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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Naomi Klein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,533931,495 (4.19)110
Member:Byenia
Title:The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Authors:Naomi Klein
Info:Picador (2008), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 720 pages
Collections:Favorites
Rating:****1/2
Tags:capitalism, war, greed, exploitation, United States, crime, politics, economics, journalism, ANC, Latin America, Sri Lanka, media, Iraq, military contractors, dictators, Pinochet

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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein (2007)

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» See also 110 mentions

English (86)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All (92)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
I read this book over the course of a year. Not because it was particularly heavy going, or slow, but simply due to the sheer momentousness of the things being said. What Naomi Klein has achieved here is a staggering overview of an insidious global phenomenon, disaster capitalism, which just might be one of the most potent driving forces in world economics of the past fifty years. Starting from a basic premise that the confusion immediately following periods of shock puts people in a malleable state, economists led by the Chicago School teachings of Milton Friedman began applying the principle to whole countries, seizing on periods of mass shock (wars, coups, natural disasters etc) to force through radical free-market reforms and privatisations of state assets while the populations were still reeling from the aftermath. Klein charts this process from its genesis in South America to the post-Communist regions of Eastern Europe to the reconstruction fiascos in Iraq, Sri Lanka and New Orleans, showing how the unifying factor in each case was the desire of a select few to make obscene profits from the misery and suffering of untold millions.

It's a horrendous picture and in Klein's hands it's utterly convincing. The devastation sown in the wake of these disasters is all too real to ignore, yet it is only through the unifying lens of Friedman's theories that it begins to make some sort of sense. Disaster and chaos come to be seen not as destabilising forces but golden opportunities, at least for those in the position to take advantage of them. For the rest of us the results are devastating, blowing apart the ever growing gap between the rich and the poor, devastating social welfare programs, destroying communities, and driving countries into crippling debt.

It's rare that I ever read a book that has such a profound impact on my very world view, but this is such a book. I urge anyone at all interested in real world events to read this book immediately. Heck, I urge everyone to read this book period. It's that good. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
I read this book over the course of a year. Not because it was particularly heavy going, or slow, but simply due to the sheer momentousness of the things being said. What Naomi Klein has achieved here is a staggering overview of an insidious global phenomenon, disaster capitalism, which just might be one of the most potent driving forces in world economics of the past fifty years. Starting from a basic premise that the confusion immediately following periods of shock puts people in a malleable state, economists led by the Chicago School teachings of Milton Friedman began applying the principle to whole countries, seizing on periods of mass shock (wars, coups, natural disasters etc) to force through radical free-market reforms and privatisations of state assets while the populations were still reeling from the aftermath. Klein charts this process from its genesis in South America to the post-Communist regions of Eastern Europe to the reconstruction fiascos in Iraq, Sri Lanka and New Orleans, showing how the unifying factor in each case was the desire of a select few to make obscene profits from the misery and suffering of untold millions.

It's a horrendous picture and in Klein's hands it's utterly convincing. The devastation sown in the wake of these disasters is all too real to ignore, yet it is only through the unifying lens of Friedman's theories that it begins to make some sort of sense. Disaster and chaos come to be seen not as destabilising forces but golden opportunities, at least for those in the position to take advantage of them. For the rest of us the results are devastating, blowing apart the ever growing gap between the rich and the poor, devastating social welfare programs, destroying communities, and driving countries into crippling debt.

It's rare that I ever read a book that has such a profound impact on my very world view, but this is such a book. I urge anyone at all interested in real world events to read this book immediately. Heck, I urge everyone to read this book period. It's that good. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
A thick book detailing disaster capitalism from its South American roots to the current day.
As always Klein is unflinching and poignant. ( )
  SadieRuin | Jun 21, 2016 |
Anyone defending laissez-faire capitalism after the publication of this is an utter idiot, period. ( )
  AlienIndie | May 20, 2016 |
life changing
this book os a wakeup call to evrryone ( )
  troyka | May 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
The Shock Doctrine shows in chilling detail how the free market has been backed up with violence over the last 30 years. I suspect it has stirred up a debate already.

 

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Kleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltsie, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Any change is a change in the topic. -Cesar Aira, Argentine novelist, Cumpleanos, 2001
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For Avi, again
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I met Jamar Perry in September 2005, at the big Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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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.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312427999, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An introduction to the concept of "disaster capitalism" offers an expos of how the global "free market" has exploited crises, violence, and shock over the past three decades to promote radical privatization that benefits large corporations and powerful interest groups.… (more)

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