Media Matters

Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism.


Gar Alperovitz's America Beyond Capitalism chronicles the discontent with the economic and political status quo in the wake of the "great recession." His expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging "new economy" strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States. All democratize wealth and empower communities, not corporations: worker-ownership, cooperatives, community land trusts, social enterprises, along with many supporting municipal, state and longer term federal strategies as well. America Beyond Capitalism is a call to arms, an eminently practical roadmap for laying foundations to change a faltering system that increasingly fails to sustain the great American values of equality, liberty and meaningful democracy.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist and government official. He is currently the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He grew up in America's heartland in Racine, Wisconsin, in the 1940s, and received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin; a masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Ph.D. in political economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. After completing his studies he served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to America Beyond Capitalism, he has authored Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance, and The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation. He is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.