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Books

Please click on the following links to go to the description of an individual book. Alternatively, please scroll down the page to see descriptions of all the books.

Hard copies of some of these books are still available. Click here for details.

Future Money (free download for Newsletter subscribers)
History of Money (free download)
Monetary Reform - Making it Happen (free download)
Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age (free download)
The New Economics of Sustainable Development: A Briefing for Policy Makers (free download)
Transforming Economic Life: A Millennial Challenge
Beyond the Dependency Culture: People, Power and Responsibility (free download)
Sharing Our Common Heritage: Resource Taxes and Green Dividends (free download)
Future Wealth: A New Economics for the 21st Century (free download)
Future Work: Jobs, Employment and Leisure after the Industrial Age (free download and copies for sale)
The Sane Alternative (free download and copies for sale)
Power, Money and Sex: Towards a New Social Balance (free download)
Profit or People? The New Social Role of Money (free download and copies for sale)
Reform of British Central Government (free download and copies for sale)

 

Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough?

2012. Green Books, Totnes, 192pp.

My latest book explains how our money system is propelling us toward the self-destruction of our species. It also shows clearly how our money system operates and how it could be reformed so that it acts for the benefit of people and society rather than the opposite, and describes the obstacles that currently prevent that reform.

More information about the book can be found on the Future Money page. Subscribers to my Newsletter are given access to a free pdf copy of the book. You can subscribe here.

 

 

The History of Money: From Its Origins to Our Time

The English text of "Une Histoire de l'Argent: des origines à nos jours", Paris 2007.

This 12,000 word "Junior Histoire" from Autrement is about how money began, how it has evolved to the present day, what it has enabled humans to achieve, why so many people in the world today suffer from the way it works, how it may develop further, and how young people today might want it to develop.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

 

Monetary Reform - Making it Happen

With John Bunzl. International Simultaneous Policy Organisation, paperback, 80 pp. ISPO "Making it Happen" Briefing Series No 1. 2004.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

"A brilliant treatment of a question which has never been so urgent" - George Monbiot.

More comments can be found here. For details about ordering printed copies, click here.

 

Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age

2000 (with Joseph Huber). New Economics Foundation, paperback, 97 pages, £7.95.

"We look forward to monetary reform moving to the centre stage of public and policy debate" - Ed Mayo, then Director of NEF.

Click here to order a hard copy of the book.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

The book was launched in the first Alternative Mansion House Speech - on Financial and Monetary Policies for an Enabling State - on 15th June 2000. For the text of the speech, click here.

 

The New Economics of Sustainable Development: A Briefing for Policy Makers

Written for the European Commission's Cellule de Prospective (Forward Studies Unit), and published in paperback, by Kogan Page, London, Editions Apogée, Paris (as Changer d'Économie: ou la Nouvelle Économie du Developpement Durable), and The Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. 1999.

For further background, click here.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the 2005 text .

There are two omissions from the 1999 printed version of (1) information about relevant organisations which is now outdated, and (2) my biographical details available elsewhere on this website. In addition, the page numbering differs from the 1999 printed version.

 

Transforming Economic Life: A Millennial Challenge

Schumacher Briefing No 1, 77pp. 1998.

Written for the Schumacher Society (UK) and published by Green Books, £5.

Copies are available from www.greenbooks.co.uk.

 

 

Beyond The Dependency Culture: People, Power and Responsibility

Adamantine Press, 234pp. Foreword by Ronald Higgins.

Sixteen papers and lectures dating from 1977 to 1996 on the need for a new path of progress based on co-operative self-reliance and not on the further growth of dependency. Topics include; a conserving society, work, health, welfare, money, politics, energy (including nuclear power), a post-modern worldview, and a post-marxist strategy for change.

Out of print. No hardcopies available. The Contents can be found here.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

 

Sharing Our Common Heritage: Resource Taxes and Green Dividends

Proceedings of an International Conference, held on 14th May 1998 by the Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics and Society, 74pp. 1998.

Contributions by Prof. David Marquand, Prof. Philippe van Parijs, Fred Harrison, Prof. Mason Gaffney, Alanna Hartzok, Dr.Tatiana Roskoshnaya, and James Robertson, who organised the conference and edited the proceedings. For further background, click here.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

 

Future Wealth: A New Economics for the 21st Century

Cassell, London, 179 pages. 1990.

This is one of my more important books. It provides a framework of understanding for the new economic order which the world clearly needs. An agenda for transition on the lines it put forward for the 1990s is now (December 2005) more obviously relevant than it was fifteen years ago.

Review comments at the time included the following.

"'A New Economics for the 21st Century' is an exact description of this very remarkable book" - The Good Book Guide, 1990.

"It could well be that Future Wealth will ultimately be required reading for economics students, alongside The Wealth of Nations and The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" - Francis Kinsman, Management Today, May 1990.

"With Future Wealth as our guide, we can describe the framework of the living economy... We can show how current initiatives can be enabled and encouraged, and we can show how that framework can be created out of our present, rather warped version." Perry Walker, New Economics, Summer 1990.

No hard copies are available. The list of Contents can be found here.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

 

Future Work: Jobs, self-employment and leisure after the industrial age

Temple Smith/Gower, 220pp, paperback. 1985.

"The best book of its kind so far, packed with ideas and one cannot but be affected by its enthusiasm and verve" - Prof. Ray Pahl in the Times Literary Supplement, 14th March 1986.

This was one of the books I most enjoyed researching and writing. I tried, but failed, to persuade the publisher we should call it 'The Ownwork Revolution'. He thought that title would be too far out to appeal to a mainstream readership. However, if and when the book is republished, I shall insist on it!

Its theme is that a possible future for work, and the one we should seek to create, is its liberation. In the age of slavery and the age of employment, most people have had to work for people and organisations richer and more powerful than themselves. But in the age of ownwork it will be accepted as normal that most people will work independently for themselves and one another, and the institutions of society will enable them to do so instead of depending on employers for jobs.

The book is in four parts:
1. What Comes After the Employment Age?
2. Changing Perceptions of Work
3. The End of the Employment Empire
4. The Practicalities of the Transition

This book is out of print. A few copies are available from us - click here for ordering details.

The list of Contents can be found here.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

 

The Sane Alternative

James Robertson, 156pp, paperback. 1983.

The text can now be downloaded for free, together with a new 2008 Preface, by clicking on the button below.

Printed copies are also available - click here for ordering details.

This is the revised and expanded version of the original 1978 edition - probably my best known book. The gold medal awarded in 2003 by the Pio Manzu Research Centre is inscribed to "Creator of a Sane Alternative".

"The best and most persuasive handbook I know to the 'alternative society" - Michael Shanks in The Director.

"An essential book.... compelling reading" - Tom Hancock in Town and Country Planning.

"The best futures books I've ever read.....People will read it, keep it and thank you for introducing them to it" - Prof. James E. Moore, University of Texas.

"This book is important. It seeks to get new ideas on the move" - Harford Thomas in The Guardian.

"The most practical book on futures that I know" - Prof. John Morris, Manchester Business School.

"Comprehensively considerate..... a very realistic future" - R. Buckminster Fuller.

"Indispensable. A rare combination of important new theory with practical guidance. An important map for the future of all industrial countries" - Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization and other books, from the Foreword to the US edition.

 

Power, Money and Sex: Towards a New Social Balance

Marion Boyars Publishers, 149pp, paperback. 1976.

"A most searching, radical, even revolutionary book" - Harford Thomas in the Guardian, 12th August 1976.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

In addition, a few copies are still available at £5.95 from Central Books. To order a copy, click here, write James Robertson in the 'Quick Search' box on the webpage that comes up and then click on 'Go!'.

 

Profit or People? The New Social Role of Money

Marion Boyars Publishers, 95pp, paperback. 1974.

"A powerful cocktail of novel ideas which will leave the reader either exhilarated or queasy" - Christopher Johnson in the Financial Times, 20th February 1975.

This short book, in Marion Boyars' Ideas in Progress series, arose from my reflections after my few years working for the banks.

It has six Chapters as follows: Breakdown or Breakthrough; Socially Responsible Enterprise; Financially Responsible Government; Honest Money; Money Science and Money Metaphysics; and Whose Move?.

Its final paragraph begins as follows: "To transform the money system into a fair and efficient mechanism of collective choice, a value system of society... must be pioneered by those of us who can imagine what the new social role of money could be and how it may be achieved."

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

In addition, a few printed copies are available - click here for ordering details.

 

Reform of British Central Government

By J.H. Robertson. Chatto & Windus/Charles Knight, 226pp, hardback. 1971.

"His book is of first-rate importance" - Prof. Max Beloff in the Daily Telegraph, 22nd July 1972.

This, my first book, was the outcome of my experiences in Whitehall. It suggested that, in the words of Sir Robert Morant, one of the great administrative reformers of the early 20th century, the efforts of those attempting to modernise our system of government in the late 1960s and early 1970s were:

"as though a man had been seeking to build a substantial house by working spasmodically on odd portions of the structure on quite isolated plans, fashioning minute details of some upper parts, when he has not set up, nor indeed even planned out, the substructure which is their sole possible foundation and stay."

In this book I was trying to set out, systematically and holistically - to use words unfamiliar to me then - how I thought the functions of government might be better organised as an intelligent whole.

I had learned that our institutionalised society, fragmented and dominated by specialist professions and interest groups each with its own separate 'territory', finds it almost impossible to deal sensibly with any situation as a whole. To this day, 'joined-up government' remains an elusive goal.

Click on the button below to download a pdf copy of the book.

In addition, a few printed copies are available - ordering details can be found below.



Ordering Details

Future Work, The Sane Alternative, Profit or People? and Reform of British Central Government can only be ordered via me as they are no longer available through bookshops. All four can be ordered together at a reduced price or individually.

Book
Cost (incl. postage)
 
UK
Europe & Outside
Europe
(Surface Mail)
Outside Europe
(Airmail)
Future Work
£10.00
£11.00
£15.00
The Sane Alternative
£6.50
£7.00
£11.00
Profit or People?
£5.00
£5.50
£8.00
Reform of British Central Government
£7.00
£7.50
£12.00
Bundle of all four books
£25.00
£28.00
£40.00
 

Please email me for prices if you wish to purchase multiple copies.

To order, please send details of the book(s) you require together with a cheque (in pounds sterling only) made payable to James Robertson to:

James Robertson
The Old Bakehouse
Cholsey
Oxfordshire
OX10 9NU
United Kingdom

Please indicate if you would like a signed copy on your order letter.

Note: The rights to republish most of the out-of-print books listed above have reverted to me. At some future date they may be republished or further texts may be put on this website.

 

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