In the 1960s and '70s, a diverse range of storefronts--including head shops, African American bookstores, feminist businesses, and organic grocers--brought the work of the New Left, Black Power, feminism, environmentalism, and other movements into the marketplace. Through shared ownership, limited growth, and democratic workplaces, these activist entrepreneurs offered alternatives to conventional profit-driven corporate business models. By the middle of the 1970s, thousands of these enterprises operated across the United States. Most didn't survive more than a few years, but a new generation of worker-owned businesses and radical storefronts carry on this tradition today.
Local author Joshua Davis uncovers the historical roots of today's interest in social enterprise and fair trade, while also showing how major corporations such as Whole Foods Market have adopted the language--but not the mission--of liberation and social change.