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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism [Kindle Edition]

Naomi Klein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (650 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global "free market" has exploited crises and shock for three decades, from Chile to Iraq
 
In her groundbreaking reporting over the past few years, Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism." Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment," losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.

The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq.

At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market shock therapies to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1073 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312427999
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (April 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003KVKQB4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
202 of 229 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
**FYI** Please note to the best of my knowledge I am NOT related to Naomi Klein.**

If you wonder what happened to the middle class, why poverty is on the rise and what the economies in a democracracy, dictatorship and "communism" have in common, you'll find lots of food for thought in Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. Tracing the rise of the "Chicago Boys" laissez-faire economic beliefs, their impact on South America, China, Russia, Poland and South Africa and how it impacted their form of government, Klein makes a compelling argument for the flaws in Milton Friedman's economic science.

Naomi Klein's book looks at the conflict between Milton Friedman's "laissez-faire" approach to business and government where business is largely unregulated running itself and government is little more than a bare bones system. According to Klein, Friedman believed that the economic theories he espoused would be perfect and that any problems with it would be due to outside forces interferring with his free market world. His approach was in complete contrast to Keynes who believed that the prime mission of politicians and economists was to prevent unemployment and avoid a depression or recession by regulating the market place. People like John Kenneth Galbraith (heir to Keynes' mantle)believed part of the purpose of economic regulation was to keep our captalist system fair and prevent a small group of businesses from dominating the market. Galbraith also believed in bills like the Glass-Steagall act which created a firewall between Wall Street and various banking institutions (which former President Clinton helped to eliminate).
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791 of 917 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is a stunning indictment of American corporatism and institutionalized globalization, on a par with such groundbreaking works as Harrington's THE OTHER AMERICA and Chomsky's HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL. Comprehensive in its breadth and remarkable for its well-researched depth, Klein's book is a highly readable but disturbing look at how the neoliberal economic tenets of Milton Friedman have been implemented across the world over the last thirty-plus years.

The author's thesis is simply stated: that neoliberal economic programs have repeatedly been implemented without the consent of the governed by creating and/or taking advantage of various forms of national shock therapy. Ms. Klein asserts that in country after country, Friedman and his Chicago School followers have foisted their tripartite economic prescription - privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in social welfare spending - on an unsuspecting populace through decidedly non-democratic means. In the early years, the primary vehicle was dictatorial military force and accompanying fear of arrest, torture, disappearance, or death. Over time, new organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank were employed instead, using or creating impossible debt burdens to force governments to accept privatization of state-owned industries and services, complete removal of trade barriers and tariffs, forced acceptance of private foreign investment, and widespread layoffs. In more recent years, terrroism and its response as well as natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis have wiped clean enough of the slate to impose these Friedmanite policies on people too shocked and focused on recovering to realize what was happening until it was too late.

According to Ms.
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366 of 427 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An important read with some shortcomings October 27, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Naomi Klein has written this book about the rise of what she calls "disaster capitalism": the global imposition/adoption of Chicago School (neoliberal) economics since the early 1970s. This is a particularly important book because, while many have written about the same topic, I have never seen it treated in a form that is both holistic (ie. a global history) and accessible (ie. largely free from the academic jargon of economics and social theory). The book does suffer from some problems however.

Klein's main thesis is problematic. She writes that the idea of economic shock therapy arose out of the same logic as Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT). This idea is to create or exploit a destructive event in order to create regression, passivity, and a 'blank slate' on which to build a new order. In supporting this thesis, Klein uses all of Part I of her book to write about psychological torture and the CIA's mind control experiments. She attempts to develop a 'poetics of torture' that links the individual violence of ECT to the structural violence that occurs when neoliberalism is imposed as a governing strategy. Klein is no poet however, and the metaphor seems to die pretty early on in the book. She does thankfully offer a more implicit thesis that she invokes more regularly and supports more thoroughly: free markets did not develop through freedom, but through authoritarian or technocratic interventions.

Secondly, Klein treats capitalism as if it were only 35 years old. Her book however is thematically similar to the work of another woman who wrote on the same issues a century before: Rosa Luxemburg. By only going as far back as the rise of Keynsianism and developmentalism, Klein makes it seem as though neoliberalism is a radical historical exception.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a gripping thriller that happens to be true ...
This is a gripping thriller that happens to be true. Journalist Klein explains how the neoliberal doctrine was developed and contiues to operate, suppressing freedom, creating... Read more
Published 3 days ago by dr. jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Disaster Capitalism, and what it means to you
Naomi Klein is a excellent writer and does a great job of explaining the role of the CIA.in shaping world history since the 70s.
Published 7 days ago by R. L. Olsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book, must read
Published 11 days ago by Kanan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An eye opening of how our government really works behind our backs.
Published 12 days ago by David R. Carlstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading.
Excellent reading.... Well written, and supported by many actual events and political facts. No matter what ones political views may be this book is a very interesting read. Read more
Published 13 days ago by T. Sweny
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
The best non fiction book I have ever read
Published 21 days ago by Tort Lawyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Difficult to read; shockingly convincing - and haunting
Published 21 days ago by M
5.0 out of 5 stars This book reinforces many of my long-held beliefs regarding the ...
This book reinforces many of my long-held beliefs regarding the destructive effects of the "global economy", while providing the results of extensive research and... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Alfred Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
insightful and comprehensive provision of a deep understanding of world events!
Published 25 days ago by keith d milne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought three for loved ones great buy and condition
Published 26 days ago by Greg B.
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More About the Author

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (2000). She writes a regular column for The Nation magazine and the Guardian newspaper and is a contributing editor at Harper's magazine. In 2004, she wrote and co-produced, with director Avi Lewis, The Take, an award-winning feature documentary about Argentina's cooperatively-run, occupied factories. She is at work on a new book and film about the (r)evolutionary power of climate change called This Changes Everything to be published in September 2014. Please visit her website at: naomiklein.org

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