by John Gerzema, Michael D’Antonio

Jossey-Bass, $25.95, 256 pages

Gerzema and D’Antonio present in Spend Shift a way for businesses large and small to respond to what the authors call a “values-led consumerism” in a “post-crisis world.”  This book, through stories of adaptation, coping, thrift, and collaboration show how Americans and American companies have responded to changes in consumption, lingering recession, and increased costs and decreased standards of living.  It is an optimistic book that shares stories of success. The book details Ford Motor Company’s move toward transparency in operations and the company’s successful Fiesta car social media campaign.  It highlights how Dallas Central Library’s Job Resource Center with its ever increasing use shows that in hard economic times, public libraries continue to act as a vital resource for people coping with unemployment and loss of income.

Spend Shift is not a book about how families can better respond to changing economic circumstances. It is written for businesses looking for a way to continue to find buyers for what they are selling despite the current circumstances. It touts values like honesty, quality, involvement in the community, trust, and generosity. It highlights the fact that customers, consumers, people have less money to spend on everything from cars to coffee and that businesses must truly earn their customers and the meager purchasing power they have.

Catherine McMullen