3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Should be compulsory reading in today's society,
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A shocking and lively book designed to stir both thought and emotion in the Western reader. It details all that is wrong with globalisation and corporate power, brings to life the tireless yet often unseen operations fighting back, and mercilessly sets out the dreadful treatment of workers being exploited by many of our most well-known brands.
In terms of these corporations and global companies, Klein unapologetically explores the very darkest depths of their capitalist mentality. She names and shames several huge brands, including Nike, Nestle, Disney, Microsoft, Wal-mart, McDonalds and Gap, and frequently refers back to these examples to illustrate her points in a recognisable context.
Another of her tactics, well-used to provoke reaction throughout the book, is to provide the reader with detailed case studies, and accompanying analysis, of some of the more heinous scandals linked to various companies over the years. From strikes by humiliated teenage workers at McDonalds to compulsory pregnancy testing and the sacking of pregnant workers in poor factories, this is really explicit and shocking material. One example that will never leave my mind is that of the death of many young female workers, mostly teenagers, in a poor foreign garment sweatshop. The girls were locked into the factory all day, with no comforts and no safety measures in place. When a bundle of flammable material caught fire, the whole factory went up. The workers had no escape route and died, some in the fire itself and some, tragically, by throwing themselves from the windows to avoid being slowly burned alive.
Alongside these horrors, Klein explores the anti-globalisation politics in the world, as well as the pitiful, hypocritical means used by the brands to try and claw back their popular image. She visits worker unions and help centres trying to liberate sweatshop workers. She looks at boycotts and consumer power in changing the way brands conduct business. Movements such as `Reclaim the Streets' - a disruptive street-blocking festival scene - and `Culture Jamming' - the art of reworking and altering adverts on the streets in order to change their political meaning drastically - are also described in detail.
Whilst it is terribly frustrating to read about the evasive tactics used by companies - moving factories, issuing `ethical' ad campaigns and avoiding monitoring - the final message is one of hope, empowerment and a need for education. A brilliant and eye-opening book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who is feeling disillusioned with all-dominating brands and capitalist values in today's turbulent and morally questionable society.