By Raj Patel. Picador, 2009. The Value of Nothing is a spirited, well-written account of how economists, philosophers and corporations came to create the "free market" ideology that now dominates our political culture. It is also a meditation on the value of the commons as a domain of value that has gone unnoticed and unprotected for too long. Patel, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and a long-time food activist, is that rare thinker who is well-versed in economic history and political philosophy as well as a wide range of activist movements such as free software, food sovereignty and shackdwelling in South Africa. My blog post: "The Value of Nothing," June 4, 2010.