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Books that relate to peer to peer; the open paradigm; and the Commons. Feel free to add your own reviews.

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  2. Check out these P2P Book Authors Talking about their Books, i.e. a list of audio and video interviews with authors talking about their p2p-related work

See our recommended selections:

The Top 20 Books on Peer to Peer

On Peer Production in general

  1. The Wealth of Networks. Yochai Benkler.
  2. The Success of Open Source. Steve Weber.
  3. Democratizing Innovation. Erik von Hippel.
  4. Wikinomics. Don Tapscott.
  5. From Production to Produsage. Axel Bruns. (see the article on Produsage)
  6. Here Comes Everybody. Clay Shirky.
  7. Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today. Chris Carlsson. AK Press, 2008


  1. The Pirate's Dilemma. Matt Mason.
  2. Capitalism 3.0. Peter Barnes.
  3. Hacking Capitalism. Johan Soderbergh
  4. The Long Tail. Chris Anderson.
  5. The Wisdom of Crowds. James Surowiecki.

On Free and Open Source Software production and philosophy specifically

  1. The Success of Open Source. Steven Weber.
  2. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Eric Raymond.
  3. Open Life. Henrik Ingo.
  4. Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software. An MIT reader, 2005
  5. Hacking Capitalism. Johan Soderbergh.
  6. Decoding Liberation

On P2P Governance and Property

  1. The Future of the Internet - and how to stop it. Jonathan Zittrain on protecting a free and Generative Internet
  2. The Success of Open Source. Steven Weber on the governance of open source communities

On P2P Management and Leadership

  1. The Myth of Leadership. Jeffrey Nielsen.
  2. The Hacker Ethic. Pekka Himanen.
  3. The Play Ethic. Pat Kane.
  4. Cyberchiefs. By Mathew O'Neill. Excellent monograph with 4 case studies.
  5. Three Ways of Getting Things Done: modes of corporate governance

On Peer Property and the Commons

  1. Code. Ed. by Rishab Ayer Ghosh.
  2. The Rule of Property. Karen Coulter.
  3. Common as Air. Lewis Hyde. 2010

On Political and Social Change

  1. The Hacker Manifesto. McKenzie Wark.
  2. Massimo De Angelis: The Beginning of History. Value Struggles and Global Capital. Pluto, 2007: about the Commons as a political movement inaugurating a new era of history
  3. Cyber Marx. Nick Dyer-Whiteford.
  4. Gramsci is Dead. Richard Day.
  5. Code 2.0. Lawrence Lessig.
  6. Viral Spiral. David Bollier. An account of the emergence of the contemporary Commons movement

On power in networks (Protocollary Power):

  1. Protocol and The Exploit: How Control Exists after Decentralization. Alexander Galloway et al.
  2. David Grewal: Network Power, how standards come about in non-free ways
  3. Theory of Power. By Jack Vail.

On open and collaborative government:

  1. Wiki Government. How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Beth Noveck. Brookings Institution Press, 2009: on the emergence of Collaborative Democracy,i.e. soliciting expertise from self-selected peers working together in groups in open networks

On the political implications of the hacker and free software movements:

  1. Johan Soderbergh: Hacking Capitalism
  2. Decoding Liberation
  3. Christopher Kely. Two Bits, on the strategy of Recursive Publics
  4. Abstract Activism. Otto von Busch and Karl Palmås.

On digital activism and the networked alterglobalization movement:

  1. Networking Futures. Jeffrey Juris, 'the bible of the autonomous movements'
  2. Netroots Rising. How a citizen army of bloggers and online activists is changing American politics. by Lowell Feld and Nate Wilcox. 2008
  3. Digital Activism Decoded. Ed. by Mary Joyce. Idebate Press, 2010 [2]


  1. The Coming Dark Age: recommended!
  2. Momentum. Allison H. Fine
  3. Garden World. Doug Carmichael.

On P2P Business Change

On Social Business Design:

  1. Brafman, Ori and Rod A. Beckstrom, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, Portfolio, 2006.
  2. Chesbrough, Henry, Open Innovation — The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Harvard Business School Press, 2003.
  3. Li, Charlene and Josh Bernoff, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Harvard Business School Press, 2008.
  4. Malone, Thomas W. et al, 1) Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century, MIT Press, 2003; 2) Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology, Erlbaum, 2001.
  5. Mulholland, Andy et al, 1) Mesh Collaboration, Evolved Technologist, 2008l 2) Mashup Corporations: The End of Business as Usual, Evolved Technologist, 2008.
  6. Thompson, Ken. Bioteams: on Bioteaming

On the Sharing Economy:

  • The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing Lisa Gansky. Portfolio / Penguin Group, FALL 2010
  • What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers (Fall, HarperCollins), 2010

On the new economic rules:

  1. Hayes, Tom, Jump Point: How Network Culture is Revolutionizing Business, McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  2. Howe, Jeff, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, Crown Business, 2008.
  3. Kelly, Kevin, New Rules for the New Economy, Penguin, 1999.

See also:

  1. Fingar, Peter, and Ronald Aronica, Dot Cloud. Meghan-Kiffer Press, 2009.

On P2P Culture

  1. Smart Mobs. Howard Rheingold
  2. The Play Ethic. By Pat Kane.
  3. Hacker Ethic. Pekka Himanen.
  4. Knowing Knowledge. George Siemens.
  5. Open Culture and the Nature of Networks. Ed. by Felix Stalder.
  6. Slow Living. Wency Parkins and Geoffrey Craig.
  7. Understanding Knowledge as a Commons. Eleanor Ostrom et al.
  8. James Boyle. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. [3]
  9. Sharing and the Creative Economy: Culture in the Internet Age. Philippe Aigrain, 2010.

On P2P Economics

  1. Christian Siefkes: From Exchange to Contributions: alternative proposal for an effort-sharing/task-auctioning based system of organizing the economy

Books Recommended by Dave Pollard on Ecological and community-based economics:

  1. Herman Daly on Steady-State Economics
  2. Roger Douthwaite's Short Circuit, a blueprint for a community-based economy
  3. Thomas Princen explains why we need to evolve to a Logic of Sufficiency
  4. Peter Brown: The Commonwealth of Life

On P2P Education

  • Education in the Creative Economy: Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Innovation. Edited by Daniel Araya & Michael A. Peters. Peter Lang, 2010. Collection of essays with a sizeable number of essays concentrating on p2p thematics.
  1. Knowing Knowledge. By George Siemens. An exploration of participative learning.
  2. Everything is Miscellaneous. By David Weinberger. How we are changing the way we organize knowledge.
  3. The Edu-factory Collective (eds) (2009) Toward a Global Autonomous University. Cognitive Labor, The Production of Knowledge, and Exodus from the Education Factory. New York: Autonomedia, 2009 [4]
  4. Wikiworld: Political Economy of Digital Literacy, and the Road from Social to Socialist Media. Juha Suoranta - Tere Vadén. [5]
  5. The Peeragogy Handbook, Version 3. The handbook is a pattern catalog/language created to support peer learning activities. Web, print, PDF, EPUB, Git. Licensed under CC0 (Public Domain Dedication).

On P2P Spirituality

  1. Participatory Spirituality - A Farewell to Authoritarian Religion. By John Heron.
  2. Digital Dharma. Steven Vedro.
  3. A Reenchanted World: The Quest For A New Kinship With Nature by James William Gibson. Metropolitan Books,
  4. The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein.
  5. The Participatory Mind by Henryk Skolimowski

On P2P Technology

  1. The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World. By Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg. Situated Technologies Pamphlets 8: Spring 2011 [6]
  2. Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs by Joshua Pearce

On Human Cooperation

  1. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness, coedited by Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh, and Jeremy Adam Smith (January, WW Norton), 2009
  2. Why We Cooperate, by Michael Tomasello (Boston Review Books), 2009
  3. The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society, by Frans de Waal (Harmony Books), 2009

Other Recommended Books

Practical How To Books

  1. Wireless Networking in the Developing World

Online Books, including books-in-progress

Gamer Theory

LETSaholic Twist

Participatory Spirituality - A Farewell to Authoritarian Religion. By John Heron.

People and Participation

We Are Smarter

We Think. Charles Leadbeater.

Winning by Sharing

Older Classics that are available online

The Natural Economic Order. By Silvio Gesell.

The New State. Mary Parker Follet.

Internet Classics by Year

Selected via Adam Thierer [7]:


  • George Gilder – Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwith Will Revolutionize Our World


  • Cass Sunstein -
  • Lawrence Lessig – The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan – Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity
  • Manuel Castells – The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society
  • Paulina Borsook – Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech


  • David Weinberger - Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web
  • Howard Reingold – Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
  • Milton L. Mueller - Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace
  • Richard A. Spinello - Regulating Cyberspace: The Policies and Technologies of Control
  • Stan Liebowitz – Re-Thinking the Network Economy: The True Forces that Drive the Digital Marketplace


  • Adam D. Thierer & Clyde Wayne Crews (eds.) - Who Rules the Net?: Internet Governance and Jurisdiction
  • Shanthi Kalathil & Taylor C. Boas - Open Networks, Closed regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule
  • William Landes and Richard Posner – The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law



  • John Battelle – The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
  • Edward Castronova - Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games


  • Yochai Benkler - The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
  • Chris Anderson – The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
  • Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu - Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World
  • Henry Jenkins - Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
  • Lawrence Lessig - Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0
  • Cass Sunstein – Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
  • Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom – The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations


  • Daniel Solove - The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet
  • David Weinberger - Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
  • Tarleton Gillespie - Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture
  • Steve Talbott - Devices of the Soul: Battling for Our Selves in an Age of Machines
  • Jeff Chester - Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy


  • Jonathan Zittrain - The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It
  • John Palfrey & Urs Gasser - Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives
  • Clay Shirky – Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations
  • Nick Carr – The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
  • Jeanne Pia Mifsud Bonnici - Self-Regulation in Cyberspace
  • James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer – Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk
  • Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine – Against Intellectual Monopoly
  • Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams – Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
  • Lee Siegel – Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob
  • Lawrence Lessig – Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
  • Matt Mason – The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism
  • Don Tapscott — Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World


  • Chris Anderson – Free: The Future of a Radical Price
  • Dawn C. Nunziato - Virtual Freedom: Net Neutrality and Free Speech in the Internet Age
  • David Bollier - Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own
  • David Post – In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace
  • Lee A. Bygrave & Jon Bing (eds) – Internet Governance: Infrastructure and Institutions
  • Manuel Castells – Communication Power
  • Jeff Jarvis - What Would Google Do?
  • James Boyle – The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
  • Scott Rosenberg - Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters
  • Erik Brynjolfsson & Adam Saunders – Wired for Innovation: How Information Technology is Reshaping the Economy
  • Matthew Scott Hindman -The Myth of Digital Democracy

Full Directory

Support the P2P Foundation by buying your books at our Bookstore

While by no means identical to the P2P Foundation approach, this booklist on left-libertarianism is of interest, as it refers to traditions aiming to marry liberty and equality.

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