Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine
advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.
"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves
Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater
After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts
New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.
There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes
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"Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell."--John le Carré
"Bold and brilliantly conceived . . . Klein may well have revealed the master narrative of our time."--William S. Kowinski, San Francisco Chronicle
"This is a brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long time."--Howard Zinn
"Klein provides a rich description of the political machinations required to force unsavory economic policies on resisting countries and of the human toll. She paints a disturbing portrait of hubris, not only on the part of Friedman but also of those who adopted his doctrines, sometimes to pursue more corporatist objectives."--Joseph E. Stiglitz, The New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant, brave, and terrifying book. It's nothing less than the secret history of what we call the 'free market.' It should be compulsory reading."--Arundhati Roy
"Pulls the curtain back on free-market myths and exposes the forces that are really driving our economy . . . Klein's book is powerful and prophetic. . . . A brilliant dissection."--Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
"Naomi Klein is one of the most important new voices in American journalism today."--Seymour M. Hersh
"The Shock Doctrine is the defining, covert history of our era."--Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army