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Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy [Paperback]

Donald Gutstein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 19 2009

North Americans have expressed themselves loud and clear on a wide range of issues--like the need for expanded and affordable health care?but it often feels like the politicians in power aren’t really listening.
??The truth is, maybe they aren’t.
??In Not a Conspiracy Theory, Donald Gutstein skillfully documents one of the most important but least recognized political developments in the last thirty years: the prolonged propaganda campaigns mounted by business to change our minds on fundamental issues of social life.
??He explores such topics as the Propaganda Century; American Roots: The Rise of the Corporate Propaganda System; The Propoganda Machine in Action: The `90s and Beyond; Delaying Action on Climate Change: Killing Medicare ? to save it? and, Targeting Corporate Propaganda’s Vulnerabilities.
??For anyone who worries that the propaganda machine might hijack the democractic process, Not a Conspiracy Theory is a must read.

“?ambitious, well-researched book?” - The Georgia Straight

ENDORSEMENTS/PRAISE

Vancouver Ltd. (1975)

“Capitalism means making capital out of anything and everything. This little refresher course should get you in the mood for Vancouver Ltd., a nasty little book that tells it like it is?. The results of Gutstein’s labours are couched in a tough, let-the-blue-chips-fall-where-they-may stuyle, and he leaves no doubt about his message: the city is being run by and for the developers and the interlocked directorates. The people have little, if any, chance.... Gutstein has done his homework, and has unearthed some very smelly deals?..Should be required reading for any interested citizen.”???The Province

The New Landlords (1990)

“Possibly because it was published by one of the smaller presses, this essential study of Asian investment in Canadian real estate hasn’t received the attention it deserves. In an evenhanded and well-written assessment of the impact of East Asian wealth on this country, Gutstein documents the startling case that without our becoming aware of it, we have become squatters in our own land. This is unfortunate. But don’t blame the Oriental investor. They only did what we invited them to do.”??--Peter C. Newman, Business Watch “Best Business Books of the Year” Roundup


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About the Author

DONALD GUTSTEIN teaches in the school of communication at Simon Fraser University and is the author of three acclaimed but controversial books: e.con: How the Internet Undermines, The New Landlords, Democracy and Vancouver Ltd. He has studied the media for more than ten years as co-director of Project Censored and NewsWatch Canada and has written many articles for magazines and online sites devoted to media and social policy. He lives in Vancouver, BC.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Political Critique of the Right Feb. 4 2010
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
With his new book "Not a Conspiracy Theory", left-wing social activist and commentator Donald Gutstein has taken dead aim at exposing what he considers the secret agenda of North American conservative think tanks. These are the deep-pocketed organizations that fund political initiatives meant to frustrate the democratic process. In the course of three-hundred pages, he mounts an relentless, full-bore attack on the economic and political practices and theories of American and Canadian neoconservatives who promote the virtues of personal freedom and less government. While a lot of the information Gutstein makes available is old hat, his interpretations are not. Written in the context of the one of the severest global downturns ever, Gutstein's book serves to remind us what neocons and libertarians actually stand for vis a vis democratically-elected government. He maintains that the hundreds of well-funded organizations like the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Heritage Group in the US openly promote the dismantling of costly government programs as a way of furthering a capitalistic agenda. According to Gutstein, the neocons of this world are strictly committed to seizing the public sector and harnessing its resources for profit. A large portion of the book is devoted to reviewing the modern history of this phenomenon, including the works of thinkers like Levi-Strauss, Hayek, Walker and Kristol. Their call for greater personal liberty, in Gutstein's estimation, is really only an attempt to assault the freedoms and securities of the common man. These are the so-called movers and shakers of society who, while claiming to be self-made autocrats, are benefiting from favourable policies established by a friendly Conservative government in Ottawa. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all Canadians to read Aug. 12 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked this book because it gives details that can be proven. It shows how Canadian politics can be manipulated to achieve outcomes in a particular party's interest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 26 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Is it a conspiracy that Gutstein cannot get this popular title reprinted by anyone? Hmmm...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I first heard of Don Gutstein in a brief magazine notice of a book release with an interesting title, the one that became the title of this book. I went to the book release at a medium sized cafe with about a hundred other people. While I cannot recommend his ability to captivate a live audience, I was impressed by the depth of his research and his obvious concern that Canadians are not being told much truth either in the press or by politicians. When I read the book I was rewarded for my patience by thoughtful, well-researched investigative reportage. In this way Gutstein is like one of Canada's Noam Chomsky-like figures: towering investigative research matched with deep historical understanding. Read this book if you want to know more about how the press and powerful elites run the show in Canada.
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