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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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22 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti-corporate hysteria, 13 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
The problem with this book - and it's a problem that infects all of George Monbiot's journalism - is the undercurrent of hatred and resentment towards business which appears to have little to do with rationality. "Captive State" is essentially a compendiun of horror stories illustrating the greed and corruption of private companies and their politician stooges. And a pretty unedifying read it is. But their is no convincing explanation of why things would be better if business was even more regulated or, as Monbiot probably hopes, was abolished altogether. There is no understanding of what motivates this corruption in the first place (the attempt to get around regulation), or why public provision of the services that have been put out to tender, should be any less corrupt and incompetent. The examples of municipal socialism from the 1970s, not to mention the abject failure of collectivist societies throughout the twentieth century, ought to shatter this illusion.
Too many of the essays in this book start from the premise that ordinary people do not know what is in their own best interests, and judging what these are should be left to politicians. For instance, Monbiot despises out of town shopping centres, and pretty ghastly most of them are too. But the fact that they offer greater choice and lower prices than the quaint old high street is not acknolwedged. The fact that they also happen to make large profits for their owners is enough to damn them. The Skye Bridge episode demonstrates that there is still a great deal of localised pressure for subsididy. Paying an extra 5 to use the bridge to do their shopping on the mainland was too much to bear for the Skye residents, and Monbiot takes up their cause with alacrity. But he never for once considers the idea that perhaps they should pay for a service that solely benefits them and the tourists visiting their island. Monbiot, along with the other pin-ups of anti-globalisation like Naomi Klein, dislike the idea of commercial sponsorship of public services - but does it really matter if Nike's tacky logo appears on an ambulance? Does it prevent it doing its job?
Having said that, "Captive State" is a captivating read, and it's easy to see why it's becoming the bible of what remains of the left. But, like a Big Mac when you're starving, the initial feeling of fulfillment soon gives way to a sickly feeling that you've just been conned.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book To Read Before It Gets Any Worse, 8 Oct 2001
By 
F. P. Kovacs (Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
Reading Monbiot is an eye-opener because most of us are practiced at keeping our eyes shut. The hardest task is to look at the world as it is, not as we wish it to be -- or as advertisers want us to perceive it.
The problems addressed in CAPTIVE STATE are far more advanced here in the states than in Britain, which is no comfort at all, because on Montbiot's telling, in Britain as here those we elect are fast turning into fetch-its for corporations. A few courageous souls stand out but the trend is toward a stultifying and conformist version of "Capitalism" that Adam Smith and David Ricardo would not recognize.
Read Montbiot, share it with friends, and act on it while us non-corporate entities still have a voice.
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29 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary, fashionable, ill-thought bobbins!, 24 April 2002
By 
A. J. Cowburn "aj_cowburn" (m-m-m-manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
I was gagging to read this and (to Monbiot's credit) it is a brave attempt to look under the surface of the social, political and economic forces that shape our everyday lives - Did anyone ask us if we wanted superstores, hypermarkets or out-of-town, retail temples?
BUT what a load of tedious tosh it turns out to be. What did I learn from this book? Politicians are only human, retailers try to make money and G. Monbiot longs for the era when goods were sold separately in different shops where you were grossly ripped off by a cheerful, grasping tradesman who knew your name (and your business) and passed it on when he wasn't flicking fag-ash among the loin chops...
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1 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Animal Farm, 5 Sep 2009
This review is from: Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (Paperback)
When George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, he must have been able to see into the future, as it seems a perfect character template exists.
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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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