cover of book

The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy
edited by Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Ellen Reese
Pluto Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-0-7453-4147-7 | Paper: 978-0-7453-4148-4


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.

See other books on: Amazon | Distribution | E-Commerce | Global Economy | Unions
See other titles from Pluto Press
More to explore: American Poetry