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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic feudalism
This is a powerful and exceptionally well researched book which documents the economics of globalisation in frightening detail. The globalisation equation goes like this: first, sack as many of your US employees as possible, and certainly all of your employees which actually manufacture anything your company sells. Second, contract out your manufacturing to developing...
Published on April 18 2002 by C. S. Webster

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brother vs The Mommy State
This book is certainly a fascinating read, provocative, and stimulating. Those factors in and of themselves make it worth reading, because in the least, it will challenge the reader (as it did with me) to re-evaluate his or her positions on a whole range of issues. This is true even if the reader ultimately rejects some, or all, of the author's arguments.
However, I...
Published on Feb. 18 2002 by shorbe


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic feudalism, April 18 2002
By 
C. S. Webster (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a powerful and exceptionally well researched book which documents the economics of globalisation in frightening detail. The globalisation equation goes like this: first, sack as many of your US employees as possible, and certainly all of your employees which actually manufacture anything your company sells. Second, contract out your manufacturing to developing countries while putting political and economic pressure on the governments of those countries to keep the wages at below what anyone could possible live on. Your goods will be made in sweatshops under dangerous and sub-human conditions and each worker will cost you only cents an hour. Contracting out the manufacturing also conveniently distances you from the human rights violations involved. Third, import your goods back to the US and sell them for the same price or higher than you used to when they were made by Americans, but now cream in the 100's of percent higher profit margins. Fourth, pay yourself an annual bonus for increasing profits which is so large that it could support all, or most, of your sweatshop workers (in good conditions) for a decade or more of their lives. Fifth, couch your company's globalisation strategies in terms of increased efficiency and job provision in poor countries - perpetuate the myth that gobalisation is good for everyone. For an example of this equation: that "family values" company Disney pays its CEO $9,783 an hour, while their Haitian manufacturing workers get 28c a hour - at such a rate it would take a worker 16.8 years to earn the CEOs hourly income. In addition the CEO exercised $181 million of his stock options in 1996, which is enough to take care of his 19,000 Haitian workers and their families for 14 years! Welcome to the world of economic feudalism.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brother vs The Mommy State, Feb. 18 2002
By 
shorbe (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This book is certainly a fascinating read, provocative, and stimulating. Those factors in and of themselves make it worth reading, because in the least, it will challenge the reader (as it did with me) to re-evaluate his or her positions on a whole range of issues. This is true even if the reader ultimately rejects some, or all, of the author's arguments.
However, I did find Klein's ability to trip over herself in an attempt to be politically correct, as well as her incessant middle-class, white guilt to be a bit much at times, and she presented a very one-sided argument.
Klein paints a stark picture of the way consumerism runs, and if not for the last few chapters, it would be easy to come away from this book completely depressed and disillusioned with the human situation. Ultimately though, I still came away from this book with discomfort. I think this stemmed not from the corporate activity. I actually found Phil Knight to be the real Machiavellian hero of this book due to his deep and amusing understanding of human nature. My discomfort came from the glaring contradiction in Klein's philosophical and political ideologies.
In the most basic form, Klein seems to dislike globalisation because it essentially impinges on the democratic freedoms of individuals. I agree to that extent (although it also does a lot of good for people). Personally, I think the form of globalisation portrayed in her book is an abomination. The situations described at all stages of the retail industry do seem cripple and stifle individual liberties, although in certain stages, people do have more of an avenue out. Also, not to be discussed here, but Klein cleverly side steps the entire issue that the plight of the third world may not be entirely the fault of colonialism and neo-colonialism, but based on anachronistic and stagnant cultural, religious and philosophical ideals and the tacit acceptance in these and corrupt political systems. That aside though, I'm not justifying the ugly face of globalisation.
It is from here that we disagree though. Firstly, her continuous trumpeting of representative democracy seems to miss a couple of things. Firstly, representative democracy is like three wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner (or perhaps even three sheep and a wolf). By definition, it must be about the sacrifice of individual liberties to the will of the majority. I'm neither a wolf nor a sheep, so it certainly isn't to my benefit. That aside though, there is a parallel between this and the economics she describes. Those with less wealth have less economic representation than those with more, in much the same way as three wolves have more say as to the menu than one sheep.
If Klein is to talk about true freedom, then she shouldn't dismiss corporations, yet advocate states. She loves the idea of government though (so long as it's "nice"). From my reading of her book, Klein seems to hate the intrusive and draconian arm of the multi-nationals, yet has no problem with the intrusive and draconian arm of governments in a whole range of areas ranging from political correctness, labour laws, protectionism, taxation, social security, and a whole grab bag of perennial libertarian favourite annoyances. After all, whether a corporation or a government dictates my life, if the decisions are not mine, what is the difference? The difference, of course, is that Klein (and the left generally) doesn't see socialistic governments as intrusive or draconian. They're moral of course!
That is the whole point though- it's all about personal responsibility, and choice (ironically). I'm certainly no fan of Orwellian corporations and I'm no walking billboard (although, there's a fair degree of hypocritical, middle-class existence involved by patronising some corporations on a daily basis). Legislation and the tyranny of the utilitarian majority are no alternatives though, at least not if freedom is the aim. If Klein does value every person as capable of taking charge of his or her own life, then this must surely extend to all facets of an individual's life. Every individual should take charge of his or her own economics, social interactions and morality (often all in the one instance). Rights go with responsibilities though. The last thing we need is to be governed. We're not little kids in need of a governess. Of course though, I think most people really don't want individual freedom, and so whether it's church, state or corporation/logo, people need (and want) to give themselves over.
For those of us who want freedom, the Mommy State is not an improvement on Big Brother, and that's why I found Klein's book ultimately unfulfilling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent summary of the people who suffer so we can buy cheap clothes, Feb. 23 2014
By 
Nicole Chardenet "HumourFicChick" (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Logo 10th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
I found myself reading No Log on the subway ride home after a trip to the shopping mall where I spent about $70 on clothing and accessories & sort of wondered about how cheap it all was; reading about the sweatshops detailed in No Logo, I uncomfortably realized that I had just supported some of these sweat shops even though I didn't buy from any of the companies listed. I Googled on one of them when I got home and got mixed data on whether they used sweat shops; however, as cheap as these folks are - one of the reasons why I like shopping there - it's hard to argue to myself that they *don't* use Third World sweat shops.

Klein's book is well-researched and points out that there's nothing new under the sun; our attention was called to sweat shops in the '90s, but clothing companies had been using them for decades before that. No Logo isn't just about the sweat shops, though; it's also about the marketing, the "cool hunters" who are always looking to market the latest in 'cool' to a younger generation who is maybe not as mindlessly consumerist as they'd like to think; and the "ad busters" who fight back against the corporate encroachment of advertising into every available space.

The people who make our clothes (mostly women, as Klein points out) are paid <$1 an hour in many cases. Or at least they were back then. Don't know what they're making now, although the recent fire at a factory in Bangladesh indicates nothing has changed since the late '90s, if it's changed at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, Oct. 22 2013
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This book is excellent in every aspect. Informative, eye opening and even if you are not involvefd in Advertising it is a good read just for the education of media overall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Guideline for Shopping With Conscience, April 27 2000
This book changed the way I think about my environment. I notice every single billboards, and advertisements now. It even gave me the urge to deface some big chain conglomerates that put my favorite bookstores and record stores out of business. This book is quite insightful, especially with the way the chapters are laid out. It walks the reader through the process of advertisements, buying, as well as the day in the life of garment/shoe workers. It made me aware about the impact of every single purchases I make, and the ripple effect it creates. This ranks among the most important books I've ever read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of MNC Domination, May 3 2001
By 
Jameel (Toronto, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
Whether you're a high schooler just taking interest in the plight of today's Multinational Corporations, or a member of the black-bloc fighting the front lines in Quebec City, this book is a must read. Klein takes aim at the brand phenomenon by dividing her book into four effective parts; NO SPACE, NO CHOICE, NO JOBS, and NO LOGO, going deep into the brief, yet storied history of the brand phenomenon, telling us why "superbrand" corporations dominate our economy today. Klein has basically taken everything you need to know about the anti-corporate movement, sprinkled it with some personal experience and great writing style, and has jammed it into one book that needs to be read by anyone even slightly concerned with the growing dominance of today's Multinational Corporations. While the book is quite lengthy and tends to get quite extensive in terms of detail, her anecdotal use is magnificent. The use of superbrand corporations in those anecdotes, such as McDonalds, Wal-Mart and Nike will keep the average reader interested, instead of the theory x/theory y business which I tend to find quite tedious to read. It will be well worth it to invest your time in reading this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and Sobering, Jan. 9 2004
By 
Jeff Strong (Hamilton, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
No Logo is a sobering report on the current state of globalization and it's potential future impact. The nature of big business is ruthlessly criticized throughout (and rightly so), but is accomplished in such a mature and intelligent way that by the end of the book I was ready to participate in my first anti-globalization rally.
A must-have book for those seeking to understand this current phenomenon and how this process is unfolding for millions around the world.
A call to caution and economic reform, No Logo deserves a read by intelligent, thoughtful individuals concerned about the nature of society and culture at large.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you see the world differently, Feb. 6 2002
By 
Lleu Christopher (Hudson Valley, NY) - See all my reviews
No Logo is a book well worth reading no matter what your political persuasion. It will make you aware, or more aware, of just how pervasive the "branding" of the world has become. Naomi Klein's book is well-researched, well-organized and well-written. It deals with some quite complicated material, such as the interaction between various social and economic forces, while always remaining very readable and never lapsing into simplistic ideological rhetoric or academic-style jargon. No Logo documents the history of the brand in America, then goes on to explore various ways people have resisted the corporate domination of modern life. It's difficult to dispute that these are important issues. Finding a solution, however, is not such a simple matter. Klein is sophisticated enough to be skeptical of the very kind of activism she covers in No Logo. For example, she points out how boycotts of high profile companies such as Nike often benefits other equally guilty (of exploiting its Third World labor force) but lower profile companies. One question that No Logo doesn't directly tackle is whether significant curtailment of corporate power would really benefit people in the Third World. It's likely, for example, that if companies were forced to improve working conditions, they'd simply hire fewer workers. It's a complex situation, and a kind of Catch-22 for the world's poor, including those in affluent nations stuck in "McJobs". However, we can't fault Naomi Klein for not solving such a complex problem. I highly recommend No Logo as a thorough study of modern capitalism's impact on our culture. It also provides insight into a growing protest movement, one this book has certainly helped along. Most of all this book, whether you agree with all of it or not, brilliantly synthesizes many complex issues and reveals the underlying forces that connect them. It's a significant contribution to modern social theory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I may disagree, but this is a fun and valuable book, Oct. 25 2001
By 
Robert J. Crawford (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
WHile I worried that this was a simple ideological diatribe, I was very happily surprized at the intelligence and substance of Klein's book. It is a tough, well-reasoned manifesto for the anti-consumerism left of "Gen X." If you are wondering what was driving many of those protesters at the WTO and other summit meetings - most notoriously Seattle in late 1999 - then this book is the best place I know. It is part cultural critique, part economics and social policy, and partly a call to arms. Reading it has helped me to make sense of so much that I thought was simple, nihilistic anarchism. I was humbled to learn that there is far far more behind the movement than I had granted it.
In a nutshell, Klein argues that the "superbrands" - the huge corporations such as Disney and Nike - are progressively taking over virtually all "public spaces," including school curricula, neighborhoods, and all-encompassing infotainment malls like Virgin Megastores. THey are doing this in an attempt enter our minds as consumers in the most intimate ways, which Klein and others find unbearably intrusive. Moreover, she argues, as they subcontract overseas, the superbrands are leaving first-world workers behind while they exploit those in the developing world under horible conditions. It all adds up, she asserts, into a kind of emerging global worker solidarity that is developing new means (via internet exposes, protest campaigns, etc.) to push the superbrands to adopt more just policies and practices.
What was so amazing and useful for me, as a business writer looking at the same issues, is that Klein so often hones in on the underside of what I think are good and effective business practices: the development of brand values, globalisation of the production/value chain to lower prices, and the like. Often I may disagree with her take on things, but she makes too many insightful points to dismiss her and those whom she speaks for. I came to genuinely respect her as a thinker and writer.
Nonetheless, there were numerous omissions, some of which I must point out. First, while condemning exploitive labor practices in third-world sweat shops (which I do not deny exist), Klein fails to explore what the available alternatives are for these workers. Well, I went to Pakistan to examine one of the cases she addresses - children soccerball sewers - and I can say that their alternatives were all too often brick kilns or leather tanneries, both of which were far more dangerous and beyond the reach of international activists because the superbrands have nothing to do with them. Second, Klein tended to dismiss the efforts of MNCs out of hand, as weak sops designed more for PR purposes than to effect change. This is true for some groups, but again, while in Vietnam, I witnessed what I regarded as real social progress that came from the actions of a superbrand: upon hearing the demands and suggestions of a worker-safety inspector paid by adidas, Taiwanese sewing-machine manufacturers were approaching him for detailed design specifications to enhance their safety (driver-belt covers to protect against hand and hair injuries) and he had lots more ideas. However modest, that is real and concrete progress in my opinion.
Moreover, I believe that many of Klein's assertions are inaccurate or unproven. Is there really a mass movement growing out there? Is the clever defacing of huge advertisement boards really impacting pubic consciousness? Does everyone perceive the thrust of the brands as intrusive and poisonous? Is the World Trade Organization set up in a way that works in favor of the first world and against the third world? These are complex and very difficult questions. Finally, as a passionate activist, Klein rhetoric can get a bit overheated. At one point she says that IBM "otherwise impaled itself"; at another that Milton Friedman is a "architect of the global corporate takeover." What do these things mean? I may regard Friedman as a laughable free-market fundamentalist, but he is only a cloistered academic idoelogue, not a doer of any kind. Does throwing a cream pie in his face do anything more than shock adults?
In spite of these reservations, I can only applaud Klein for stirring up the pot of these issues, which provoke thought and encourage exploration, even by conservatives like me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally one to bind them all..., May 19 2002
as an environmentalist, i could see that big corporations were behind much of the political pressure to overexploit our natural resources. as a friend of people interested in international human rights and labor law, i knew that big business was somehow involved. however, it was not until i read naomi klein's "no logo" that i understood how these disparate movements have found a common enemy, thus binding them together in their battle against evil.
overdramatic? perhaps. but "no logo" is shockingly level-headed. this is not a melodrama like "fast food nation", but a carefully researched and well-constructed book about how big corporations have taken away our public spaces and public voices. the writing is clear and klein's story carries its momentum all the way to the bibliography. is there finger pointing? you bet. but klein goes beyond the usual hand-wringing theatrics, and actually documents campaigns that have succeeded in reforming some unethical business practices.
if you're a nader fan, then this good citizenship stuff is old hat. but even if you thought that bush stole the show from pat buchanan, you should read this book. it appeals to our common humanity and offers a dose of reality prozac to pull us out of the collective helplessness.
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No Logo 10th Anniversary Edition
No Logo 10th Anniversary Edition by Naomi Klein (Paperback - Nov. 24 2009)
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