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Storefront Revolution: Food Co-ops and the Counterculture
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Storefront Revolution: Food Co-ops and the Counterculture

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  20 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In the 1960s, the cooperative networks of food stores, restaurants, bakeries, bookstores, and housing alternatives were part counterculture, part social experiment, part economic utopia, and part revolutionary political statement. The co-ops gave activists a place where they could both express themselves and accomplish at least some small-scale changes. But these activists ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Rutgers University Press (first published 1994)
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Christina G
I have talked about this book to at least 3 or 4 people since I read it, which I think speaks well for how interesting the content is. The book covers the history of food co-ops in Minneapolis, and specifically focuses on the war (yup, that's not really an exaggeration) between the Marxists and the hippies. Lots of juicy history including cults, race baiting, hostile takeovers, and more.

I skimmed parts of it, but I'd definitely recommend it if you have an interest in local Minnesota history.
I'm going to give this book a second reading, but probably not for a few months. Basically it details what lead up to and made the year 1976 so volatile in Minneapolis/St. Paul, when a multitude of food co-ops went to war based on domain, theory and practice. Essentially, it was a war between whole foods anarchists and communists that started as debate and ended with beatings, terrorism and fire. A pretty interesting slice of history that i had never heard of before i met someone from the twin c ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: North Countrymen
Recommended to Kate by: Robert Roscoe
"Like any countercultural trend of the time, co-ops attracted an army of self-obsessed troops, eager to do battle with the established way of doing things--so long as their curiosity held out."

"If your aim is community control of the storefront, then in most cases you'd be hypocritical not to sell shit food. Unless it's all changed since yesterday, that's what most of America eats."
Good coverage of the Twin Cities cooperative scene of yore. Numerous people who were covered in the book, or participated in the movement at the time, have mentioned factual errors in the book. But, I still think this is a good start for investigating Twin Cities cooperatives and understanding one factor that led to a later centralization of management in the grocery cooperative sector.
Interesting topic, poorly written. Alas. First half is dogma, philosophy and pamphleteering. The author was personally involved in the proceedings and doesn't feel the need to provide more back story to those of us who weren't there in the '70s.
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