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Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children Hardcover – Aug 9 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670069078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670069071
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #307,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The assault on childhood in our corporate-dominated and profit-driven society, painfully dissected in this penetrating study, is a tragedy not only for the immediate victims but for hopes for a better future. It can be resisted, as Joel Bakan discusses. And it is urgent not to delay." --Noam Chomsky

"To be a child today, even inaffluent countries like ours, is no longer a time of innocence, idyll and discovery, as Bakan reveals in Childhood Under Siege. Most children today grow up on a planet in which billions of tons of toxic chemicals have been poured into the air, water and soil; in a big city where the opportunity to encounter nature has been replaced by concrete, fast cars, video games and shopping malls; in a world in which childhood represents a marketing challenge and opportunity. Read this important book and then start working for change." -- David Suzuki, co-author of The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature

About the Author


JOEL BAKAN is an internationally recognized and award-winning scholar and teacher who has worked on landmark legal cases and government policies. His bestselling book The Corporation was made into an award-winning documentary. He lives in Vancouver.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so surprised that I am the first one writing a review. This may be the most important book you have read. The Coporation by Joel Bakan is a by now sort of a classic, but this may be even more important book. If corporations can do to children all the things that the book describes how can anyone expect that they will do any better to the rest of us and to our planet.

Bakan makes an argument in the previous book that corporations by their design are acting as psychopats, which means they lack morals. This book should strongly reinforce this message and it, hopefully, will hit home. We may not care about many other things but how can we don't care about our children?

Probably the most important argument Bakan makes is that parents today have been convinced that they should fear about children physical safety, thus becoming over protective, possibly at the expense of children development. But, at the same time, and through the same tactics, they are lulled to be agreeable to much more serious, but not imminent and violent threats that damage their childrens psyche and often their both mental and physical health.
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Format: Hardcover
I find Childhood Under Siege totally relevant and ultra important as a mom of three teenagers. I intend to use this to help me address the depression, cutting, cyber-bullying and other issues that my kids and their friends are dealing with. They need to be shown the bigger picture - that popular media is not normal, safe or cool, even if it's cutting edge stuff. Big business is a game, and just like in the Hunger Games, the leaders want to play us like pawns.

As an inventor of an educational toy I was disappointed at the major toy co's dumbing down of toys and the cutthroat nature of the toy business. I've exhibited at the New York Toy Fair a few times and was shocked at how cold, corporate, and male dominated it felt compared to the American Specialty Toy Retailer Association (aka ASTRA, for small businesses) tradeshows. Mattel, Hasbro, and others have enclosed booths for closed meetings only, and services are minimal so you have to fend for yourself. ASTRA, on the other hand provides better services for its members during their show. With either show, the smaller business booths are open and inviting. Another show that is much better is the Craft & Hobby Association shows, which feel like they are run by moms - they have great catering, music, "make it and take it" demos at the booths, and fun classes. I used to wonder "What's up with the major toy companies?!!"

Then I read a book that helps explain its coldness and greed - Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel.

I tell my kids the truth and now they help their friends and peers who are dealing with depression, cutting, etc. It's not easy to get through to kids whose parents don't care what they watch or play. But they see that we care about them and that helps. Hopefully, set free from broadcasted lies, they can then have a future.

It would be great if Joel Bakan could speak at schools.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Under Siege Dec 16 2013
By thebigreader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I received this book for free as a Goodreads Giveaway. I was very impressed with this book. Each chapter goes into great detail about different ways that Corporate America is going after children.....whether it's through commercials/ marketing, pharmaceutical companies, education ideas, labor laws, etc. It was eye opening and informative. I really enjoyed it and am passing it along to others. I would recommend this book if you have children in your life, or will at some time in the future.