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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism Hardcover – Sep 4 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676978002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676978001
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By E. Haensel on Oct. 1 2007
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of your current beliefs regarding free-market capitalism, I believe that most people who actually read this book, (which many of the previous reviewers clearly haven't) will find it to be an important and well-researched book.

This book can be seen as the alter-ego book to Thomas Friedman's 'The World is Flat', covering many of the same issues and specific case studies. Friedman is clearly approaching free-market globalization from an optomistic and appreciative perspective, Klien clearer believes that neo-liberal economics have been imposed on countries around the world against their will, and to great detriment to human well-being.

Whatever your political persuation, anyone who has thouroughly read both books will recognize that the 'Shock Doctrine' boasts far more supportive research, to go along with the journalistic interview that form the bulk of the actual text, than Friedman's. Additionally, Klien display's a much more accurate understanding of the technicalities of capitalism than Friedman, probably due to her education at the London School of Economics. Furthermore, whereas Friedman's book reads as a summary of the ideas the have graced the cover of many large newspapers and television shows (Friedman himself works for the New York Times) Klien perspective is novel.

Clearly, this book is a polemic, it contains strong language and makes a strong argument for a particularily damning evaluation of the role of American Academics, the American Government, and many American Foundations in the forced undercutting of democracy around the world for the purpose of creating unpopular neo-liberal make-overs.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By M. Stolte on Sept. 21 2007
Format: Hardcover
Depending on where you sit on the political spectrum, this is a book you are going to love or hate. Personally, I think Naomi Klein does an excellent job providing a historical lens on some high level political and economic decisions that are being made (largely) behind closed doors. She brings these ideas to the surface where they can be openly debated and I applaud her for that. After all, that is what makes for healthy democracy.

Having living in Korea during the "Asian flu" of 1997-98 I can honestly say that her synopsis of what happened there was exceedingly accurate; and there was no doubt in my mind that the West genuinely took advantage of a country in need to create "trade advantage", force public downsizing, and to force open borders to foreign investment. No matter what you think of her politics, this is definitely worth reading, and I for one, am the better informed for it. Thank you Ms. Klein!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By James Natu on Oct. 14 2007
Format: Hardcover
Economics is the bed-rock of society, and has precipitated more than a few political ousters. But what if economic shock therapy and regimes the world around were inherently linked?

This is the subject of Naomi Klein's latest novel.

The Shock Doctrine is a whirlwind look at history through the eyes of a dominant school of economic thought, the University of Chiacgo. It goes from South America to Europe, eventually returning home to America in cataloguing the effects of the Chicago School. By extending the Nobel-prize winning Amnesty International Human Rights report on General Pinochet's Argentianian torture regime, it adds necessary context that North Americans have lost out on.

It all came down to a flood of funding to free market think tanks from companies opposed to FDR's Keynesian New Deal, and from the lack of competition from the fall of Communism; she talks about the lack of funding and lack of a Marshall Plan for post-Soviet Russia and post-Saddam Iraq. As any free market-er knows, competition is the foundation for a healthy and innovative market.

Klein happens upon an important idea called the "Davos Dilemma", which contradicts the idea that global trade would bring world peace. She ties this in to the lack of progress in peace between the Israelis and Palestinians since the 1990s, linking that to the burgeoning homeland security bubble that Israel now offers the world with the slogan, "it's our birthright".

In the end, she says no conspiracies are required. It all comes down to companies doing their jobs, to profit their shareholders. The problem is in governments relinquishing their jobs to act in the public interest to companies with countervailing interests.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book for linking .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Puls on Jan. 18 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a scholarly, exhaustively-footnoted work by a brilliant author. Klein's underlying premise is that disciples and acolytes of neocon economist Milton Friedman and his "Chicago School" have launched an ideological crusade against the underpinnings of the progressive and developmental societies and economies that emerged after the Great Depression. The simplistic notion of the Friedmanites that if you destroy all regulation, the market will produce freedom, good and plenty, and the series of economic, social and political disasters that have swept the world as these knee-jerk crusaders have prevailed, is clearly and convincingly explored.

But far beyond being a mere chronicling of the human and economic cost of Friedmanism in countries ranging from Chile to Argentina to Russia to China to Iraq to America, "Shock Doctrine" shows how the disasters Friedmanism causes have burgeoned into a bubble that is in fact one of the fundamental drivers behind the rapid division of the world into a superwealthy superminority, and an increasingly fearful, desperate and impoverished general population, all wrapped in growing chaos. Creating fires to profit from fire sales,loot the resources, and steal the economic and political freedom of country after country has become a self-perpetuating growth industry.

Lovers of mindless conspiracy theories will be disappointed.
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