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Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back | [Douglas Rushkoff]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

A captivating book that reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life - including our inner lives - and what to do about it.

Something has gone terribly wrong. Unquestionably, but seemingly inexplicably, we now live in a world where the market has infiltrated every area of our lives.

In Life Inc., brilliant and charismatic cultural theorist Douglas Rushkoff argues that we no longer know who we are, or what we want. Everything, especially authenticity, is branded. Real community and real intimacy have broken down, replaced by market-tested cures for everything from weight, to conception, to poverty, to food, to finding a mate. The market, and its operating system, Corporatism, is no longer something people build and control. Rather, it builds and controls us.

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. As Rushkoff puts it, "Micro-decisions are what matter."

©2009 Douglas Rushkoff; (P)2009 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"This is a provocative and controversial look at the dark side of corporatist effects on our economy. Douglas Rushkoff explores the various ways, some you may never have considered, that innovation and commerce can be stunted by corporations. Whether or not you agree, you will find this book challenges some of our basic assumptions about how our economy works." (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe)
"There are few more important subjects in the West today than the corporatization of public and personal space and few writers as well-suited to the subject as the always insightful and provocative Doug Rushkoff. A terrific contribution to an urgent debate." (Naomi Wolf)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Shannon honolulu, HI, USA 10-26-09
    Shannon honolulu, HI, USA 10-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I very much appreciated this book"

    This is such a great book.

    I appreciate the author's passionate point of view that corporatism has come to dominate our modern lives. It is slightly depressing...okay...VERY depressing. But the book is wonderfully written, thought provoking, and inspires change (even if just in my own little life).

    I like that the author was the narrator, he adds a lot of zest in the telling of the saga of corporatism.

    I highly recommend this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 06-26-09
    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 06-26-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He whines about everything"

    I have enjoyed Rushkoff's PBS Frontline specials in looking at American media. I was not expecting an entire book connecting every company to Nazi Germany. Buy a Starbucks... Fascist. Purchase a nice home in the suburbs, connection to Nazis.
    He wants to demonize the corporation... and really all companies and promotes the idea of the State making those decisions for us for a more equal and Marxist way of life. He ignores that individuals have the choice to drink a Starbucks or a choice to drink tap water. He views all of life as an uptown New Yorker and thinks that all white people have the same values that he has had and he now feels guilty for being richer than those in the slums. Somehow, this is not his fault, it is the corporations that have brainwashed into beliefs that he would not have otherwise had.
    This is the first Audible book that I have wanted a refund on in over three years.


    29 of 60 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jahn-Takeshi MaastrichtNetherlands 10-02-09
    Jahn-Takeshi MaastrichtNetherlands 10-02-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trivial and boaring"

    This is a multi-hour journalistic mishmash of history and ideology.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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