and society in the 19th and 20th centuries. The first book to explore consumer cooperation on a comparative, international level, Consumers Against Capitalism fills a significant gap in the literature of labor history. It also makes a significant contribution to the literature on consumerism and capitalist culture. It is essential reading for students and scholars of labor history, women's history, and social movements.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Economic History
All in all, this book is to be recommended as a very useful guide to the international development of consumer cooperation.
— Eric Hopkins, Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton
International Review of Social History
It seldom happens that a book lives up to its grandiose promises, but this one really "fills a significant gap in the literature of labor history."
H-Business and Eh.Net
[This anthology] constitutes an insightful and stimulating first step towards the explanation of the infrastructure of consumption in the age of capitalism. . . It is to the great merit of Ellen Furlough and Carl Strikwerda to have drawn attention to the possibility of historical alternatives in an area as seemingly "naturally" capitalist as commercial activities in nineteenth and twentieth century First World societies.
— Gerd-Rainer Horn, Western Oregon University
Journal Of Economic History
All in all, this book is to be recommended as a very useful guide to the international development of consumer cooperation.
— Eric Hopkins, Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton
Booknews
Contributors examine Euro-American consumer cooperation in order to challenge the assumption that these consumer economies, institutions, and cultures were necessarily and inevitably capitalist, individualistic, and apolitical. Topics include the political economy of consumer cooperation in Belgium, 1860-1980; the rise and fall of working-class cooperatives in the US; French consumer cooperation, 1885-1930; consumer cooperation in Denmark, 1850-1940; and the consumer co-op in Japan: building democratic alternatives to state-led capitalism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Business History
This volume will be of considerable value to a range of scholars. Uniformly well-organized and capably written, the essays composing this volume will pique the interest on most readers.
International Review Of Social History
It seldom happens that a book lives up to its grandiose promises, but this one really "fills a significant gap in the literature of labor history."
Timothy Guinnane
An important book on a topic of considerable current interest.
H-Business and Eh.Net - Gerd-Rainer Horn
[This anthology] constitutes an insightful and stimulating first step towards the explanation of the infrastructure of consumption in the age of capitalism. . . It is to the great merit of Ellen Furlough and Carl Strikwerda to have drawn attention to the possibility of historical alternatives in an area as seemingly "naturally" capitalist as commercial activities in nineteenth and twentieth century First World societies.
Journal Of Economic History - Eric Hopkins
All in all, this book is to be recommended as a very useful guide to the international development of consumer cooperation.
Michael Hanagan
An exceptionally interesting collection. . . All the articles in this collection are solid, well-informed contributions that cast new light on working-class culture in their respective countries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847686490
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Furlough is associate professor of history at Kenyon College and the author of Consumer Cooperation in France, 1834-1930: The Politics of Consumption (Cornell). Carl Strikwerda is associate professor of history and chair of the European studies program at the University of Kansas. He is the author of A House Divided: Catholics, Socialists, and Flemish Nationalists in Nineteenth Century Belgium (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997) and the editor, with Camille Guerin-Gonzales, of The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy since 1830.

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