Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

By Kim Fellner | Go to book overview

12
Bread. Roses.
Coffee.

If Starbucks has forced me to reassess the dance of conscience and capital, it’s also led me to reconsider the role of individual leadership. At the beginning of my research and again toward the end, I interviewed Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, SEIU president Andy Stern, and global justice activist Medea Benjamin. Howard, of course, was central to the story; Andy and Medea, both part of my extended “movement tribe,” served as interpreters of data, lenses through which I could examine Starbucks’ perceived flaws. Together, the three leaders embody in human and organizational form the bits of my own life that converged so vividly in Seattle: a trade unionist with a passion for global equity and a taste for strong coffee.

Each leader sits on the progressive side of the political table, but they do not necessarily view one another as allies; Medea and Howard are in fact adversaries. Yet my interviews have forced me to conclude that they have more in common than any one of them might choose to admit. All are definitely Type A personalities: tense, driven, and ambitious. All have gained reputations as iconoclasts and trendsetters. Under their leadership their organizations have expanded and flourished; and all have challenged others in their field with bold ideas and structural innovations. Former employees from each organization tell tales about the ruthless pursuit of goals, excessive demands for loyalty, and high-minded public principles

-236-

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Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction - The Global Economy Comes Home 1
  • 1 - The Empire Strikes Gold 15
  • 2 - Running the 10-K 27
  • 3 - Banking on the Bean 47
  • 4 - Go Sell It on the Mountain 69
  • 5 - Moving Up on Eighth Street 105
  • 6 - The Cross­dressing of Coffee-Counter Culture 123
  • 7 - When Worker Met Partner 140
  • 8 - At the Global Crossroads 163
  • 9 - The View from Headquarters 186
  • 10 - Capitalism Is like Fire … 203
  • 11 - Goodness as Battleground 220
  • 12 - Bread. Roses. Coffee 236
  • Acknowledgments 245
  • Notes 249
  • Index 267
  • About the Author 285
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