Andrew Bibby is a writer, journalist and co-operative specialist. He is also one of the five co-founders of Gritstone, the first author-run publishing co-operative in Britain. Which three reads would he recommend?
1. Owning the Earth, by Andro Linklater (Bloomsbury, 2014). Dreadful paperback cover – but simply excellent text to compensate. Somehow I missed Linklater’s book when it first came out. He looks at how it is that the Earth’s land surface has ended up being treated in Britain and elsewhere as private property, and he explores how other cultures have treated the land differently. Part social history, part economic history, part philosophy – and consistently fascinating.
Related: Find your local UK co-op bookshop
2. Roses and Revolutionists, by Nigel Todd (Five Leaves, 2016). A newly revised edition of the little-known story of the ‘free communist and co-operative’ community of Clousden Hill on the banks of the Tyne which ran from 1894 to 1902. The community (governed by a ‘Joint Committee of all the adult male and female members’) attracted high-profile visitors in its time including Peter Kropotkin, Tom Mann and Jim ‘Red Flag’ Connell. Nigel Todd, as well as being an author, WEA tutor and a Labour councillor in Newcastle, is also a trustee of the
3. A Better Way of Doing Business?: Lessons from the John Lewis Partnership, by Graeme Salaman and John Storey (OUP, 2016). All you ever wanted to know about the way that JLP’s management tries to operate this employee-owned business, complete with all the contradictions, problems and challenges of reconciling commercial success with John Spedan Lewis’s original philosophy and principles. I reviewed this last year in Co-operative News and gave it a glowing review. If you’ve not read it yet, why ever not?!
Which three reads would you recommend to Co-op News readers?
- The three reads can be any combination of books, e-books, websites/blogs or other magazines
- They can be linked in with your profession, relevant to co-ops or just a personal favourite.
Why do they inspire you in the co-operative work you do and / or the way you live your life? Let us know: email [email protected]