The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

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Knopf Canada, Mar 18, 2009 - Political Science - 672 pages

The shock doctrine is the unofficial story of how the "free market" came to dominate the world, from Chile to Russia, China to Iraq, South Africa to Canada. But it is a story radically different from the one usually told. It is a story about violence and shock perpetrated on people, on countries, on economies. About a program of social and economic engineering that Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism."

Based on breakthrough historical research and 4 years of reporting in disaster zones, Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically, and that unfettered capitalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy. Instead, she argues it has consistently relied on violence and shock, and reveals the puppet strings behind the critical events of the last 40 years.

"The shock doctrine" is the influential but little understood theory that in order to push through profoundly unpopular policies that enrich the few and impoverish the many, there must be a collective crisis or disaster—real or manufactured. Klein vividly traces the origins of modern shock tactics to the economic lab of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman in the 60s, and beyond to the CIA-funded electroshock experiments at McGill in the 50s which helped write the torture manuals used today at Guantanamo Bay. She details the events of the recent past that have been deliberate theatres for the shock doctrine: among them, Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and, more recently, the September 11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. And she shows how—in the hands of the Bush Administration—the "war on terror" is a thin cover for a thriving destruction/reconstruction complex, with disasters, wars and homeland security fuelling a booming new economy. Naomi Klein has once again written a book that will change the way we see the world.

 

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User Review  - dypaloh - LibraryThing

A public policy book belonging to the horror genre, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is an impassioned chronicle of greedy, violent misbehavior. Her purpose is to publicize and dissect the “Chicago ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - joannajuki - LibraryThing

My brother was given acid and then bullied and then given about 30 shock treatments for depression while in the US army. I guess I won't send him this book wrapped in gold at Christmas. Read full review

Contents

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Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and international bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Published worldwide in September 2007, The Shock Doctrine is being translated into 20 languages. The six-minute companion film, created by Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice Biennale and the Toronto International Film Festival and became a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times.

Her first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was also an international bestseller, translated into over 28 languages with more than a million copies in print. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, was published in 2002.

Naomi Klein writes a regular column for the Nation and the Guardian that is syndicated internationally by the New York Times Syndicate. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s magazine won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Also in 2004, she co-produced The Take with director Avi Lewis, a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories. The film was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best International Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s film festival in Los Angeles.

She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College in Nova Scotia.

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