In this important collection of essays, historians from six different countries trace the history of the consumer cooperative movement in much of western Europe and North America from its inception to the present. The consumer cooperative, as the contributors show, bears directly on the role of socialist parties, the nascent feminist movement, and conceptions of the worker's role in a changing economy and society in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Ellen Furlough is associate professor of history at Kenyon College and the author of Consumer Cooperation in France, 1834-1930: The Politics of Consumption (Cornell). Carl Strikwerda is associate professor of history and chair of the European studies program at the University of Kansas. He is the author of A House Divided: Catholics, Socialists, and Flemish Nationalists in Nineteenth Century Belgium (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997) and the editor, with Camille Guerin-Gonzales, of The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy since 1830.