A Core List of Books for Dismantling Corporate Rule


These are the gems to give your primary attention to if you have the time. I keep all of them in stock here at 100Fires.com, or you can special order them from your local bookstore.

Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community

 by Thomas Linzey with Anneke Campbell, 2009

A revolutionary handbook that shows everyday citizens how to stand up and take control of their local governments. With assistance from the cutting-edge methodology of his Democracy School, this book will teach you how to achieve true self-governance and help provide ecosystems with the inalienable right to exist and flourish.


Building Unions: Past, Present and Future

by Peter Kellman, Illustrated by Matt Wuerker, 2001

Explains the challenges unions have faced since colonial times. Traces Labor's uphill battle to organize - first against the propertied class and now against the corporate class. A compelling statement on the imbalance of power that enables corporations to exercise free speech, assembly and organizing rights at the expense of workers and unions.

Citizens Over Corporations: A Brief History of Democracy in Ohio and Challenges to Freedom in the Future (Second Edition)

by Ohio Committee on Corporations, Law and Democracy, 2003

Details how corporations were closely controlled by citizens and their elected representatives in the early decades of Ohio's history; what legislative and judicial tools people used to control corporations; how corporations usurped more and more legal "rights"; the subsequent resistance from Ohio citizens; and  ways to "rethink" the current relationship between "we the people" and corporations.

Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy: A Book of History and Strategy, by Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD), edited by Dean Ritz, 2001
Asserts that corporate operatives have long wielded the Constitution to thwart the democratic self-governance championed by the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. A book of history, strategy and struggle. A collection of 73 essays, speeches, sermons and letters chronicles the work of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD).

Divided We Fall: The Story of the Paperworkers' Union and the Future of Labor, by Peter Kellman, 2004
"An unflinching picture of workers fighting against overwhelming odds for justice in the workplace. As Peter Kellman tells it in these pages, workers even have to fight to keep the knowledge of their own struggles alive. This book is a milestone in preserving and sharing that knowledge." - Howard Zinn

An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, by Charles Beard, 1986
Unlike those writers, who had stressed idealistic impulses as factors determining the structure of the American government, Beard questioned the Founding Fathers' motivations in drafting the Constitution and viewed the results as a product of economic self-interest. Published in 1913; one of the most controversial books of its time; it continues to prompt new perceptions of the supreme law of the land.

The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution, by George Draffan, 2000
Describes how corporations leverage power through think tanks and business groups to form an undemocratic system of governance over citizens. Outlines the normal, everyday ways these institutions shape the national investment and political policies, portraying how a shadow system of corporate power effectively governs.

Fear at Work: Job Blackmail, Labor and the Environment, by Richard Kazis & Richard Grossman, 1991
Argues persuasively that to create an economically secure and environmentally sound America we must protect both jobs AND the environment; communities AND ecosystems. By exposing the practice of "job blackmail" for the manipulative tactic that it is, 'Fear at Work' removes the cloak of legitimacy from corporate threats.

The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord, by Ray Raphael, 2002
Tells a surprising new story of America's revolutionary struggle. In the years before the Battle of Lexington and Concord, local people took control over their own destinies, overturning British authority and declaring themselves free from colonial oppression, with acts of rebellion that long predated the Boston Tea Party.

Gaveling Down the Rabble: How "Free Trade" Is Stealing Our Democracy, by Jane Anne Morris, 2008
Reveals a hidden source of the corporate power that has been steadily crushing our self governance: namely, the U.S. Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution, implemented by nine unelected Presidential appointees. Shows how environmental, labor and civil-rights cases using Commerce Clause arguments, rather than Constitutional Rights arguments, have distorted citizens' rights by defining them in terms of their value to commerce.

The Interpretation Game: How Judges and Lawyers Make the Law, by Robert Benson, 2008
Whether one is a lawyer, judge, journalist, or informed citizen, this look at the on-going battle about whether judges and lawyers "find the law" or "make the law" will be a stimulating read. Questions traditional methods of legal interpretation and challenges the position that objective interpretation of law is possible. Legal interpretation is unavoidably subjective.

Labor's Untold Story: The adventure story of the battles, betrayals and victories of American working men and women, by Richard Boyer & Herbert Morais, 1988
This book is not a history of labor at all but a history of the American people from labor's viewpoint. It is the story not only of labor but of American monopoly, showing how the trade union movement developed as a part of the American people's struggle against corporate tyranny. Labor's great leap forward into industrial unionism was an answering action to the development of trusts and the monopolized control of great industrial empires

The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America, by Lawrence Goodwyn, 1978
Offers new political language designed to provide a fresh means of assessing both democracy and authoritarianism today. American populism provides a perspective for this analysis because the agrarian revolt was the largest and most intense mass democratic movement in American history. The defeat of the Populists, coupled with the inability of 20th century Americans to generate an equivalent wide-ranging democratic movement, has had profound impact in our own times.

Radical Democracy, by C. Douglas Lummis, 1997
An extraordinary primer on how to think about democracy. Reminds us that democracy literally means a political state in which the people (demos) have the power (kratia). Democracy is and always has been the most radical proposal, and constitutes a critique of every sort of centralized power. Weaves commentary on classic texts with personal anecdotes and reflections on current events.

Railroads and Clearcuts: Legacy of Congress' 1864 Northern Pacific Railroad Land Grant, by Derrick Jensen & George Draffan, 1995
The legacy of Congress's 1864 Northern Pacific Railroad Land Grant to railroad companies is one of corruption, abuse and lies. This is the story of the biggest land grant in American history - larger than 10 Connecticuts - to four railroad companies, how the timber companies got hold of huge forests to clearcut, and why these lands should be returned to their rightful owners - the American people.

The Santa Clara Blues: Corporate Personhood versus Democracy, by William Meyers, 2002, 32 page pamphlet.

Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation, by Richard Grossman and Frank Adams, 1993
"Taking Care of Business discusses the rise of the powerful corporation, its transformation into personhood, and the need for the structural reform of governance of this institution as a great and urgent challenge for the coming generation." - Ralph Nader

The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900 - 1916, by Gabriel Kolko, 1977
First published in 1963, it is one of the most influential and important works of modern American history, and a radically new interpretation of the Progressive Era which argues that business leaders, and NOT the reformers, inspired the era's legislation regulating business.

Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" and How You Can Fight Back (Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition), by Thom Hartmann, 2010
Thom Hartmann tells a startling story that will forever change your understanding of American history. He describes the history of the Fourteenth Amendment - created at the end of the Civil War to grant basic rights to freed slaves - and how it has been used by lawyers representing corporate interests to extend additional rights to businesses far more frequently than to freed slaves. Prior to 1886, corporations were referred to in U.S. law as "artificial persons." but in 1886, after a series of cases brought by lawyers representing the expanding railroad interests, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were "persons" and entitled to the same rights granted to people under the Bill of Rights.

Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice

 by Cormac Cullinan, Foreword by Thomas Berry, 2003

Explains how, if the community of life on Earth is to survive, a new understanding of nature and a new concept of legal systems are needed. Proposes a new approach or "Earth Jurisprudence" and gives practical guidance on how to begin moving towards it. Shows that this philosophy could help develop new legal systems that would foster human connections to nature.

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