Cover image for Historical dictionary of the cooperative movement
Historical dictionary of the cooperative movement
Shaffer, Jack, 1925-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 610 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD2956 .S43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Cooperatives are found everywhere, doing all kinds of things. They are critical elements in the economies of a large number of countries around the world, large and small. Their affairs are carried out by elected leadership that runs the gamut from the illiterate to the scholarly. Their membership is made up of people of all socio-economic backgrounds. It is those members who, through their support and their needs, determine the successes and failures of cooperatives. But cooperatives as a popular movement will also be judged in other ways. A judgment will be made on the totality of their impact: local, national, and international. People will ask about how they helped ameliorate the economic and social problems of the dispossessed. But they will also inquire about their influence on economic systems, whether these were made more humane, egalitarian, and inclusive in their benefits because of cooperative principles and practices. Their impact on the international order will be judged collectively by how they contributed more than resolutions to peace, to justice, and to human inclusiveness. This volume provides snapshot views of the cooperative movement in all its diversity. The only single source one can consult to find so much information on the different kinds of cooperatives, significant figures, including philosophers, pioneers, officials, and leaders, and the situation in a large number of countries. With a list of acronyms, an extensive chronology, appendixes, and a comprehensive bibliography.

Author Notes

Jack Shaffer has been the Coordinator of Cooperative Development for the United States Agency for International Development, where he managed USAID's relationship with American cooperatives.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The editor's claim that his book is "virtually the sole reference work of its kind" appears to be accurate. A valuable and useful addition to the literature, Shaffer's unique work is a refreshing departure from the numerous reference sources that duplicate other works in a modified format or abridged style. The book begins with a brief foreword, a preface, a limited but useful list of acronyms and abbreviations, and a comprehensive 38-page chronology, 1750s to the present. The dictionary proper, preceded by a valuable 102-page introduction to the cooperative movement, contains approximately 1,100 entries ranging in length from several sentences to several pages. Most entries lack bibliographies, but this is more than offset by the extensive bibliography and the citations to reference works in the preface. Three detailed appendixes cover such topics as types of cooperatives and membership by country. Rival sources, such as Cooperative Bibliography issued by the University of Wisconsin and the sources cited in the preface, tend to be bibliographic or statistical in nature and do not approach the breadth of Shaffer's work. He is a practitioner rather than a scholar; i.e., his expertise is derived from a lifetime working with cooperatives and agencies involved with them. Well-organized and much needed, this scholarly source is recommended for all nonspecialized libraries, small public to large academic. A. J. Dedrick; University of Colorado at Denver