The End of Local? Book Review: Shuman's "Local Dollars, Local Sense"


  • Ken Meter Crossroads Resource Center



Economic Development, Cooperatives


First paragraphs:

Michael Shuman and interviewer Kate Poole, in Local Dollars, Local Sense, have combed the continent to uncover solid stories showing how local investment options have been created over the past 35 years. Their close interviews bring considerable practical wisdom.

Especially encouraging, in so doing Shuman has deepened his use of historical precedent as a way of showing that the foundation already has been built for the future he urges us toward. Such an approach requires less showy articulation than in his previous books. To take just a few examples: He documents the pioneering work of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., in Maine, which has directed USD677 million of loans to 2,104 businesses since 1977 (p. 102). He outlines the success of Boston's Wainwright Bank (now Eastern Bank) to offer certificates of deposit (CDs) that channel investment to the coffee trader Equal Exchange, while offering a modest but solid return to investors (p. 86). Shuman also captures the way that La Montanita Co-op in New Mexico uses member capital to lend money to local farmers and food producers (p. 61)....


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Author Biography

Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

Ken Meter, president of Crossroads Resource Center, has taught economics at the University of Minnesota and the Harvard Kennedy School. He is one of the most experienced food system analysts in the U.S., having produced 83 regional and state food system assessments in 30 states, focused on geographic farm and food economies. A member of the Alliance for Building Capacity, he is also the author of Hoosier Farmer? Emerging Food Systems in Indiana.
Cover of "Local Dollars, Local Sense"



How to Cite

Meter, K. (2012). The End of Local? Book Review: Shuman’s "Local Dollars, Local Sense". Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(3), 211–213.