The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy (Wildcat) (Paperback)
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Winner of the United Association for Labor Education Book Award 2021, this is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the role of Amazon in our economy and society. With Amazon, supply-chain, and unionization in the news, it is both timely and incredibly informative.
Amazon is the most powerful corporation on the planet and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become one of the richest individuals in history, and one of the few people to profit from a global pandemic. Its dominance has reshaped the global economy itself: we live in the age of “Amazon Capitalism.”
“One-click” instant consumerism and its immense variety of products has made Amazon a worldwide household name, with over 60% of US households subscribing to Amazon Prime. In turn, these subscribers are surveilled by the corporation. Amazon is also one of the world's largest logistics companies, resulting in weakened unions and lowered labor standards.
The company has also become the largest provider of cloud-computing services and home surveillance systems, not to mention the ubiquitous Alexa.
With cutting-edge analyses, this book looks at the many dark facets of the corporation, including automation, surveillance, tech work, workers' struggles, algorithmic challenges, the disruption of local democracy and much more. The Cost of Free Shipping shows how Amazon represents a fundamental shift in global capitalism that we should name, interrogate, and be primed to resist.
About the Author
Jake Alimahomed-Wilson is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of Solidarity Forever? Race, Gender, and Unionism in the Ports of Southern California (Lexington Books, 2016), and the editor of Choke Points (Pluto, 2018).
Ellen Reese is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Labour Studies program at UC Riverside. She is co-editor of The Wages of Empire: Neoliberal Policies, Repression, and Women’s Poverty (2007, Paradigm Publishers) and co-author of The World Social Forums and the Challenges of Global Democracy, 2nd Edition (2014, Paradigm Publishers).