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Publisher's Summary

In her ground-breaking reporting, Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism". Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment": losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.

The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in many parts of the world, from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia and Iraq.

At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization, combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for 50 years.

©2007 Naomi Klein (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

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Well, wonderful. Everybody is praising Naomi for her great work. After you're all done congratulating her, don't forget to dig in and get to work. Make sure everybody you know listens to this book. If only half of what she says is correct, then we are the evil empire. The evils done to the citizens of Iraq dwarf anything Hollywood can ever come up with. I am still conservative. But we need to get the spending power out of the hands of the Federal Government. We need to replace congress with men of courage and integrity who refuse funding from special interests.
Please don't say depressing, this book is infuriating and motivating. We can't afford to be depressed.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nika
  • baltimore, MD, USA
  • 09-20-09

You can't be neutral...

The book is extremely well researched and well referenced. You don't get that from the audio book but the hard copy has pages and pages of references with every assertion being footnoted and linked to the original information source. The Shock Doctrine is very factual, hard-hitting, and packed with information you won't get from the sterilized, "politically-correct" and controversy-free mainstream and thus will be hard to swallow for those used to being brainwashed. It is a must read (not just listen) for everyone considering themselves a free thinker. If you are only getting the book on audio, I would strongly recommend the unabridged version.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

If It's Bad for Humanity, It's Good for Business

While reductive by the standards of scholarly argument, this powerful polemic tempts me to "must-read" hyperbole. Klein uses the analogy of psychological shock therapy to chronicle the rise, since the 1970s, of the economic "shock therapy" (their phrase!) advocated by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School. Sounds contrived and conspiricist, but isn't. This is well reported and argued. Klein's first point is that the Chicago School's free market "counter-revolution" has never arisen naturally by democratic means. It has been foisted upon countries, from Chile to Russia, only at opportune moments of disaster, then sustained through violent state action, usually abeted by the same inner ring of U.S. contractors and advisors. Her evidence, while not comprehensive by academic standards, is wholly convincing in its demonstration of repeated patterns and key players. In every case, the result has been a disaster made deadlier by economic ideology, ground-level mismanagement, and high-level corporate looting. This grim market logic culminates in Iraq with the Bush administration's systematic dismantling of government functions to be replaced by corporations and start-ups free to operate outside of legislative, judicial, or even market constraints. Work that local companies might have done, American companies utterly fail to do at ten times the cost, then pocket their billions, shrug, and move on. This is the economic analysis of the Iraq war that has been frustratingly absent in public debate. It is made all the more coherent by Klein's larger historical context. Worse, under Bush all of this is becoming deeply institutionalized. Large sectors of our economy are coming to depend on a "new frontier" of political and natural catastrophes, terror security chief among them. This important, eye-opening work is is also very well narrated here. One of the most worthwhile audio book I've bought. And no, I am neither friend nor relative nor ideologue, just newly won admirer.

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joshua
  • maricopa, AZ, USA
  • 04-13-09


One of the most eye opening books I've read in my life. Having just read Atlas Shrugged, a very philosophically pro-capitalist book, it was very insightful to hear about the flaws within an idea which enjoys overwhelming support in the United States. Our addiction to capitalism comes at a cost, and this book examines the line between capitalism and morality that we seek to walk. Extremely well written and researched, the writer connects the dots from the CIA mind control experiments in the 50s to U.S. funded Pinochet takeover of Chile, to the Yeltsin takeover of Russia, to the desecration of the Iraqi economy, to the pro counter-terrorist modern state of Israel. Definitely an eye opener and highly recommended.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Must read

I couldn't stop listening to it, replaying it my head and looking at the news cycle in an entirely new way. She connects the economic terrorism in Latin American to Russia and Iraq.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Oliver
  • Berrien Springs, MI, USA
  • 10-17-07

Insightful and thought provoking

Klein gives the reader a lens through which the world looks strikingly different and in an eerie way makes sense. Her analysis of free market economics and its role in the brutal transformation of nations certainly has its biases. Critics will parse details to finesse deniability, but her over arching paradigm has the ring of truth. As you read reality races towards you from all quarters screaming, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Privatization, globalization and the dawning of a world suffocating on terror, staggering from one disaster to another, is the undeniable backdrop of our present reality. Klein shows how these have become the engine driving social disparities of a feudal order. She also makes a strong case for the self-perpetuating nature of these forces. Disasters are incredible opportunities for coporatists to make enormous profits with public money. Corporations fund politicians. Therefore disasters continue because there is no political will to attempt to prevent them. The people - the ordinary working class people - suffer. The rich get richer. The world becomes less safe. Fear fumigates the very air we breathe. What’s worse the free market push for privatization has begun to hollow out the public infrastructure. And the private sector has in essence scammed the people’s treasuries. Klein’s detailed examples and cogent, logical progression draws the reader in. Her matter-of-fact, straightforward style is like a breath of fresh air. The Shock Doctrine is a stunning read!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tom
  • WATERFORD, MI, United States
  • 10-08-11

read w/Confessions of an Economic Hitman books.

The book argues against Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman's economic ideas and posits that he and the Chicago school are behind much policy mayhem, where the movement largely sweeps in during real and manufactured crises to force radical change on nations. The chapter on psychiatric shock therapy is a nice analogy for the author's claims with the covert experiments conducted by the psychiatrist Ewen Cameron in collusion with the Central Intelligence Agency. Then Klein details Friedman theories as an essential tool for authorities who have implemented aggressive/damaging free market reforms. This is an excellent companion read to the Confessions of an Economic Hitman books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michel
  • MIAMI, FLORIDA, United States
  • 06-15-11

A must read !!!

Once you will read this book you will enjoy the understanding of what is going on right now between the IMF & PIGS countries ( Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain).
you will be able to predict the next move of the Chicago boys in regards to the future of these countries...

Enjoy the reading (listening) :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Shock Therapy Macro

I loved this book, I thought I knew all the evils of Iraq and had read it all but this book took me further down the rabbit hole plus gives other example of how war and chaos are artificially manufactured to create the shock that allows leaders to manipulate the populace to warped capitalistic theories.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Book

This is absolutely a book worth reading, interesting insights and connections albeit at times far reaching. Even as a conservative I enjoyed naomi's perspectives

7 of 8 people found this review helpful