Shannon Biggs, Community Rights Program Director at Global Exchange, shares some holiday reading suggestions for fans of community rights, followed by a few staff picks.


  • Exclusive! David Korten shares some thoughts on nature and the future of economics: A rights-based economy begins with the biosphere. In 2013 Global Exchange will be looking at how the rights of nature can play a role in shaping a new economy (or more correctly new economies) based on the needs of ecosystems and the human communities they support. What does that look like? Ecological economist, author and YES! Magazine co-founder David Korten gives Global Exchange a sneak peak of a piece he’s working on. For more related to this topic, read David Korten’s article in the latest issue of Yes! Magazine.
  • An Inconvenient Truth About Lincoln (That You Won’t Hear from Hollywood): Have you seen the movie Lincoln? I watched it over the Thanksgiving break, and quite enjoyed the romp through the inner workings and backroom political dealings that go on (spoiler alert!) when passing an Amendment to abolish slavery. However much we love to love Lincoln, it’s worth noting that as a former railroad lawyer, he was a huge advocate of corporate personhood, as a means to ensure that the plantation system was replaced by a corporate version. Before you sit down to watch Daniel Day Lewis inhabit our favorite President, this Huffington Post piece is a quick and entertaining read.
  • How the Mayan Calendar Works: Next, check this out for a short read before the End of Days.

STAFF PICKS available at your local independent booksellers:

  • Community Rights staff suggest reading: Taming Democracy by Terry Bouton. Americans are fond of reflecting upon the noble Founding Fathers, who came together to force out the tyranny of the British and bring democracy. Unfortunately, the Revolutionary elite often seemed as determined to squash democracy after the war as they were to support it before.
  • This is what Shannon Biggs is REALLY reading at home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. Bryson takes us on a room-by-room tour through his own house, using each room as a jumping off point into the vast history of the domestic artifacts we take for granted. As he takes us through the history of our modern comforts, Bryson demonstrates that whatever happens in the world eventually ends up in our home, in the paint, the pipes, the pillows, and every item of furniture.
  • Executive Director Carleen Pickard is reading: The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts by Louis de Bernières. Set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny.
  • Online Communications Manager, Zarah Patriana is reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  A masterpiece that tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family.
  • And finally, in case you missed it, check out our most popular community rights blog post (to date), which was also cross-posted on AlterNet. Read it here.

Happy holidays!