Title: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Author: Naomi Klein
First published September 18, 2007
558 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805079838 (ISBN10: 0805079831)
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein is a riveting expose of the insidious economic revolution taking place across the globe. Klein’s groundbreaking reporting from Iraq uncovered how foreign corporations were exploiting the trauma of invasion to remake the country in their own interests.
This phenomenon, known as “disaster capitalism,” is not limited to Iraq, however. Klein witnessed the same pattern in Sri Lanka after the tsunami and in New Orleans post-Katrina.
The Shock Doctrine tells the story of the free market economic revolution spearheaded by Milton Friedman, revealing how it has used moments of shock and extreme violence to implement its policies all over the world. This radical economic project, incubating for fifty years, has now culminated in the disaster capitalism complex, turning crises into opportunities for radical privatization.
Klein’s compelling narrative shows how the disaster capitalism complex has become a booming new economy, and how it is affecting people’s lives across the globe.
About the Author
Meet Naomi Klein, an accomplished journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker. Her works include the critically acclaimed No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs.
the Climate, all of which have become international bestsellers. Klein also contributes to various publications such as The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, and The Nation, where she serves as a contributing editor.
She is a respected senior correspondent for The Intercept and sits on the board of directors for 350.org, a climate-action group, as well as being one of the organizers behind Canada’s Leap Manifesto. For her outstanding work, Klein was awarded Australia’s prestigious Sydney Peace Prize in November of 2016.
Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and her vision for a new agenda that prioritizes human rights and equality has inspired people all over the world to take action.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein is a timely and important work that offers much-needed insight and analysis into the dark underbelly of modern capitalism. First published in 2007, the book examines the ways in which economic policies and theories have been used to exploit disasters and crises for private gain, creating a ruthless form of capitalism that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
Naomi Klein, an award-winning journalist and author, is a leading voice in the fight against neoliberalism and corporate greed. In The Shock Doctrine, she provides a meticulously researched and powerful account of how free-market ideology has been used to justify heinous acts of violence and exploitation, from the CIA-backed coup in Chile to the post-Katrina restructuring of New Orleans.
The book is split into three parts, each exploring a different aspect of the shock doctrine. Part One, “The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” traces the origins of the doctrine and its ideological underpinnings.
Part Two, “The Blank Slate,” looks at how international institutions like the IMF and World Bank have used economic shocks to impose neoliberal policies on developing countries. Part Three, “Democracy Born in Chains,” examines the ways in which shock tactics have been used to undermine democratic institutions and restrict civil liberties.
Klein’s writing is a masterclass in investigative journalism, drawing on interviews, historical documents, and extensive research to create a compelling narrative that is both informative and disturbing. She provides detailed accounts of the real-world consequences of these policies, from the privatization of public services to the exploitation of disaster victims.
Perhaps the greatest strength of The Shock Doctrine is its relevance to contemporary issues. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Klein’s insights into how crises can be exploited by the powerful for their own gain are more important than ever.
The book is also a powerful indictment of the neoliberal economic policies that have dominated global politics for the last four decades, providing a roadmap for a more equitable and just future. If there is one weakness to The Shock Doctrine, it is that the book can be overwhelming at times, as Klein delves deep into the complexities of economic theory and policy.
However, this is a minor quibble that is outweighed by the book’s many strengths. Overall, The Shock Doctrine is an essential read for anyone interested in the intersection of economics, politics, and social justice.
It is a powerful indictment of the ways in which power can be abused, and a call to action for a better, more humane world. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.