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The Corporate Attack on Civic Culture:
Recommended Reading

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Also see our list of books about commercialism.

Censorship, Inc.: The Corporate Threat to Free Speech in the United States (2002) by Lawrence Soley.

Culture, Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression by Herbert Schiller is a good overview of how corporations managed to increasingly control cultural institutions and other parts of society, effectively reducing non-commercial values and expression by shrinking the public sphere.

The End of Politics: Corporate Power and the Decline of the Public Sphere by Carl Boggs is a political-cultural critique of the rise of corporate-centered market ideology, and how it has turned citizens into consumers and threatens to destroy the public sphere in modern democracies.

Christianity, Incorporated: How Big Business is Buying the Church (2002) by Michael Budde and Robert Brimlow explores how the church is becoming a "chaplain to capitalism" through business management tools like Jesus CEO. Also looks at corporate influences over church culture and doctrine, and examines the emerging "death industry" (i.e. corporatized funeral industry). A must-read for concerned Christians.

What's Love Got to Do With It: A Critical Look at American Charity (2001) by David Wagner. An exploration of how non-profit community-based organizations have been coopted and diverted from demanding radical social change.

The Business of Holidays by Maud Slavin describes how holidays in the United States have lost much of their historical purpose to become a major force driving the nation's approximately $3 trillion retail economy. The commercial culture of holidays extends from the traditional—decorations, costumes, and cards—to the immaterial and ephemeral—phone calls, airline tickets, and department store bills. This colorfully illustrated volume consists of more than thirty-five clever and often satirical essays arranged according to calendar year.

One Market Under God is Baffler magazine co-founder Tom Frank's hilarious and incisive critique of the pseudo-economics behind the New Economy of the late 1990s and other forms of business blather. Be sure to check out his other books as well as the Baffler anthology, Boob Jubilee.

Who Killed Classical Music: Maestros, Managers, and Corporate Politics (1996) by Norman Lebrecht

No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein

The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood by David Thomson.

Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood (2001) by Bernard Dick

The Power Elite (1956) by C. Wright Mills is a classic in American sociology.

The Business of America: How Consumers Have Replaced Citizens and How We Can Reverse the Trend (2004) by Saul Landau

Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics and the Media (1995) by Edward Herman.


Protecting Our Commons:

For other suggestions be sure to visit On the Commons

Capitalism 3.0 by Peter Barnes explains how our future depends on organizing the commons.

Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth (2002) by David Bollier is one of the best examinations of privatization and the corporate expropriation of public resources.

How to Think About Information by Dan Schiller (2007) examines how information has been transformed from a general resource like the sea, and spectrum, into a commodity to be bought and sold. He examines the current and future role of China in the information industry, and key dimensions in this dynamic and expansionary issue.

Information Feudalism by Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite (2002) examines how global intellectual property roles have been used by multinational corporations and rich countries to entrench new inequalities.

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