P2P Foundation

Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices




The 10 best P2P (nonfiction) books of 2009

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
28th December 2009

Below is a, admittedly subjective, list of the best books to have crossed our desk this year. Criteria are that I had the occasion to examine the book, that it had a certain impact, and sufficient positive reviews. A glaring omission is Negri and Hardt’s Commonwealth, which I have been unable to examine. The book in the runner’s up section are certainly worth reading as well.

Overall, it has been quite a good year.

Also check out this really excellent selection of the 15 best shareable books of 2009, by Shareable Magazine.


* 1. David Bollier. Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own. New Press, 2009.

Excellent treatment of the emergence of the Commons movement


* 2. Thomas Greco. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. Chelsea Green, 2009

The culmination of a life of research dedicated to the nature of money, bringing great clarity on the issue, with valuable suggestions on how we can achieve a fairer exchange system.


* 3. Genes, Bytes and Emissions: To Whom Does the World Belong? Ed. by Silke Helfrich. Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2009

Offers a thoughtful and provocative array of viewpoints on the commons


* 4. Cyberchiefs. Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes. Mathieu O’Neil. Macmillan/Pluto Press, 2009.

The very first monography to specifically tackle the study authority and leadership in peer production communities


* 5. Wiki Government. How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Beth Noveck. Brookings Institution Press, 2009

How to generalize the practice of collaborative democracy?


* 6. The Firm as a Collaborative Community – Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy / Charles Hecksher & Paul S. Adler.

Essays which contrasts the efficiency of bureaucratic hierarchies with the efficiency of collaborative communities.


* 7. Transforming Power: From The Personal To The Political. by Judy Rebick. Penguin Canada, 2009

Given the failure of the Left, the labour movement, and the social movements to creatively resist neo-liberalism, it makes sense that when a new generation emerged to fight corporate globalization, they created horizontal structures and demonstrated an abhorrence of any kind of top-down leadership.


* 8. William Yenner, American Guru: A Story of Love, Betrayal and Healing-former students of Andrew Cohen speak out, Epigraph Publishing, 2009.

An important expose of contemporary spiritual exploitation


* 9. Free Beer. Edited by Stian Rødven Eide. Lulu, 2009.

Free Beer is a collection of important texts written by speakers at FSCONS 2008 and based on their respective talks. FSCONS is that rare conference that unites both free software and free culture movements.



* The Sharing Solution. How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community. Janelle Orsi & Emily Doskow. Nolo, 2009.

an extremely practical handbook for people who want to organize or join sharing networks in their lives.


* A Reenchanted World: The Quest For A New Kinship With Nature, by James William Gibson, featured by In These Times.

Theme: After the eclipse of modernity, the sense of kinship with an endangered natural world is returning.


* Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy. by Peter G Brown. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009.

uses the core Quaker principle of “right relationship”–respecting the integrity, resilience, and beauty of human and natural communities–as the foundation for a new economic model.


* God’s Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel. By Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Zondervan, 2009

how to undo an economy that is based on the seven deadly sins


* Julian Fox. Hacking the Way to Heaven: Education and Evangelisation in a Digital culture. Lulu, 2009

how to make education ‘hacker-friendly’?



3 Responses to “The 10 best P2P (nonfiction) books of 2009”

  1. Top Books of 2009 & What’s Coming in 2010 « The Abundance League Says:

    […] Really great list from the P2P Foundation:  The 10 best P2P (nonfiction) books of 2009 […]

  2. William Yenner Says:

    I am very pleased and honored that you included my book, American Guru, on your list of the Best Books of 2009.
    Those interested will find book reviews and more news on the book website.
    Best Regards,
    William Yenner

  3. The Ten Best P2P Books of 2010 | Empress of the Global Universe Says:

    […] comparison, here is the list from last year.. For more information on each book, click on the (*) sign after each […]

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