November 29, 2016

"The longtime left-leaning Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative will shutter its doors Wednesday after 27 years in Madison."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports. I'm surprised it's only been around 27 years. I've been here for 33 years, and I felt like it predated me:
The cooperative was founded by employees who left Peoples’ Bookstore, a now-closed, privately owned shop promoting feminist, anarchist and radical ideas, to start a store with a business model that was also in line with their views, said Ald. Marsha Rummel, one of the co-founders.

“We thought the ownership model should be a cooperative and not privately owned to reflect the change we would like to see in the world,” said Rummel, who represents the Near East Side’s 6th District.
Oh, that's what I remember. The People's Bookstore.

Here's a photo I took of a poster in the window there, originally blogged in 2004:

40 comments:

alan markus said...

Somehow it has to be Trump's fault. I know, because of his education policies, people in America will no longer learn to read, so there will be no demand for books with lots of words in them.

Rick said...

The Bookstore Cooperative, for those who find The People's Bookstore too right-wing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_democracy_(Marxism%E2%80%93Leninism)

In related news Robert Cook's looking for work.

mccullough said...

So the university getting rid of the anti-competitive tying arrangement with professors' text books helped undo them.

rehajm said...

We thought the ownership model should be a cooperative and not privately owned to reflect the change we would like to see in the world

Peoples' Bookstore. Those imperialist, capitalist, yankee scum! Ptooey!

buwaya puti said...

I hate seeing bookstores close. I have spent much of my life haunting bookstores; every local one we lose is like burning our house down bit by bit.
I still pine for Staceys on Market Street, San Francisco. I was there several times a week for 25 years.

Ann Althouse said...

@mccullough

I was trying to understand that part. Did the university permit that and then change it or was it always forbidden? There should have been more detail about that!

Big Mike said...

Anarchists have no business running a business.

chuck said...

Apropos the sign, I always thought it strange that capitalists should be blamed for wars. WWI was a creation on the aristocracy -- German, Austrian, and Russian -- imbued with ideas originating in the Romantic movement and academia. Many other small wars in the last century were started by the Communists, also reinforced by academics. To this day, students are considered ideal cannon fodder by the left. A bookstore sincerely interested in stopping war would advocate the destruction of universities as a prophylactic measure.

Bay Area Guy said...

With respect to that poster, Why would they lump democratically elected leaders Blair, Bush and Sharon together with un-elected Muslim terrorists Hussein, Arafat and Bin Laden?

Oh yeah, I forgot, social justice warriors don't have to make those heady distinctions because......justice!

In Berkeley, we have some outstanding used book stores (Moes, Pegasus), but, to my knowledge, there's only 1 Commie bookstore left near the campus.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaydub said...

Feminists, anarchists and radicals, oh my!

mockturtle said...

buwaya sighs: I hate seeing bookstores close. I have spent much of my life haunting bookstores; every local one we lose is like burning our house down bit by bit.

I do, too, but REAL bookstores, with all kinds of books. My very favorite bookstores are Blackwell's Bookshop in Oxford, UK, and Robert's Bookshop in Depoe Bay, Oregon, which sells used books. He has everything there but specializes in old, out-of-print and rare books.

mockturtle said...

'Left-leaning'? More like toppled headlong.

Joe said...

Did their trust fund run dry?

Ron Snyder said...

Glad to see them go out of business.

Unknown said...

Is there NOTHING Trump cannot do!! :)

Unknown said...

Leaders who start wars: Hitler: dictator. Japan: an emperor but really run by military. Italy: dictator. Not a lot of capitalists starting WWII.
Of course no one needs to know history to make outlandish claims, do they?

William Chadwick said...

All I needed to see was "Cooperative" and "Rainbow" in the name, and I could have guessed the "Left leaning" part.

Ken B said...

"Since we can't rip off students anymore we need to close up."

JaimeRoberto said...

I wonder how long the Women and Women First bookshop will be able to hold out.

Titus said...

I never heard of that bookstore in Madison.

Cambridge has some amazing independent bookstores which are actually thriving.

tits

n.n said...

Another corporate monopoly disbanded. Oh, wait, cooperative with exclusive access. Next: Obamacare.

LYNNDH said...

Left Leaning? Just how much further on the Left do they have to be to be On The Left. I think they are/were Alt-Left.

Curious George said...

"William Chadwick said...
All I needed to see was "Cooperative" and "Rainbow" in the name, and I could have guessed the "Left leaning" part."

The "...in Madison" is enough.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Splitters!

YoungHegelian said...

When I used to browse in the Marxist bookstores in DC, I was always amazed to see that the Trotskyites reserved their worst polemics for the pro-Soviet stooges, & the pro-Soviet Marxists reserved their worst for those "counter-revolutionary splitters", the Trotskyites. The capitalists? They were down the list there somewhere, but way down.

I also used to have a buddy who went Florida State University. When I visited once, there was a commie bookstore near campus that had simply incredible prices on classical imports like DGG & Telefunken. They also had, in hardbound folio volumes, not the complete works of V.I. Lenin, they also had all six feet of the complete works of Josef Stalin. That was the first & only time I've ever seen the complete works of Josef Stalin.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I love Lefty bookstores for the self-conscious boho vibe. Kind of like Trader Joe's without the chocolate covered marshmallows.

n.n said...

A war that started with Hussein, sustained under Clinton, and ended with Bush. They must have been apoplectic with Obama's choice to revisit and expand the war to global proportions.

Michael said...

I love independent bookstores, commie or otherwise.

Buwaya Puti: Agree about Stacey's. I still stop in at City Lights. It too will be a memory

The Cracker Emcee said...

Ironic "ordinary working-class people" are invoked in the text of the poster. Or maybe I mean nostalgic. Not really the Left's table anymore.

mockturtle said...

I'm sure neither the anarchists nor their parents were ever 'working class'. That's the irony.

Quaestor said...

Abby Someone wrote: Is there NOTHING Trump cannot do!! :)

Take a look in a mirror and wish really hard.

bagoh20 said...

“We thought the ownership model should be a cooperative and not privately owned to reflect the change we would like to see in the world,”

"...will shutter its doors Wednesday after 27 years.

Under anarchy rules, that's years of failure followed by supreme success? Congrats!

Biff said...

The specific bookstore may not have predated the Professor, but the dusty cliches that it sold certainly did.

bagoh20 said...

It seems appropriate that The People's Republic of Madison has empty shelves at the collective.

richard mcenroe said...

So what you're saying is, it felt obsolete the first time you walked in.

tim in vermont said...

I like reading Marxist books sometimes, identifying the fallacies and logical and rhetorical sleight of hand is interesting in small doses.

I am sometimes conflicted though as to whether it is blindness on the part of the writer, or intentional.

JAORE said...

Closing its doors?

Oh, damn you cruel economic reality, damn you to hell!

mikee said...

They used a captive audience of students, buying textbooks, to support their unprofitable progressive politics. Odd, how their leftist, anticapitalist literature was of so little interest to any paying customers. There is a lesson there for them, if only they were not so blinded by their ideology.

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