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Harry

San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Douglas Rushkoff
    • Narrated By Douglas Rushkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Douglas Rushkoff, in tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a preexisting condition of our world, from the history of public relations to the relentless gentrification of America's urban neighborhoods. And he shows us how to fight back: how to de-corporatize ourselves, disengage from branded expectations, think locally, and return to the real world of human activity.

    A. Yerkes says: "Accessible Indictment of the Lost American Dream"
    "An unenlightening, oversimplified rant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book. I'm politically sympathetic to the author's positions, it was reviewed well, and I was interested in the subject, particularly the "how to take it back" portion.

    My hopes were dashed when I discovered an endless rant blaming every social, economic and political ill that the world knows on corpratisim. The views were comically one sided, not even bothering to present counterarguments in order to refute them, and the world is depicted in large, simplistic strokes using the sort of black and white morality favored by children.

    The book is an enumeration of what Rushkoff doesn't like about the world (including but not limited to the banking crisises, worker exploitation, stagnent wages, new age spiritualism, and isolation) and how each of these things can be blamed on the corporate structure.

    There were a few juicy historical tidbits scattered here and their and one interesting argument regarding the nature of centralized fiat currency, but they were rare gems in an otherwise dull slog of a book.

    Most disappointing of all was the extremely light "what you can do about it" chapter, tacked on to the end as an afterthought. It can be summed up as "volenter rather than donate"

    Skip this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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