We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Alternative

Buy Now:

Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399813839

Price: £24.99

ON SALE: 18th January 2024

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Many books have exposed what’s not working in our current system. Romeo reveals something even more essential: the structure of a system that could actually work for everyone.

Margaret Thatcher was wrong: there is an alternative. This is what it looks like.

Confronted by the terrifying trends of the early twenty-first century – widening inequality, environmental destruction, and the immiseration of millions of workers around the world – many economists and business leaders still preach dogmas that lack evidence and create political catastrophe: Private markets are always more efficient than public ones; investment capital flows efficiently to necessary projects; massive inequality is the unavoidable side effect of economic growth; people are selfish and will only behave well with the right incentives.

But a growing number of people – academic economists, business owners, policy entrepreneurs, and ordinary people – are rejecting these myths and reshaping economies around the world to reflect ethical and social values. Though they differ in approach, all share a vision of the economy as a place of moral action and accountability.

Journalist Nick Romeo has spent years covering the world’s most innovative economic and policy ideas for the New Yorker. Romeo takes us on an extraordinary journey through the unforgettable stories and successes of people working to build economies that are more equal, just, and liveable.

(P)2024 PublicAffairs


In this informative and courageous book, Nick Romeo shows there is an alternative - or, rather, many alternatives - to the currently dominant neoliberal economic system. In doing so, he liberates our economic imagination and puts a backbone into economics as a moral science. This is a very valuable field manual for those who want to change our economies for the better
Ha-Joon Chang, professor of economics, University of London, and author of EDIBLE ECONOMICS
The Alternative got my emotions boiling . . . yet I felt a strong rush of hope in seeing, through Romeo's deep research and vivid storytelling, that there are plenty of great solutions out there, and they're already being put into practice. As this important book makes clear, we just need the moral courage and political imagination to make them mainstream
Rick Wartzman, author of STILL BROKE
Carefully researched, beautifully written, engaging stories, filled with wisdom about building economic justice. Easy reading that results in hard thinking about how economics can be a force for good
Joseph R. Blasi, professor and director, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University
There is an alternative to capitalism as we know it. Romeo vividly describes the options, giving reason for optimism about a more just and democratic economy beyond the bleak prison of shareholder capitalism. The Alternative reports from the front lines on bold experiments going on around the world
Jerry Davis, professor of business administration, University of Michigan
Profound and engaging, a terrific book that deserves to be widely read. Romeo zeroes in on the actual solutions undertaken by communities and businesses to end the crises of global warming and wealth inequality and provide good jobs for all with genuine living wages. The Alternative gives us the ways and means for creating a just economy
Clair Brown, professor of economics emerita, University of California, Berkeley
The Alternative breathes with hope and urgency about building a more equitable economy and society. The hope, however, rests not on fanciful dreams but is grounded in living examples of people and organizations that are already demonstrating their viability . . . I hope that by bringing these 'alternatives' to the attention of wider audiences, Romeo's book will inspire many more such efforts, helping to move them from the margins of our economy to the mainstream
Marina Gorbis, executive director, Institute for the Future
Romeo gives us a book of dark fears and bright hope. Exposing follies from the foolishness of 18th century English Ricardian economics, through to the devious of contemporary American billionaires who believe they can buy the University, The Alternative clearly lays out what should most concern us and what other courses of action we can demand and win. An excellent book
Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography, University of Oxford
The Alternative is just the book economists should read . . . Diligently researched and admirably principled new book . . . brisk and sensible
Washington Post
An enlightening, inspiring read . . . The Alternative brings together an appealing range of ways people across the west are imaginatively and determinedly contesting the givens in today's capitalism. There is an ache for better - for more just ways of organising the way we work and adding more meaning to our lives. You can't help but applaud Nick Romeo for showing the workable alternatives to capitalism and the moral driver behind them