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Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Globalization Debate [Paperback]

Naomi Klein
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2010

The story of the rise of the movement that wanted accountable, improved globalization.

For two years Naomi Klein wrote a weekly column for Canada’s leading newspaper, the Globe & Mail (syndicated worldwide, in the Guardian in the UK). She has, by selecting, rewriting and rearranging these columns, prepared what amounts to a first-hand historical record of the gradual rise to prominence of the anti-global-corporatism movement, and of its most notable successes and failures. It has a truly international scope, covering everything from the Zapatistas’ rebellion in Mexico to the Social Centres in Italy, from the biggest peaceful protest demos since the 1960s to the gassings and shootings at Genoa. Naomi analyses developments in local democracy, in law enforcement, in privatisation laws, in capital migrations, in union behaviour, in marketing, in summitry. She gets close to the suited summits – the WTO, the G8, the IMF, NAFTA. She looks at bioterrorism, pollution, hypocrisy, fear and confusion. It is a portrait, or rather the underlying negative, of the planet's torrid time between the Seattle summit and the world-changing events of 11 September 2001. It makes for dramatic, immediate, indispensable history writing, and reading.

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Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Globalization Debate + No Logo + The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; (Reissue) edition (3 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007150474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007150472
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker. The Shock Doctrine has been translated into more than twenty languages. It was a hardback bestseller in Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden, nominated for multiple awards including the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the New York Public Library Bernstein Award for Journalism.

Naomi Klein writes an internationally syndicated column for The Guardian and The Nation and reported from Iraq for Harper's magazine. In 2004, she released The Take, a feature documentary about Argentina's occupied factories, co-produced with director Avi Lewis. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King's College, Nova Scotia. Her first book was the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, called "a movement bible" by The New York Times.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fences and Windows is not a follow up to the bestselling No Logo. Rather it is a collection of articles and speeches written on the hoof at the various conventions and summits around the world in the wake of the mass protests against the World Trade Organisation in Seattle. Klein's involvement with the new grass-roots anti-corporate movement gave her--and thousands of others--a fast-track education in neo-liberal economics and the effects of globalised corporate activities upon landless farmers in Brazil, teachers in Argentina, fast-food workers in Italy, coffee-growers in Mexico, shanty-town dwellers in South Africa, migrant tomato pickers in Florida, union organisers in the Philippines, and homeless kids in Toronto.

One of the most important and inspiring aspects of the book is Klein's description of the ways in which the new movement differs from left-wing political organising of the past. Rather than being unified by a political party or a national network with head offices, annual elections and subordinate cells and locals, it is shaped by the ideas of individual organisations and intellectuals but, crucially, does not defer to any of them as leaders. What facilitates the multiplicity of campaigns is the communication technology which in turn shapes the movement in its own image. What emerged on the streets of Seattle, Klein observes, "was an activist model that mirrors the organic decentralised pathways of the Internet--the Internet come to life".

What gives Klein's analysis added weight is her reports of the tactics of police and security forces around the world in the campaign to criminalise dissent. Among the tactics used are pre-emptive strikes where movement organisers are intimidated before major meetings or simply arrested before they get there. More worrying still is the propaganda war that seeks to blur the distinction between violence and civil disobedience. This in turn leads to a situation where police violence against protesters is normalised and where indiscriminate gassing occurs so frequently that protesters appear on the streets with necessary protective gear of swimming goggles and bandanas soaked in vinegar.

Overall Fences and Windows is engaged, informative, troubling and inspiring. It's also worrying because it's difficult to believe that governments and corporations are allowed to operate such hypocritical and destructive economic policies while passing themselves off as the champions of the very people they are destroying. It's inspiring because there is hope of change--not least in the models of political organisation she describes. In this regard her article on Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas is remarkable and truly inspirational. The inevitable weakness of a collection of articles such as this is that there is inevitable repetition. On the other hand, the fact that Klein wrote them on the move, from the inside and as it happened (or very shortly afterwards) gives the whole urgency and immediacy. --Larry Brown


Praise for ‘No Logo’:

‘A riveting, conscientious piece of journalism and a strident call to arms. Packed with enlightening statistics and extraordinary anecdotal evidence, “No Logo” is fluent, undogmatically alive to its contradictions and omissions and positively seethes with intelligent anger.’ Observer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review of Fences and Windows by Naomi Klein 25 Nov 2002
Klein returns with a collection of short articles, speeches and columns from newspapers. This book is a handy follow up to No Logo. Rather than being a book of investigation like No Logo, this book instead tracks the post-Seattle developments and tackles issues on the more local scale as well as the big global issues. It is very readable, provocative, motivational and builds some very interesting themes (fences and windows).
This book is well worth a go if you liked Klein's previous works, don't expect another No Logo, this book has it's own merits for other reasons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is a collection of articles published in various journals over the last couple of years which succeeds in giving a sense of history-in-the-making, of a movement (albeit in a very loose sense of the word) finding its voice and occasionally being heard. The depiction of both the "broad brush" international trends- whether political or corporate- are succinctly done, and are very impressively and insightfully linked to the 'grass roots' situations and people 'on the ground' affected by such forces. That the voices of real people affected by the impact of such forces- both good, but more often bad- are so seldom heard or listened to in the mainstream media makes this collection feel important.
Klein's ability to present complex developments and arguments in a succinct way- many chapters are only four pages long- is impressive.
The author's previous book, the excellent No Logo, retains its important place in the canon of writing on anti-corporate globalisation, but Fences and Windows can sit proudly alongside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exemplifies the problems of todays politicians 7 May 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Naomi Klein illustrates quite elequently why people are protesting. She has gone to great leangths in talking to people and figuring out why people and the general public are beginning to fight 'the system' and start demonstrating for their freedoms.
The book doesn't greatly change my somewhat dark opinion of politics but instead it adds some substance and fact. Some of the dispatches she has written almost always raise eyebrows but at the same time I can't help thinking that sometimes there is a tinge of deep routed antagonism to someone. Although in one way thats normal, it gives me a gut feeling about quite how objective she may have been in her analysis.
That said it is something that will stay on my bookshelf as is it's an excellent read. It will open your eyes to the greed that is so glaringly behind the scenes of some very famous and internationally relevant politics and corporate thinking.
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