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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book everyone in the country should read
Essential reading for residents of the UK. Using real life examples of exploitation and deception, Monbiot unsparingly illustrates how the government is by-and-large more interested in serving its own needs and those of the corporations that support it than those of the British people and environment. The stories he uncovers are truly shocking and disturbing, and detail...
Published on 10 Dec 2002 by ajf93

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, thin, but still scary
I bought this after reading 'No Logo' and partly as a result of reading George Monbiot's pieces in the Guardian. I was looking forward to a piece of that sort of writing and philosophy, only made bigger.
What comes out is the journalism stretched thinner. The 'evidence' is there in places but in others there are transparent patches of sheer supposition and leaps of...
Published on 4 May 2002


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you think this is bad.., 1 Dec 2013
If you think this is bad, take the time to read 'Treasure Islands' by Nicholas Shaxson. It takes government endorsed multinational corporate crime to a new level...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captive State, 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
If you want to find out what is really happening in Britain today read this book. Well written and informative George Monbiot pulls no punches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars captive state - george monbiot, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
This is a book that everyone should read. Read, be afraid - very afraid - and take appropriate action to end this insanity and the disintegration of the whole world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 16 April 2012
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This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
Great book , found it hard to put down and will buy the others in the series also.
would recomend.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected better, but good research., 23 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
Corporate Britain, despite being well researched and documenting unpleasant government corruption, is weak. Its main fault is that it debates the surface arguments but not the underlying premises. For example, where the book details corruption over the building of the Skye bridge there is no question on the first principles as to whether the government should or should not subsidise such a project - no thought as to whether a road-sweeper living in Manchester should, through the tax system, actually be buying a bridge, free for Skye residents. Similarly, where corruption is exposed with regard to Private Finance Initiatives (PFI's) in the NHS and urban regeneration projects, there is no debate as to whether the NHS should exist in its current form, or if the state should be involved in planning cities. All is written is that the PFI system attracts corruption in a dirty management between state and business.
Equally frustrating is the equation of business and capitalism. Capitalism is, or ought to be, the promotion of markets, in which businesses are merely participants. Monbiot mentions vaguely that businesses and corporations seek favours from government to make higher profits than they could do from competing. What is not mentioned explicitly is that because businesses rarely want to compete and will bribe government to avoid competing, that markets, which are unbribable, and not governments are most effective at taming bad business.
There is no acknowledgement that the more power a government has, the more gifts it can bestow upon favoured friends, the more incentive there is for business to buy decisions. A state with fewer powers would be less attractive to buy because it would be unable to provide the presents wanted. Even the expansion in intellectual property and patenting of genes are artificial protections given by governments to the highest bidding corporations. One of Monbiot's floated solutions of the government granting licences to corporations and withdrawing the licenses should they become harmful to society would result in even more corruption - with corporations lobbying governments to reduce competition by revoking their competitor's licences.
This book is well researched and easy to read. Unfortunately, it only points out what is seen and not what is unseen. No discussion of alternatives or common law remedies or the increasing prosperity where markets (not business) reign. Monbiot's solution to government corruption appears to be to grant government even more powers in order to tackle it. Perhaps the way to abolish corruption in high places might be to abolish high places - and replace them with markets.
This is not a critique of capitalism but of business supported by government.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ AND BE FREE, 25 July 2009
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Mr. T. E. Samad (Birmingham West Midlands England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
If you don't want to be trapped in a captive state or a captive mind for that matter, read this book. Like i said with my title for this review:

READ AND BE FREE
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who controls Britain? - this book will dispel any illusions., 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
George Monbiot's illuminating dissection of the gradual takeover of public and private life in Britain by corporations is compelling reading.
The extent to which modern corporations have managed to exert influence within modern Britain as discussed in the book is perhaps no surprise but, as Monbiot makes clear, the ease with which they have been allowed to achieve this and the downright complicity of our elected representatives and public servants is staggering. One wonders if any integrity still remains within the parliaments and town halls of Britain today.
This should be compulsory reading for every member of the voting public. Evidence enough that every citizen be aware of what is happening in their name and with their tax money. We must be ready to stand and fight for the society we want for ourselves and our children before it is too late.
Excellent reading.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it for a detailed account of one side of the coin, 29 Nov 2001
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This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
As the above readers have said, this book contains some fascinating stories of privatisation gone wrong.
However, there is a slightly anecdotal feel - that is, we are being given long, colourful accounts of specific situations (such as the Skye Bridge). Whilst interesting, I did start to wonder why Monbiot was not prepared to look at the situation as a whole, and examine the success stories of privatisation. Any argument that is son one-sided risks leaving a murdoch-style rant impression on the objective reader.
The impression of a more balanced picture would have added greatly to this book's essential account of the worst aspects of private enterprise/government partnerships.
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24 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but over-rated and under-sourced..., 28 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
This is undoubtedly a very important book, highlighting many of the 'innovative' ways in which British servies have become run in recent years. Local democracy, already strangled under the Thatcher years, has pretty much disappeared under Blairism in the midst of big business money and central control-freakery.
with the banks. PFI's come in for criticism - it is also good to see the Skye Bridge mentioned here, with interviews with Robbie the Pict. However, Monbiot's 'Guardian' columns and his website hint at the self-important tone which permeates this book - and the constant references to 'we' are especially annoying, as I feel little empathy with middle class bleeding hearts like this author. The importance of the subject matter, however, far outweighs any problems I might have with the writing style, and this deserves to be widely read.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive Anger., 19 Mar 2001
By 
George Connor (The Remote Parts of, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Whenever I pick this up to re-read a chapter I am filled with complete anger at what has been allowed to occur in the name of apathy and greed. A hugely inspiring piece of work.
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Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain
Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain by George Monbiot (Paperback - 7 Sep 2001)
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