This book makes the jump from 5 stars (generally I don’t bother to review a book if it is not a four or five star read) to 6 stars — my top ten percent — because of the combination of Questions Asked, glorious color graphics, and the total holistic nature of the book — this is easily a PhD thesis in holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering. Indeed, this book could be used as a first-year reference across any humanities and science domain, they would be the better for it.
6-Star Utterly Brilliant Survey and Strategy, April 19, 2016
The author of this book has done something no one else has done – I say this as the reviewer of over 2,000 non-fiction books at Amazon across 98 categories. For the first time, in one book, we have a very clear map of what is happening where in the way of economic and social development; a startlingly diplomatic but no less crushing indictment of nation-state and militaries; and a truly inspiring game plan for what we should all be demanding from countries, cities, commonwealths, communities, and companies, in the way of future investments guided by a strategy for creating a prosperous world at peace.
4.0 out of 5 starsVital Detailed Truth, Lacks Compelling Visualization, July 9, 2015
This book stems from a conference and is a very nicely presented double-spaced precis of the world-class contributions from the conference.
HELEN CALDICOTT QUOTE (3): The Fukushima disaster is not over and will not end for many millenia. The radioactive fallout, which has covered vast swaths of Japan, will remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.”
NAOTO KAN QUOTE (19): Considering the risk of losing half our land and evacuating half our population, my conclusion is that not having nuclear power plants is the safest energy policy.
This book is the playbook for how a hollow US military over-reliant on satellites for location and communications, over-reliant on carriers that are too easily killed by supersonic wave-hopping missiles, over-reliant on a very mediocre US air force that cannot maintain air superiority or long air-based supply lines, is smashed by the Chinese when an amoral thoughtless US presidency goes one regime change oil field hijacking too far.
I come at this book with something most readers do not have, over 2,000 non-fiction book reviews here at Amazon, and I mention it only because there are some negative reviews that I think are lacking in the larger context one gets from very broad reading. From my perspective, this book is an extraordinary primer and the author is gifted — truly gifted as a teacher and an explainer of complex ideas in simpler captivating terms.
There are many other books that go into greater detail on specifics, and I will begin by listing just four of them:
The authors, being from New York, know what the NYT and Mother Jones both missed in their stories on Governor Cuomo banning fracking in New York: that it was a legal couple Helen and David Slottje that went village by village educating townships that then passed anti-fracking ordnances. Search for this headline to get to the photo essay: Dryden: The Town That Changed The Fracking Game. To everyone’s delight, the Appeals Court upheld those local decisions instead of doing what they usually do, yield to federal and corporate corruption. Today fracking has been banned in Quebec, many US states at various levels of governance, and world-wide (search for List of Franking Bans Worldwide) for the simple reason that it uses clean water we cannot spare, contaminates what is left of the clean water in rapidly falling aquifers, and creates earthquakes — a new CRS Report is just out, free, Human-Induced Earthquakes from Deep-Well Injection: A Brief Overview, easily found online.
5.0 out of 5 starsDavid Bollier’s Review is Better, This Is My Attempt, April 21, 2014
I was very impressed by David Bollier’s review of this book at his web site (look for < “Stop, Thief!” – Peter Linebaugh’s New Collection of Essays > and am encouraging him to port that excellent review here to Amazon. Indeed, after working my way through the book myself, I consider myself unable to do proper justice to this deep work that integrates history, poetry, political economy, anthropology, and sociology among other disciplines. Hence I hope others will write substantive summary reviews and I again recommend Bollier’s review above.
Three thoughts keep recurring as I went through this book of original current essays and presentations:
01 Holy Cow. This guy is DEEP and BROAD in terms of arcane as well as popular sources, delving down into little known poems, essays, public statements, etcetera. This book is the one book version of the Durant’s Story of Civilization applied to one topic, the commons.
02 Holy Cow. This is what my top political science professor was trying to explain when I was in college in 1970-1974 – yes, a half century ago — and I was just not smart enough, patient enough, to appreciate it.
03 Holy Cow. This book is not just subversive, it does a magnificent job of head slapping every politician, economists, talking head, and other pretender who presumes to talk about public welfare without for one instant understanding that wages are a form of slavery and disconnection of humanity from everything else. Lionel Tiger makes related points in The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System but this book — if you focus and do not get lost in the poetry and minutia of exemplar citation — beats the commons versus capitalism drum along every possible note on the musical scale.