Taking back the economy in Antipode

Review of TAKE BACK THE ECONOMY by J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy.

gibson-graham_takeTake Back... is stuffed full of real life examples of the politics the authors wish to see in action. We need more of this. It’s a popular book, and I will review it as such. Is it useful guide to action, to what works and why, providing tools for a better world, or an uncritical celebration of activism? Does the theory stay in, helping activists think through what they are doing? Is it well written, or an attempt to communicate theory to activists that
fails? Does it ‘work’ on its own terms? The answer must be – yes. I’ve actually read it twice, having the advantage of looking through the original manuscript on the long flight to
the Los Angeles AAG in 2013. The look, feel and design of the thing matters. Theory is deployed lightly but clearly, and explained well, with good examples like the analogy of the economy and the ecosystem that supports it as a community garden (p.xv-xvii). The examples and tools for reframing and resubjectification (that is, seeing familiar economic forms like work or business in new ways, and realising that we can be actors making economies) are nicely laid out, and the design quality is good.

Download the review PDF here.

Published in: Antipode
By: Pete North