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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism [Paperback]

Naomi Klein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2008

From the bestselling author of No Logo, Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism cracks open the secret history of our era to look at how from a privileged few are making millions from worldwide devastation.

Around the world in Britain, the United States, Asia and the Middle East, there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos; exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally remake our world in their image. They are the shock doctors.

Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors' beliefs now dominate our world - and how this domination has been achieved. Raking in billions out of the tsunami, plundering Russia, exploiting Iraq - this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed.

'Packed with thinking dynamite ... a book to be read everywhere'
  John Berger

'If you only read one non-fiction book this year, make it this one'
  Metro Books of the Year

'There are a few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books'
  John Gray, Guardian

'A brilliant book written with a perfectly distilled anger, channelled through hard fact. She has indeed surpassed No Logo'
  Independent

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker. Her first book was the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, called 'a movement bible' by The New York Times. The Shock Doctrine has been translated into more than twenty languages.


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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism + No Logo + How the World Works
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141024534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141024530
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell (John le Carré)

Packed with thinking dynamite . a book to be read everywhere (John Berger)

If you read only one non-fiction book this year, make it this one (, Books of the Year Metro)

There are few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books (John Gray Guardian)

Lucid, calm, impeccably researched, gorgeously readable (, Books of the Year Observer)

A brilliant, brave and terrifying book (Arundhati Roy)

Powerful . epic . dramatic (Daily Telegraph)

A brilliant book written with a perfectly distilled anger, channelled through hard fact. She has indeed surpassed No Logo (Independent)

Excoriating . passionate and informed . Her prose packs a punch (Scotsman)

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Born and raised in New Orleans, he'd been out of the flooded city for a week. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
393 of 410 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profiting From Disaster 25 May 2008
Format:Paperback
Ideology aside, I consider this to be one of the most important books of our time. The reason I started off the way I did is that many people will react to Naomi Klein's book based on their political leanings. In fact, before starting this book, I was inclined to disagree with her premise -that Chicago School economics can be directly tied to oppressive regimes in many parts of the world. This book, however, thoroughly proves this disconcerting truth. The Shock Doctrine is also a brilliant expose and an elegant model which enables us to understand modern history in a new way.

I had originally seen a short video online that summarized the ideas of this book, and my first reaction (again, before reading the book) was that this must be a typical leftist rant, making an abstruse analogy between an economic system with which the author disagrees and real life practices like torture and shock treatment. As someone who was raised, or at least self-raised as basically a libertarian, I did not want to believe Klein's argument. In fact, the only reason I bothered to read the book is that I liked her earlier book, No Logo so much. She is one of the few writers on political and economic subjects whom I actually enjoy reading. Her style is so lucid that, even if I don't agree with some of her ideas, I understand where she is coming from and enjoy following her reasoning.

Alas, there is nothing abstract, symbolic or abstruse about The Shock Doctrine. Nor is it any kind of conspiracy theory, as one reviewer oddly remarked. Everything in this book is well documented, and most of the references are anything but obscure. You can find almost everything that is written about here by going back over newspapers of the last few decades.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real road to serfdom 12 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Naomi Klein's basic thesis is this:- that the right wing conflation between (A) deregulated, free-market, laissez-faire capitalism (what in this country we would refer to as 'Thatcherism') with (B) basic human freedom is a myth, a dangerous myth.

Naomi Klein wrote this book in 2007 at the dusk of the Bush II era and leads the reader through an alternative version of history which traces the darkly illiberal policies of the Bush II Whitehouse back to Pinochet's Chile in 1973. The thread that weaves together Klein's over-arching narrative is the idea that proponents of what she refers to as 'Chicago School economics' (the ideas of Milton Friedman as articulated in 'Capitalism and Freedom' and which would later form the ideological backbone of Thatcherism, Reagonomics and Neo-Conservatism) have, whilst proclaiming the theoretical indivisability between free markets and free peoples, in actual practice, required more authoritarian governments to implement 'free-market' policies in foreign soil.

Klein' book points to the importance in politics of ideas and of ideology and highlights that the most salient feature of what is often referred to as free-market/laissez-faire capitalism in the last forty years, as it has sought to destroy the post-war consensus, has been the frequency with which it has rode on the back of disasters or 'shocks' so as to ruthlessly implement its basic tenets - whether that be in Pinochet's Chile in the 1970s, Yeltsin's Russia of the 1990s or in Iraq in the Noughties - against the wishes of the common man or woman and through undemocratic means. Thereby exposing as a lie the basic premise of 'free markets' as extolled as an article of faith by its proponents that it is the only truly democratic form of political economy.
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104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fragile democracy 29 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
This book has shocked me thoroughly. In Denmark, we currently have a liberal government slowly dismantling our welfare system, which some would say is about high time since we have the highest taxes in the world. But reading the Shock Doctrine I have become a staunch believer in a social democratic society. I will happily pay my high taxes if I can trust my government is spending them right. The alternative is not an option for me. A happy society is one where all people have true opportunities, where very few are poor, and where those who are not able to fend for themselves are helped to lead a decent life by the society.
What is so ironic about Naomi Klein's revelations is the fact that the US shout out to anyone who cares to listen that they are defending democracy and want to spread it to the Middle East and elesewhere. Yeah sure. What hypocracy! The Shock Doctrine reminds us that the US have been behind the dismantling of some 12 democracies around the world for pure economic and geopolitical self-interest. My estimate is that most of those countries would today have been well functioning, prosperous democracies instead of poor developing nations traumatized by former cruel dictatorships installed by the US.
I don't know about you Americans, but I'm sure ready for CHANGE :O)
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89 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally mindblowing 30 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
This is my first ever review on Amazon. No book has ever moved me to want to take action before like The Shock Dcotrine. Ok, so writing an Amazon review isn't going to change the world but getting as many people as possible to read this book is a step in the right direction.

A friend who recommended the book to me said it was powerful, but I wasn't prepared for just how powerful. Page after page I felt real physical rage and disbelief at how these horrific and world changing events have been happening for decades (and continue to happen) and yet have remained so under the radar of most of us.

Describing the contents of the book has been done very eloquently in other reviews, so I won't repeat that here. But I will just say PLEASE, whatever your political colour, however sceptical you are, PLEASE read this book, it will change how you view the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
No words to describe it: one of the best books of this kind I read in the last 7 years
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful.
didn't get till the end yet, but it looks very interesting. I would recommend to everyone to read it, important in modern society.
Published 14 days ago by Denys Tsutsaev
5.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy theory that actually seems more than theory
Many books can just be dismissed as conspiracy theory. Even many good books get that thrown at them from their detractors just to lump them together with crap books by nutters and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tim Higgins
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading
This should be essential reading for anyone and everyone who has a passing interest in the politics of the global world we live in, it is scary and shows how we wherever we live... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly and well-researched piece of work. True to high academic...
I always take the time to read the worst rating of reviews on Amazon to try and get a balanced perspective of the books I read; especially when I think the book was as well... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sreenivasayyar Janakiram
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best non fiction books ever
Brilliant, informative and as it says on the back 'There are few books that really help us to understand the present. The shock doctrine is one of those books'
Published 2 months ago by daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and essential reading
I will just go ahead and add to the din of approval out here. This is a total tour-de-force: thematically and historically. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sunny
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read
some interpreting arguments supported by clear examples and very informative. Some of the stories about the previous administration governments are now dated but still worth... Read more
Published 2 months ago by ABDUL AZIZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener
To be honest I bought this book thinking it was going to be a lot of hearsay and miscellaneous information that would be hard to digest. I can admit that I was completely wrong. Read more
Published 3 months ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Brilliant book if a bit depressing - sets out clearly what is going on - worth a read if you want to know what's really going on.
Published 3 months ago by A. J. Whiteman
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