What do you think?
Rate this book
480 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2003
America! I heard everyone there carries guns. If they don't like you they'll just shoot you.There was a time when I believed reading autobiographies/memoirs/nonfiction (however 'non' it actually ended up being) of that sort would get me closer to the 'truth,' whatever that was. These days, I know that anywhere between 75%-95% of the works of that sort put out these days are written by those who don't attempt to accurately contextualize themselves in the bigger picture. That alone would be normal, but throw in how well the US publication industry works as status quo propaganda the less white and/or domestic the writer is, and you have the reason why I've been less than impressed by my reading of the autobiographies and co. that I amassed in the last decade or so. This one had its moments of insight, pathos, and even charm, but much as Li was likely only helped as much as he was due to how useful a figure he would be to the US and co. media machine during the latter days of the Red Scare, having this work published in the 21st c. with absolutely no mention of Tiananmen Square allows Neo-Euro publishers to put forth a careful mix of othering and the kind of tact that generates billions for 'Western' companies invested in building the Great Wall of Censorship. So, clearly a work that would have benefitted had I read it all the way back in 2012, but how much would have such a reading benefitted me? Enough to outweigh the unpacking I would have had to do for the next eight years? I have my doubts.
Those normal European countries (with their strong social safety nets, workers' protections, powerful trade unions and socialized health care) emerged as a compromise between Communism and capitalism. Now that there was no need for compromise, all those moderating social policies were under siege in Western Europe, just as they were under siege in Canada, Australia and the U.S.
-Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine