George Monbiot is a veteran activist who has expressed his strongly held views on a diverse range of topics such as Globalization, American Hegemony and Environmentalism through his column in the Guardian, a British newspaper. He has long held a reputation as an idealist - a person who sincerely believes that through united action, each and every citizen can change things - and this is a thread that runs very strongly through his book.
Monbiot goes straight for the jugular in this book, directly addressing the most important areas and suggesting ways in which they ought to be reformed. Some of the areas he tackles includes the reform of International Relations through a reform of the UN and its security council. Another large area he tackles is that of the current international financial system and the problems of the IMF and WTO and third world debt, something that he proposes to resolve by creating an international clearing union.
I will not delve too deeply into an analysis of his proposals here, but I think that many people will have a similar reaction to one that I had. I personally tend to be very realistic about what can be achieved and Monbiot's proposals struck me as being hopelessly impractical in many circumstances. Whilst agreeing with him that what he proposes might very well be the best thing to do, I see no way in being able to change the status quo so easily. In that, Monbiot has failed in his overall objective which he states in the last chapter - that of convincing people like me to take up the challenge and believe that radical change is possible through 'people power' alone. That said, it is precisely this goal - that of this book being a rallying cry, and his endeavour to get people to believe, that perhaps helps to stand apart from the whole plethora of literature on Globalization, and makes it so valuable.
This book clearly examines some of the key issues facing the world today and provides a powerful vision for changing things. Whether you agree with Monbiot or not, whether you think his views are implementable or not, it is perhaps still vital that you read it, in order to gain a clearer grasp of the problems that are facing us.