The books listed below were chosen by Merrymeeting Community Shares to help one further understand the principles behind a Service Exchanges/Time Banks as well as our present dominant economic system. The book titles that are underlined, can be clicked on and Read Right Now, Books may be ordered through your local book store.


Money, Economics, Service Exchanges

Time Dollars – Edgar Cahn & Jonathan Rowe [1992]


The new currency that enables Americans to turn their hidden resource – time – into personal security & community renewal. This is what Merrymeeting Community Shares is about. This book is recommended as a first read.

The Grip of Death – Michael Rowbotham [1998]


A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics. One of the best books ever written about what is wrong with our present money system. If you never read anything else on alternative economics, read this!

The Future of Money – Bernard Lietaer [2001]


Creating new wealth, work and a wiser world. A great introduction to local currencies worldwide. This book provides a road map for the monetary journey out of a decaying Industrial Age to an Information Age, where greater opportunities become available. It is also a discovery guide to the money system – the way money is created and managed in our society. (This book, published in 2001, is difficult to get hold of because it was originally scheduled to be published USA, but never was. Perhaps Bernard hit too close to the truth in his observations about the present money system we live within.)

The Soul of Money – Lynne Twist [2003]


Transforming your relationship with money and life. This compelling and funamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitude towards money – earning it, spending it, and giving it away – can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Your Money or Your Life – Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin [1992]


Transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence. A classic that has transformed many people’s lives.


Interest and Inflation Free Money – Margrit Kennedy [1995]


Creating an exchange medium that works for everybody and protects the earth. Interest free money! Think about that.

LETS Work – Peter Lang [1994]


Rebuilding the local economy. An introduction to LETS in the UK.

No More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative – Edgar S. Cahn

Highly recommended reading.
This book is a bold, pragmatic strategy for change agents who seek to shape the future, convert failing social programs into catalysts for social justice, enlist “Throw-Away People” as partners in a shared mission, and create the world we want for our children.

Read the book review: PDF or Word Doc.

The Growth Illusion – Richard Douthwaite [1992]


How economic growth has enriched the few, impoverished the many and endangered the planet.The idea that economic growth is necessary is deeply rooted in western culture and forms the basis of the economic strategies for developed and developing nations around the globe. A finalist in the GPA Book Award when first released in 1993, this book demonstrates why economic growth is a prescription for disaster and suggests how to redirect our capitalist system toward more positive ends. – Engaging, well-researched, and widely recommended.

Short Circuit – Richard Douthwaite [1997]


Strengthening Local Economies for Security in an Unstable World. Douthwaite is an economist living in Ireland who has thoroughly researched the role of the global market in the dissolution of local communities as well as the role of local currencies in strengthening community. In this book he combines a scholarly and critical review of classical and alternative economics with a “how to” approach to setting up a local currency system. This is an excellent book for those interested in a “thought piece” on modern life as well as those who are seriously interested in exploring and creating alternative economies.

Secrets of the Temple – William Greider [1987]



How the Federal Reserve runs the country.



When Corporations Rule the World – David Korten [1995]


A searing indictment of an unjust economic order.

The Divine Right of Capital – Marjorie Kelly [2001]


Dethroning the corporate aristocracy.

Infectious Greed – Frank Partnoy [2003][2001]



How deceit and risk corrupted the financial markets.


Corporate Tax Evasion

Perfectly Legal – David Cay Johnston [2003]


The covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich – and cheat everybody else.

The Cheating of America – Charles Lewis & Bill Allison [2001]



How tax avoidance and evasion by the super rich are costing the country billions – and what you can do about it. Charles Lewis, Bill Allison, and a team of researchers from the Center for Public Integrity – an organization that the National Journal called “a watchdog in the corridors of power” – investigated how millions of high-income adults and some major corporations cheat the government of billions through tax avoidance (legal), tax evasion (illegal), or tax “avoision” (catch me if you can).

Now Lewis and his team provide explosive revelations about who cheats and how they do it, from offshore banks to foreign “tax havens.” Case studies of the most brazen dodgers will have taxpayers seeing red in this eye-opening report that puts the IRS on notice.


Democracy & Globalization

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – John Perkins [2004]


“Economic hit men,” John Perkins writes, “are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder.” John Perkins should know – he was an economic hit man. His job was to convince countries that are strategically important to the U.S. – from Indonesia to Panama – to accept enormous loans. Saddled with huge debts, these countries came under the control of the United States government, World Bank, and other U.S. dominated aid agencies that acted like loan sharks – dictating repayment terms and bullying foreign governments into submission.

America Beyond Capitalism – Gar Alperovitz [2005]


Reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our Democracy. “America Beyond Capitalism comes at a critical time in our history-when we all know our system isn’t working but we are not sure what can be done about it. This book takes us outside the confines of orthodox thinking, imagines a new way of living together, and then brings that vision back into reality with a set of eminently practical ideas that promise a truly democratic society.”
-Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism‎ – John Grey [2000]



“A powerful analysis of the deepening instability of global capitalism. It should be read by all who are concerned about the future of the world economy.” – George Soros
A powerful and prophetic challenge to globalization from a former partisan of the New Right.


Older Reference Books

Read More/Hide