Jessica's Reviews > The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
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Jul 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: kind-of-depressing, to-the-left-to-the-left, crime-and-punishment, don-t-cry-for-me, groups-of-people, leetle-boys
Read from July 10 to 28, 2010

I guess I was supposed to read this like three years ago when that was the cool thing to do, but I tend to lag behind with such things. Whatever. I'm sure it'll be a completely fun beach read to tote around this summer!
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06/01 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Phil James Anytime is the right time to read this book. It's supremely useful to understand the motivations of most governments in the world and the pressures they're under from right-wing economists.
Maybe not fun for the beach but you won't see the world the same way afterwards.


Lynn I adore Naomi Klein and listen to her a lot on Democracy Now, where she is a frequent guest. Also saw her in person a few months ago when she spoke at UC. The stuff she talks about in this book is important and totally on the money, though personally I couldn't get through the endless and meticulously detailed book since I lived through most of the events she talked about and am pretty familiar with this material. It should be required reading, however, for everyone in your generation.

It certainly isn't out of date, unfortunately - want to understand why why US tax payers had to lend money to the banks to get them through their "crisis" (instead of vice-versa) - it is in the Shock Doctrine.


Jessica Yeah, so far reading the whole Latin American section has been really good because lately I've been super down on crazy religious people and blaming them for stuff. It is super helpful to recall that the world's problems don't all come from psychotic religious fanatics, but also from greedy secular assholes! People don't need the God thing to become complete sickos. They can just rabidly believe in anything -- Jesus, Allah, communism, free-market capitalism, etc. -- and cause plenty of bloodshed and suffering that way.

Mom, remember at Walden when my Spanish teacher had us all write to Pinochet? I love picturing him opening up some envelope full of letters from Berkeley fourth-graders and being like, "Ay, dios mío, now I see the error of my ways!" So far my favorite part of this book is when Friedman is remembering how at their meeting Pinochet "was distressed at the possible temporary unemployment that might be caused" by Freidman's advised economic policy. And Klein deadpans: "At this point, Pinochet was already notorious the world over for ordering massacres in football stadiums; that the dictator was 'distressed' by the human cost of shock therapy might have given Friedman pause."

Great stuff. I'm actually really enjoying this book. It's a pretty gripping stuff, and highly readable. More of a beach book than a lot of stuff out there.


Lynn Your comment about Pinochet reminds me of when Allianz (they bought Firemens' Fund - Paul's old employer) was getting flak about having insured the nazi's concentration camps. A friend of mine commented - "I guess they carried liability insurance - god forbid that someone should get hurt."

The thing about the Shock Doctrine is that they are now doing it here - 9/11, katrina and the "rebuilding" of new orleans without any poor people, the financial meltdown. Not clear how it will play out with the spill - probably more drilling to provide more jobs to the fishermen who have lost their livelihood.


message 5: by Amy Wilder (new) - added it

Amy Wilder This is the book my favorite history professor recommended when I told her I was getting lazy and what would she recommend I read to restore intellectual vigor and revive critical thinking...I obediently downloaded to my kindle where it sits waiting for me to finish all the crap I am enjoying reading...


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

All right. I'm sold. I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years, for I adore Naomi Klein and especially liked the work she did on Iraq for THE NATION, but when Christopher Hitchens said this was one of the stupidest books ever written, I sort of lost my desire to read it. Not that I agree with Hitch on everything. I don't by a long shot. But I would never try to debate him on anything, and if he said it was stupid, why then who was I to argue. Now that I have Brian and Jessica in my corner, I'm ready to do battle. ("Cut my eye, Bri. Cut my eye.")


message 7: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica I'd go with Jessica, you, Brian and anyone on this list before I'd go with CH. What an arrogant AH.


Jessica Well, Christopher Hitchens thinks women aren't funny, so there's a decent chance he also thinks we're all stupid too. I liked this book a lot, especially the first half. If I ever pull my head out of my butt long enough, I'll write a review to explain why.


Jessica By the by, why the FUCK did they change the formatting on here so that you can't see what you're typing??? It actually makes me want to murder people. Why would they DO that?????


message 10: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica I can see what I'm typing. It must be your computer.


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