📚 How to Resist Amazon and Why

Posted on Apr 25, 2021

I have spent the better part of my twenties with and around book sellers. Further, I have spent the better part of my twenties at one particular independent bookstore. When I visited recently, they were giving out Danny Caine’s How to Resist Amazon and Why as part of independent bookstore day and I knew I had to pick it up.

Amazon has entrenched itself in our daily lives in a variety of ways. This entrenchment actively harms workers, consumers, small businesses, governments, and public goods. While glimpses of these harms surface, it is hard to succinctly capture the broad scope of horrors Amazon imposes on us. Writing through the lens of a bookseller, Danny Caine, captures Amazon’s impacts across not only his industry but the landscape of the United States. Caine covers everything from Amazon’s impact on local economies, their reaction to laborers advocating for better working conditions, their grip on web services, and the downright embarrassing ways that our politicians trip over themselves to stuff Amazon’s coffers with public money, and, of course, independent bookstores.

The text can be read in an afternoon and is worth reading not only get a wider view of the harms an unchecked Amazon imposes, but also for glimpses into what community institutions provide and reminders that a corporation that seeks to render all of the people, labor, and processes behind its offerings invisible can never match what we gain when those same offerings are supported locally within our own communities.

Caine concludes the book by offering simple actions. I will not list every step here, but his most important contribution is making a point on framing. He notes that the use of resistance language is intentional and intentionally separate from boycotting. Ultimately, due to Amazon’s influence across industries, it is all but impossible to boycott the company, but we can find alternatives to the everything store, we can call on our representatives to revitalize anti-trust in the United States, and we can support the workers within Amazon agitating for a better world.

How to Resist Amazon and Why can be ordered through your local bookstore or you can purchase it from Raven Book Store directly.

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