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All That We Share

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
How you see the world is about to change. All That We Share is a wake-up call that will inspire you to see the world in a new way. As soon as you realize that some things belong to everyone—water, for instance, or the Internet or human knowledge—you become a commoner, part of a movement that's reshaping how we will solve the problems facing us in the twenty-first century.

Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by The New Press (first published September 14th 2010)
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Jul 17, 2011 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: commons
This was a pivotal book for me. I set out this year with the theme of "sharing", not knowing where that would take me. I happened upon this book, borrowed it from the library, and discovered I've been a frustrated commoner my whole life. Some mind-numbingly-maddening descriptions of how our birthright, what we all co-own and share, has been stolen...privatized...put in the marketplace...and then depleted. (Basically sums up the history of "becoming America" It wasn't 5 stars for me, ...more
May 22, 2015 Annie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked up this book because I was intrigued by the title, and I noticed that the forward was written by Bill McKibben, whose work I have enjoyed in the past. Jay Walljasper has put together a buffet of writings about and examples of "the commons" in our world. I love the concept and have often thought of it before by musing about places where I can go freely without being expected to buy anything. The list is short, but it's also a catalog of places that make my community itself, parks, ...more
Aspen Junge
Walljasper was a long-time editor of the Utne Reader, and this book is a collection of articles that appeared in Utne over the years addressing the subject of the Commons; that is, property that is held formally or informally as public, rather than private and wholly in private control. The book begins by addressing "The Tragedy of the Commons," that parable that has been used as an object lesson to promote private property because any commons will inevitably be overexploited by greedy users. ...more
Feb 13, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
The subtitle on the front cover is a bit ambitious: "How to Save the Economy, the Environment, the Internet, Democracy, Our Communities, and Everything Else that Belongs to All of Us." (Don't you love publishers?)

I'm happy to report that, despite the above subtitle, All That We Share is indeed A Field Guide to the Commons. This collage of ideas, of people and places, teaches us to see and think as commoners. Examples range from the origins in English Common Law to a simple water spigot in the pa
Oct 17, 2012 Curtis rated it liked it
More than a book this is a mere assemblage of various essay's, articles and other writings by various authors that this author has gathered and stapled all together for publishing into this "field guide to the commons" - as it is subtitled on the cover of the book. It means well. It has a lot of great information and ideas. But I didn't love it. It has no flow or sense of cohesiveness. Chapter after chapter you are just bombarded with new idea after new idea, all of which just seem to come out ...more
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call #: 333.2 Walljasper
Adam's rating: 5 stars

For me, this book is life-changing and will be re-read and referenced for a long time. Through lots of real-life examples of sharing and commons-based living, this book gives us a context in which to treat one another so that we all have better lives. It's smarter than socialism, healthier than capitalism and the opposite of totalitarianism. This book shows the reader that the commons is possible and has been successful for hundr
Feb 24, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with wonderful stories and examples of how communities all over the world are returning to the idea of sharing. It sounds simple, and we all learned it in kindergarten, yet our lives have been increasingly separated, compartmentalized, and the idea of the commons has been largely forgotten. The implications of this isolation are enormous.

By returning to this very simple and natural sense of community, humanity can respond to our current challenges in profoundly beautiful way
Nov 28, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing
For me, this book is life-changing and will be re-read and referenced for a long time. Through lots of real-life examples of sharing and commons-based living, this book gives us a context in which to treat one another so that we all have better lives. It's smarter than socialism, healthier than capitalism and the opposite of totalitarianism. This book shows the reader that the commons is possible and has been successful for hundreds of years. It also communicates the grave danger the commons is ...more
Sep 13, 2013 Josh rated it liked it
I partly agree that this book is pretty boring and I read the same info over and over again. It's good as an index or beginning point to look at some issues we face today. Also, it made me really think about the notion of people making profit off of the commons. I've been telling my friends already that bottled water is such a dumb already pay taxes for your town to clean the water, then a company bottles that water and sells it back to you. It's eye opening for sure.
Melissa Robinson
Very interesting edited volume and it devotes a whole chapter to public libraries as a "commons." The section on the copyrighting of scientific research/ medical developments alone is worth reading. My only disappointment was in the very last chapter; it wasn't up to the standards of the rest of the book.
Jen Rombach
Sep 09, 2011 Jen Rombach rated it it was amazing
Articuluated sooooo much of what we have been thinking and doing for years! Stuff to make you furious and hopeful at the same time about the current economic situation and just general paradigm thinking of the big big world.
Oct 25, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
I wholly endorse the theme and message of this book, but its organization and execution don't make for a great read. Still, I would probably recommend it for someone curious about the commons, as it would make a fine primer.
Emily Mellow
Dec 09, 2012 Emily Mellow rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Meh. This is a book that teenagers should read for their first college seminar courses. It's probably chock full of great ideas, but it all kind of seemed like old news to me.
sara frances
i quit. i only made it to page 65 or so. everything seemed so repetitive and uninformative. boring boring boring!
Jan 08, 2013 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
Great ideas, but not as in depth as I was hoping and repetative. Great for folks brand new to the concepts, probably.
Liz rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2014
Mar 28, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
Really illuminating look at the concept of the commons in the 21st century context.
Laurenellen McCann
Laurenellen McCann rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2011
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Jun 16, 2012
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Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2015
Sara rated it did not like it
Nov 23, 2013
Taylor Nicole
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Jan 14, 2016
Frank Peters
Frank Peters rated it really liked it
May 21, 2014
Merilyn rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2015
Jenny Justice
Jenny Justice rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2015
Patrick M.
Patrick M. rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2011
Barry rated it really liked it
May 09, 2011
John Michlig
John Michlig rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2012
Laura rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2012
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Jay Walljasper chronicles stories from around the world that point us toward a greener, more equitable and more enjoyable future. His focus goes beyond what’s in the headlines to chronicle the surprising real life of communities today.

Jay is editor of and a Senior Fellow Fellow and editor at On the, an organization devoted to restoring an appreciation of common purpos
More about Jay Walljasper...

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