Last week we announced that the book I coauthored, The Privatization of Everything, was now available in paperback. As I explained then, the lower cost of a paperback allows the book to find an even larger audience. We want you to use the book to help your work, build organizational capacity, and support campaigns.

When the hardback edition of the book was published, we used the book to support organizations and leaders in several productive ways. We hope to do even more with this paperback version.

We held a book talk in a Miami bookstore (which was filmed by C-SPAN Books), at which I was interviewed by Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Cava Levine. The mayor also held full staff meetings for a presentation on the book and to allow me to answer questions as her team was developing her Values Based Procurement model.

I also spent several days in Pennsylvania helping the Chester Water Authority in their efforts to prevent the sale of the system. I delivered public book talks, participated in a strategy meeting with campaign leaders, and toured the water treatment plant. That gave me an opportunity to talk to water authority workers and get a first-hand understanding of how drinking water is processed and delivered, which is enormously helpful in informing our work. The Water Authority bought copies of the book to give to water authority board members and local legislators.

Those were just a few of the ways the book has been used. We want to continue and even expand upon those efforts with the paperback.

Here are four ideas about how you could use the book in your work:

  1. Educate Legislators: If you’re engaged with policy and you think the book will be well received by legislators and other policymakers, we can provide free books to give to them.
  2. Internal Education: We can also offer significant bulk discounts on the book. With the hardcover, several unions and organizations made large bulk orders to distribute to staff, members, and leaders. Some used the book as a fundraiser and the paperback will make that even more accessible. I also did internal staff briefings and discussions for organizations and unions with the goal of putting their work into the larger context of the private takeover of public goods.
  3. Campaign Education: If you are part of a union, a nonprofit organization, or a group of concerned citizens working on a campaign to save a public good from falling into private hands, we’d like to see if there are ways we can work together—to share the book and provide trainings and workshops on-site or online to help you do your work.
  4. College and High School Classes and Training Programs: I was particularly glad the book got into the hands of the next generation of leaders, organizers, and just plain citizens as assigned reading for college and even high school classes. Thanks to technology, I spoke to a number of those classes across the country. I’m happy to do more of that, and I’d also like to talk with folks in training and trade apprenticeship programs. If you’re a professor, high school teacher, or on faculty in a trade or training program, consider using the book in a class. Time permitting, I’d be willing to talk to your class. I was gratified when one professor told me, “It’s seriously a great book. It’s a grim topic but you have such a clear vision for the path forward. Mostly these students are grasping for some hope and to find their power.”

Let us know if there are avenues you’d like to explore to use The Privatization of Everything for your organization, union, school, community group, or campaign (you can email us at And, of course, you might just want to pick it up for your own edification.

With this book you’ll learn of the many ways private, mostly corporate interests have broken off large pieces of public goods and services for their private gain. But you’ll also be inspired by the many ways people have fought against privatization and affirmed truly public control over public goods—public spaces, public health, public safety, public investment.

Donald Cohen
Executive Director


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