100 books like A Preface to Economic Democracy

By Robert Alan Dahl,

Here are 100 books that A Preface to Economic Democracy fans have personally recommended if you like A Preface to Economic Democracy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

David Ellerman Author Of Neo-Abolitionism: Abolishing Human Rentals in Favor of Workplace Democracy

From my list on a fair and just private property market economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my graduate student days in philosophy and economics, I have slowly come to understand more and more the case for workplace democracy based on normative principles (i.e., the inalienability, property, and democratic principles), not just the obvious consequentialist or pragmatic arguments based on increased productivity (people working jointly for themselves), less worker alienation, and eliminating the divide down the middle of most enterprises between employers and employees. In addition to two decades of teaching university economics, I have co-founded several consulting companies dedicated to implementing these principles in practice, the Industrial Cooperative Association in Massachusetts (now the ICA Group) and the Institute for Economic Democracy in Slovenia, where I have retired.

David's book list on a fair and just private property market economy

David Ellerman Why did David love this book?

The third leg of the stool supporting workplace democracy (in addition to the democratic and property arguments) is the inalienable rights argument based on the factual inalienability of people’s responsible agency, which the legal employment contract pretends to be alienated in the firm based on employment. The truth comes out when an employee commits a crime at the behest of the employer; then they suddenly become partners in crime. Since the responsible agency is factually inalienable in both criminous and non-criminous actions, the contract that legally alienates all agency to the employer in the non-criminous case should be abolished. Garry Wills traces the history of the inalienable rights clause in the Declaration of Independence back to its roots in the Scottish and European Enlightenment.

By Garry Wills,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Inventing America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From acclaimed historian Garry Wills, author of Lincoln at Gettysburg, a celebrated re-appraisal of the meaning and the source of inspiration of The Declaration of Independence, based on a reading of Jefferson's original draft document.

Inventing America upended decades of thinking about The Declaration of Independence when it was first published in 1978 and remains one of the most influential and important works of scholarship about this founding document. Wills challenged the idea that Jefferson took all his ideas from John Locke. Instead, by focussing on Jefferson's original drafts, he showed Jefferson's debt to Scottish Enlightenment philosophers such as Lord…


Book cover of Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What

David Ellerman Author Of Neo-Abolitionism: Abolishing Human Rentals in Favor of Workplace Democracy

From my list on a fair and just private property market economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my graduate student days in philosophy and economics, I have slowly come to understand more and more the case for workplace democracy based on normative principles (i.e., the inalienability, property, and democratic principles), not just the obvious consequentialist or pragmatic arguments based on increased productivity (people working jointly for themselves), less worker alienation, and eliminating the divide down the middle of most enterprises between employers and employees. In addition to two decades of teaching university economics, I have co-founded several consulting companies dedicated to implementing these principles in practice, the Industrial Cooperative Association in Massachusetts (now the ICA Group) and the Institute for Economic Democracy in Slovenia, where I have retired.

David's book list on a fair and just private property market economy

David Ellerman Why did David love this book?

This is the best book about worker-owned firms in America by two authors who have each worked on the issue for almost a half-century. It focuses on the Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) developed in the US. There are now almost 7,000 ESOPs in America and 10% of the private workforce work in ESOPs so one out of ten workers are co-owners of the company where they work. Hence worker ownership is not just an academic pipe dream but a growing reality in America.

By Corey Rosen, John Case,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ownership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte Book Prize from the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing

Employee ownership creates stronger companies, helps workers build wealth, and fosters a fairer, more stable society. In this book, two leading experts show how it works—and how it can be greatly expanded.

Wages don’t cover the bills. Wealth inequality is growing. Social trust is eroding. There are endless debates about what to do, but one key factor is inexplicably left out: who owns the companies that drive the economy?

Ownership matters. Ownership by a few…


Book cover of Intellectual Origins of American Radicalism

David Ellerman Author Of Neo-Abolitionism: Abolishing Human Rentals in Favor of Workplace Democracy

From my list on a fair and just private property market economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my graduate student days in philosophy and economics, I have slowly come to understand more and more the case for workplace democracy based on normative principles (i.e., the inalienability, property, and democratic principles), not just the obvious consequentialist or pragmatic arguments based on increased productivity (people working jointly for themselves), less worker alienation, and eliminating the divide down the middle of most enterprises between employers and employees. In addition to two decades of teaching university economics, I have co-founded several consulting companies dedicated to implementing these principles in practice, the Industrial Cooperative Association in Massachusetts (now the ICA Group) and the Institute for Economic Democracy in Slovenia, where I have retired.

David's book list on a fair and just private property market economy

David Ellerman Why did David love this book?

This short book by the late Staughton Lynd is the best summary of the radical principles upon which America was founded. Lynd goes deep into the intellectual history of the underlying principles in English and European history. In spite of writing such an important book and perhaps due to his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, Lynd was not given tenure as a historian at Yale University. He then became a labor lawyer and lived the rest of his life as a labor activist.

By Staughton Lynd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intellectual Origins of American Radicalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now an established classic, Intellectual Origins of American Radicalism was the first book to explore this alternative current of American political thought. Stemming back to the seventeenth-century English Revolution, many questioned private property, the sovereignty of the nation-state, and slavery, and affirmed the common man's ability to govern. By the time of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine was the great exemplar of the alternative intellectual tradition. In the nineteenth century, the antislavery movement took hold of Thomas Paine's ideas and fashioned them into an ideology that ultimately justified civil war. This updated edition contains a preface by the author, which…


Book cover of Private Property: The History of an Idea

David Ellerman Author Of Neo-Abolitionism: Abolishing Human Rentals in Favor of Workplace Democracy

From my list on a fair and just private property market economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my graduate student days in philosophy and economics, I have slowly come to understand more and more the case for workplace democracy based on normative principles (i.e., the inalienability, property, and democratic principles), not just the obvious consequentialist or pragmatic arguments based on increased productivity (people working jointly for themselves), less worker alienation, and eliminating the divide down the middle of most enterprises between employers and employees. In addition to two decades of teaching university economics, I have co-founded several consulting companies dedicated to implementing these principles in practice, the Industrial Cooperative Association in Massachusetts (now the ICA Group) and the Institute for Economic Democracy in Slovenia, where I have retired.

David's book list on a fair and just private property market economy

David Ellerman Why did David love this book?

This book is the best history of the old idea, the natural rights theory of property, that people have a natural right to the fruits of their labor. In a firm based on the employment relation, the total fruits (both the positive products but also the negative liabilities) of the labor of the people working in the firm are appropriated by the employer. The call for the abolition of the human rental relation is not a call to abolish private property (e.g., “private ownership of the means of production”), but a call to re-establish private property on its natural rights foundation. The natural rights to the (positive & negative) fruits of people’s labor are only respected when the legal members of the firm are the people working in it.

By Richard Schlatter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Private Property as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The philosophy an history of the idea of private property as a means ofjustice and social control. What are valid claims of ownership? What are the principles of ownership. From Greece to Marx.


Book cover of Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates

Eileen McDargh Author Of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

From my list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference—by helping others become wiser and/or happier. But how? Colleagues, clients, and friends tell me that I have a capacity for energy that is boundless. I resisted that statement. It sounded “fluffy”. How could I make a difference if I saw “energy” as being some flighty firefly? Then, when I went through 2 bouts of burnout, I realized that energy was the secret—the secret to resilience, the secret to growth and service. Reading, writing, and speaking fill me with the energy to grow, learn, laugh, and serve. I trust these books and my writing will bring the same to you.

Eileen's book list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times

Eileen McDargh Why did Eileen love this book?

To live and work in a world of turmoil and change requires courage. Resilience is a life skill that can be learned—but it takes courage. In this book, Hurt and Dye come up with very practical but realistic ways to identify organizational practices that encourage or cut-off valuable conversations.

I’m in the field of communications and their advice is not only timely but timeless. I reach for their book when I went to coach someone who is overwhelmed by the workplace. It might be a manager trying to hold a team together, or individual contributors trying to determine if a role is right for them.  Hold this on your bookshelf. I guarantee you will use it for yourself—or for others.

By Karin Hurt, David Dye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courageous Cultures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From executives complaining that their teams don't contribute ideas to employees giving up because their input isn't valued--company culture is the culprit. Courageous Cultures provides a road map to build a high-performance, high-engagement culture around sharing ideas, solving problems, and rewarding contributions from all levels.

Many leaders are convinced they have an open environment that encourages employees to speak up and are shocked when they learn that employees are holding back. Employees have ideas and want to be heard. Leadership wants to hear them.

Too often, however, employees and leaders both feel that no one cares about making things better.…


Book cover of Under the Hood: Fire Up and Fine-Tune Your Employee Culture

James Tamm and Ronald Luyet Author Of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

From my list on creating collaborative relationships and organizations.

Why are we passionate about this?

Jim Tamm was a Senior Administrative Law Judge for the State of California with jurisdiction over workplace disputes. In that role, he mediated more school district labor strikes than any other person in the United States. Ron Luyet is a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with group dynamics pioneers such as Carl Rogers and Will Schutz.  He has advised Fortune 500 companies for over forty years specializing in building high-performance teams. Together they wrote Radical Collaboration and are excited to share this list with you today.

James' book list on creating collaborative relationships and organizations

James Tamm and Ronald Luyet Why did James love this book?

Stan captures the essence of the mindset needed to Collaborate. To quote Slap: “When an employee culture is repositioned as a newly precious, workable asset, a company will naturally protect it, same as with any asset. An employee culture can’t be protected without protecting their humanity. If we lose humanity in business, we’re all doomed. If we save it we will have saved ourselves. In case you fear this icy hand of altruism will grip your own company by the throat and choke the life out of revenue, not to worry: We’re talking here about making the business case for humanity. In any environment where meaning is determined by metrics, the point of view and processes in this book are going to cause measurable, sustainable results." We agree.

By Stan Slap,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Hood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You can't sell it outside if you can't sell it inside.

You want maximum business performance? Look under the hood and you’ll find your employee culture: it is the power that drives the enterprise engine. To harness that rumbling power you’ve got to solve the mystery of what an employee culture actually is, how it operates and how to move it forward. These are the keys that this book will put right in your hands.

Renowned business culture expert Stan Slap knows the difference between understanding your employees and understanding your employee culture. The distinction isn’t semantics; it’s the key…


Book cover of First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Scott Greenberg Author Of Stop the Shift Show: How to Turn Your Struggling Hourly Workers Into a Top-Performing Team

From my list on managing employees and building teams.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated with the relationship between personal growth and professional performance. Why is it in the same environment, doing the same work, some people can excel while others struggle? Most chalk it up to external circumstances that can’t be controlled. Others focus on tactics. But I’ve learned top-performers are masters at the human side of their work–the way they think, lead and serve–and that’s what gives them their edge. All of my work centers around infusing hard skills with improved soft skills, and getting better results in the process. That’s the stuff I find delicious, and it’s what I speak and write about.

Scott's book list on managing employees and building teams

Scott Greenberg Why did Scott love this book?

There’s no shortage of books on management, but many rely too much on conjecture. This book pulls in hard data derived from Gallup's in-depth research, research I respect so much I reference it in my work. It offers a fresh perspective on what separates great managers from the pack.

I especially appreciated the way it focuses on employees' strengths. Any leadership approach that encourages managers to adapt to individuals is one I can get behind. 

By Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked First, Break All the Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in First, Break All the Rules, revealing what the world's greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.

Included with this re-release of First, Break All the Rules: updated meta-analytic research and access to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which reveals people's top themes of talent, and to Gallup's Q12 employee engagement survey, the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business outcomes.

What separates the…


Book cover of The Rise and Fall of Economic Justice and Other Essays

Mark R. Reiff Author Of On Unemployment: A Micro-Theory of Economic Justice: Volume 1

From my list on what causes economic injustice.

Why am I passionate about this?

F. Scott Fitzgerald claimed, “there are no second acts in American lives.” But I am on my third. I started out in the theatre, then became a lawyer, and then a political philosopher. What drove each move is that I was always outraged by injustice and wanted to find a better way to fight against it. For me, reading, writing, and teaching political philosophy turned out to be that way. The books on this list provide important lessons on how certain economic policies can cause injustice while others can cure it. Each has been around for a long time, but they are as relevant today as when they were first written. 

Mark's book list on what causes economic injustice

Mark R. Reiff Why did Mark love this book?

A series of essays by one of the most respected Canadian political philosophers of the twentieth century.

I have recommended this book for the title essay, which provides a particularly insightful account of how people have thought about economic justice (or haven’t) over time.

But all the essays are worth reading.

By C. B. Macpherson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rise and Fall of Economic Justice and Other Essays as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his final book, one of the giants of twentieth-century political philosophy returns to his key themes of state, class, and property as well as such contemporary questions as economic justice, human rights, and the nature of industrial democracy. Macpherson not only re-examines historical issues dealt with in his earlier works, such as the impact of Hobbes's economic assumptions on his political theories, but assesses the problematic future of democracy in a market
society. This new edition includes an introduction by Frank Cunningham that places the book in the broader context of Macpherson's work.


Book cover of Leading with Noble Purpose: How to Create a Tribe of True Believers

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Author Of Can We Talk?: Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

From my list on maximizing your talent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of the world’s leading experts on the maximization of talent, who is the author of six books on leadership and talent. I’m also a LinkedIn Top Voice in Leadership and Workplace, and one of the few people who was a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, with Bill O’Reilly, who left the show unscathed.

Roberta's book list on maximizing your talent

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did Roberta love this book?

All too often, managers try to motivate their employees with money and outrageous perks. If that stuff worked, these companies would have a fully engaged workforce. Leadership expert Lisa Earle McLeod tackles the employee engagement crisis by showing leaders how to put workplace meaning front and center. Lisa’s book includes plenty of examples of how to put her words into action. It’s an easy read, with a very important message.

By Lisa Earle McLeod,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leading with Noble Purpose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Profit doesn't drive purpose. Purpose drives profit. We made some incorrect assumptions about work and those assumptions are killing us. We allowed a narrative that is solely about earnings to replace what we know to be true about human motivation. Human beings are hardwired to seek purpose, but according to data, most people don't feel a sense of purpose in their work. Work has become a grind, an endless series of tasks that lack meaning. Building upon her bestseller Selling with Noble Purpose, leadership expert Lisa Earle McLeod tackles the employee engagement crisis by showing leaders how to put workplace…


Book cover of Influence and Thrive: How Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders & Corporations Use Effective Communication To Get Results

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

With Influence and Thrive, Lucille leverages in-depth research, personal experiences, and smart conclusions in a very readable way.

Her voice and identity shine through each chapter, and it’s clear that she put her heart and soul into this project. Her book is also impressive in scope, covering everything from speaking to writing to emailing. I also appreciate how Lucille analyzes communication techniques from people she admires, then extracts and summarizes the key learnings.

This one has lots of valuable takeaways that readers can apply right away to their communications. 

By Lucille Ossai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Influence and Thrive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Effective communication will never go out of style. It will outlive the critics, survive shifting trends, and thrive in this tech age.


As a professional, entrepreneur, or business leader, you must amplify your communication skills to accelerate your career, grow your business, or sharpen your credibility.


As a corporation, you must use purposeful communication to nurture trust, coax employee engagement, boost your reputation, and steer actions to profitability.


But how can you get the results you deserve with effective communication and position yourself for long-term success?


In this book, you'd find the latest insights on non-verbal communication, public speaking, and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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