The Shock Doctrine

By Naomi Klein,

Book cover of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Book description

'Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell' John le Carre

Around the world in Britain, the United States, Asia and the Middle East, there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos; exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally remake our world in their image. They are…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Shock Doctrine as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Klein’s first chapter tells the disturbing story of Dr. Ewan Cameron, the eminent psychiatrist who ran the Allan Memorial Institute associated with McGill University, and whose experimental treatment, partly funded by the CIA, incorporated ECT, sensory deprivation, LSD into a research program designed to erase patients’ memories.

Especially intriguing for the way it links this story to a bold account of how efforts to reprogram people at a deep level were linked to the spread of new forms of capitalism in the late 20th century. This is history as told by an activist, in ways that academic historians are not…

From Andreas' list on the history of torture.

I found Naomi Klein’s argument that situations of shock and violence are seized upon and exploited by politicians and corporations to enact rapid corporate makeovers and privatize public services to be exactly what happened in Detroit when an “emergency manager” appointed by the governor began privatizing public services to the detriment of the city population. I think everyone who reads Klein’s elegant and persuasive explanation of disaster capitalism will see it happening around them.

From Dora's list on cities and urban decline.

In this breathtaking and extremely well-researched bestseller, Naomi Klein shows how political and economic elites utilized and manufactured crises in dozens of countries around the globe since the 1950s in order to push through an extreme capitalist agenda, ranging from regime change operations of the CIA and the US military to pretended “disaster relief” programs in the wake of natural catastrophes. An indispensable insight into the dirty reality of global capitalism and the collusion of states and big corporations.

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