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'Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell' John le Carré
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 the shock doctors.
Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors' beliefs now dominate our world - and how this domination has been achieved. Raking in billions out of the tsunami, plundering Russia, exploiting Iraq - this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed.
'Packed with thinking dynamite ... a book to be read everywhere' John Berger
'If you only read one non-fiction book this year, make it this one' Metro Books of the Year
'There are a few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books' John Gray, Guardian
'A brilliant book written with a perfectly distilled anger, channelled through hard fact. She has indeed surpassed No Logo' Independent
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.