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Chapter one is a stunning and chilling review of the research, refinement, teaching and employment of torture by the United States. The CIA MK-Ultra experiments are detailed and their relationship to actual interrogation techniques are explored. The Evil Empire is pretty much laid bare.

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I liked Klein's Shock Doctrine. She definitely provides much food for thought. Her research is impeccable, penetrating, and deep; Klein has a good work ethic, and does a good job and highlighting (and making understandable!) right-wing Chicago School politics.
A slight critique: I think her subject matter is too sprawling. She's examined how Chicago School politics was applied—everywhere. At times, I felt that there was just too much topic to cover sufficiently within the pages of this book. Although it's not a bad thing, really, to have too much information; sometimes, though, it can be a distraction rather than a boon to the subject matter.
 

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Reading this made me feel like Winston reading Emmanuel Goldstein's book in Orwell's "1984" for the first time.. it confirmed much of what I was already starting to understand about the forces shaping the world during my lifetime, but articulated it as I never could have.
This book will make you sad. It will make you feel enlightened. It will make you angry. Most of all, it will make you want to get up and do something.
Here's why The Shock Doctrine is a great book:
One of the most striking things you will find is the sheer amount of care, detail, research, and WORK that went into writing it. Like any great book, the amount of time and effort that went into it is completely disproportionate to the amount of money, attention, or fame that Klein would receive from having written it (although she has, deservedly, become quite famous). She wrote this book for a bigger purpose--she wanted the world to know the truth, and I do sincerely believe that people will be reading, thinking of, and referring to it for a long time to come.
**Spoiler Alert**
For further proof this is a great book, I've posted some of my favorite lines:
"The World Bank and the IMF, financed through contributions by their initial forty-three member countries, were given the explicit mandate to prevent future economic shocks and crashes like the ones that had so destabilized Weimar Germany" ... "John Maynard Keynes, who headed the UK delegation, was convinced that the world had finally recognized the political perils of leaving the market to regulate itself."
"The colonization of the World Bank and the IMF by the Chicago School was a largely unspoken process, but it became official in 1989 when John Williamson unveiled what he called the 'Washington Consensus'" ... "When the list was complete, it made up nothing less than Friedman's neoliberal triumvirate of privatization, deregulation/free trade and drastic cuts to government spending" ... "Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and one of the last holdouts against the new orthodoxy, wrote that 'Keynes would be rolling over in his grave were he to see what has happened to his child'". (p 203)
"According to a 2006 study, 90 percent of China's billionaires (calculated in Chinese yuan) are the children of Communist party officials." (p 240)
"After more than a decade since South Africa made its decisive turn toward Thatcherism, the results of its experiment in trickle-down justice are scandalous:
-Since 1994, the year the ANC took power, the number of people living on less than $1 a day has doubled, from 2 million to 4 million in 2006
-Between 1991 and 2002, the unemployment rate for black South Africans more than doubled, from 23 percent to 48 percent." (p 271)
"Forty percent of an oil company comparable in size to France's Total was sold for $88 million (Total's sales in 2006 were $193 billion). Norilsk Nickel, which produced a fifth of the world's nickel, was sold for $170 million--even though its profits alone soon reached $1.5 billion annually. The massive oil company Yukos, which controls more oil than Kuwait, was sold for $309 million; it now earns more than $3 billion in revenue per year."
"The banks ran the auctions, but they also bid in them--and sure enough, the oligarch-owned banks decided to make themselves the proud new owners of the previously public assets" ... "In other words, the Russian people fronted the money for the looting of their own country." (p 293)
"Despite the fact that Russia's Constitutional Court once again ruled Yeltsin's behavior unconstitutional, Clinton continued to back him, and Congress voted to give Yeltsin $2.5 billion in aid. Emboldened, Yeltsin sent in troops to surround the parliament and got the city to cut off power, heat and phone lines to the parliament building." (p 286)
 

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A dumbfounding, explosive, meticulously-documented account of what the jacket copy calls "the dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free-market economic revolution." Tracing an unbroken arc from the wave of U.S.-backed coups accompanied by economic reconstruction in Latin America's democracies in the early 1970's through present-day realities in post-tsunami Sri Lanka, post-Katrina New Orleans and post-Gulf War Iraq, Klein shows how the relentless imposition of radical capitalist principles has shattered thriving economies, crippled democracy, and heightened wealth disparity to the point of creating a permanent underclass "everywhere the Chicago School crusade has triumphed" -- which is almost everywhere on the planet (China, Russia, South Africa and the Middle East all have their chapters). Through the lens of this critique the last thirty-five years of global history are bleakly and disturbingly comprehensible. Klein is a powerful and persuasive writer, and while this book is almost unendurably distressing she does end on a faintly optimistic note. I've already bought a copy to lend out, before I even returned the one I have checked out from the library; this is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the current state of the world.  

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The Shock Doctrine is an invaluable resource in economics, law and social geography.

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Not even a single page avilable...this is so non-commerce, so liberal...Congrts Klein

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Neo-liberal economics has been around for more than 50 years and the 'shock doctrine' has been at work since the age of empire, running out of European capitalism, first, then American and later Japanese. There is little difference between laissez-faire capitalism in the 19th century and neo-liberal free market economics apart from the more globalised context.......in fact the classic example, the 'Opium Wars' fought by Britain against China in the 19th century, were fought in the name of 'free trade' .....the right of British firms to sell the opium they had grown in India onto the Chinese market, demanding tea and silver in return.....naturally the Chinese thought this trade despicable and refused, but the gunboats were sent and two wars were fought.....during the second one, the Summer Palace was looted by the British and French armies, then burned to the ground....and the Emperor was forced into a humiliating treaty....there were even Naomi Kleins of that period, in the British Quaker merchants and others who wanted trade freely with China and opposed the drug wars fought by Her Majesty's Government......Parihaka 

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I teach sociology and now use this material when I lecture on deviance. Easily one of best five books I have read.

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Great pattern recognition, great coeur-rage and great writing! I hope you turn your big brain next to the failure of the left to address the hegemony that propels all these "doctrines"...patriarchy. Take the pattern recognition 2,000 years back to the radical root - and then we might have some REAL "change". 

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Outstanding book. Klein made an incredible research, provided vast amounts of information, and delivered it all in well thought out book. Well written and highly descriptive. Five stars.

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