Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 672 pages, 3.55 × 2.37 × 0.56 in
Published: July 29, 2008
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676978010
ISBN - 13: 9780676978018
Read from the Book
I met Jamar Perry in September 2005, at the big Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dinner was being doled out by grinning young Scientologists, and he was standing in line. I had just been busted for talking to evacuees without a media escort and was now doing my best to blend in, a white Canadian in a sea of African- American southerners. I dodged into the food line behind Perry and asked him to talk to me as if we were old friends, which he kindly did. Born and raised in New Orleans, he''d been out of the flooded city for a week. He and his family had waited forever for the evacuation buses; when they didn''t arrive, they had walked out in the baking sun. Finally they ended up here, a sprawling convention centre now jammed with 2,000 cots and a mess of angry, exhausted people being patrolled by edgy National Guard soldiers just back from Iraq. The news racing around the shelter that day was that the Republican Congressman Richard Baker had told a group of lobbyists, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn''t do it, but God did." Joseph Canizaro, one of New Orleans'' wealthiest developers, had just expressed a similar sentiment: "I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities." All that week Baton Rouge had been crawling with corporate lobbyists helping to lock in those big opportunities: lower taxes, fewer regulations, cheaper workers and a "smaller, safer
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2009 Warwick Prize for Writing
"Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When
that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas
that are lying around."
The shock doctrine is the unofficial story of how the "free market"
came to dominate the world, from Chile to Russia, China to Iraq,
South Africa to Canada. But it is a story radically different from
the one usually told. It is a story about violence and shock
perpetrated on people, on countries, on economies. About a program
of social and economic engineering that is driving our world, that
Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism."
Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of
on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, Klein explodes the myth
that the global free market triumphed democratically, and that
unfettered capitalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy. Instead,
she argues it has consistently relied on violence and shock, and
reveals the puppet strings behind the critical events of the last
"The shock doctrine" is the influential but little understood
theory that in order to push through profoundly unpopular policies
that enrich the few and impoverish the many, there needs to be some
kind of collective crisis or disaster - either real or
manufactured. A crisis that opens up a "window of opportunity" -
when people and societies are too disoriented to protect their own
interests - for radically remaking countries using the trademark
tactic of rapid-fire economic shock therapy and, all too often,
less metaphorical forms of shock: the shock of the police
truncheon, the Taser gun or the electric prod in the prison
Klein vividly traces the origins of modern shock tactics back to
the economic lab of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman
in the 60s, and beyond to the CIA-funded electroshock experiments
at McGill University in the 50s which helped write the torture
manuals used today at Guantanamo Bay. She details, in this riveting
- indeed shocking - story, the well-known events of the recent past
that have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine:
among them, Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in
1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991; and, more recently, the September 11 attacks,
the "Shock and Awe" invasion of Iraq, the Asian tsunami and
Hurricane Katrina. And she shows how - in the hands of the Bush
Administration - the "war on terror" is a thin cover for a thriving
destruction/ reconstruction complex, with disasters, wars and
homeland security fuelling a booming new economy. Naomi Klein has
once again written a book that will change the way we see the
"The world is a messy place, and someone has to clean it up."
-Condoleezza Rice, September 2002, on the need to invade Iraq
"George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with
a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get
along so well."
From Chile to China to Iraq, torture has been a silent partner in
the global free market crusade. But torture is more than a tool
used to enforce unwanted policies on rebellious peoples; it is also
a metaphor of the shock doctrine's underlying logic. Torture, or in
CIA language "coercive interrogation," is a set of techniques
designed to put prisoners into a state of deep disorientation and
shock in order to force them to make concessions against their
will. ...The shock doctrine mimics this process precisely,
attempting to achieve on a mass scale what torture does one on one
in the interrogation cell. ...The original disaster - the coup, the
terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the
hurricane - puts the entire population into a state of collective
shock. The falling bombs, the bursts of terror, the pounding winds
serve to soften up whole societies much as the blaring music and
blows in the torture cells soften up prisoners. Like the terrorized
prisoner who gives up the names of comrades and renounces his
faith, shocked societies often give up things they would otherwise
-from Shock Doctrine
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Jacket
"Klein tracks the forced imposition of economic privatization, rife
with multinational corporate parasites, on areas and nations
weakened by war, civil strife or natural disasters….pointing an
alarmed finger at a global "corporatocracy" that combines the worst
features of big business and small government…. Klein's book
incorporates an amount of due diligence, logical structure and
statistical evidence that others lack….[P]persuasive…Provocative….
Required reading for anyone trying to pierce the complexities of
-Starred Kirkus review
"Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and
scary as hell."
-John le Carre
"Naomi Klein is one of the most important new voices in American
journalism today, as this book make clear. She has turned
globalism inside out, and in so doing given all of us a new way of
looking at our seemingly unending disaster in Iraq, and a new way
of understanding why we got there."
-Seymour M. Hersh, Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist
for The New Yorker
"This beautifully written, very readable book will change the
disgusting history it so calmly chronicles"
-Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda and
Theft: A Love Story
"Her argument is well-documented, logical, riveting, and
-Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres and
Ten Days in the Hills
"This masterful book is a measured but furious call to arms.
Naomi Klein is Antigone before the King, the antidote to
the feeling of inevitability that says that we must accept murder
as a legitimate economic policy… A spectacular triumph."
-John Cusack, actor/filmmaker
"The Shock Doctrine is, simply put, a book without
peer, an epic and riveting work whose message must be heard. With
the persistence of a journalist, in the best sense of the word, and
the rigor of a scholar, in its truest incarnation, Naomi Klein
offers nothing short of a new paradigm for understanding politics….
Her book is honest, urgent and necessary to read. Through its
eloquent writing, searing analysis and remarkable breadth, we
confront the hubris and zealotry of envisioning a blank slate and
being left, time and again, with a scorched earth. The
Shock Doctrine is an essential book; only Klein could
-Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize winning Iraq correspondent for
The Washington Post
"Naomi Klein is in the best tradition of I.F. Stone and Upton
Sinclair, a muckraker who digs in where others accept the surface.
I love her stuff and as a 20th Century man, I salute a 21st Century
-Studs Terkel, historian and author of
"A revelation! With unparalleled courage and clarity Naomi Klein
has written the most important and necessary book of her
generation. In it she exposes liars, murderers and thieves, ripping
the lid off the Chicago School economic policy and its connection
to the chaos and bloodshed around the world. The Shock
Doctrine is so important and so revelatory a book that it
could very well prove a catalyst, a watershed, a tipping point in
the movement for economic and social justice."
"Naomi Klein is an investigative reporter like no
other. She roams the continents with eyes wide
open and her brain operating at full speed, finding connections we
never thought of, and patterns which eluded us. She shows us, in
clear and elegant language, how catastrophes -- natural ones like
Katrina, unnatural ones like war -- become opportunities for a
savage capitalism, calling itself "the free market," to privatize
everything in sight, bringing huge profits to some, misery for
others. To ensure the safety of such a system, it becomes necessary
to constrict freedom, to assault human rights. The torture chambers
for some then match the torturing of the larger society. This is a
brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long
-Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United
"Naomi Klein has written a brilliant, brave and terrifying book.
It's nothing less than the secret history of what we call the 'Free
Market'. It should be compulsory reading."
-Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small
"Naomi Klein as a writer is an accusing angel. This life-saving
book, packed with thinking dynamite, provokes and instills a calm.
It reveals a striking parallel between CIA prisoner interrogation
technique and the blackmailing technique of the World Bank and
I.M.F. for imposing disaster capitalism across the world; both want
to induce by shocks a loss of identity. Hence calm is a form of
resistance. A book to be read everywhere."
-John Berger, author of G, winner of the Booker
Prize, and Ways of Seeing
"Naomi Klein's exposé is certain to be sensational…. She rips away
the 'free trade' and globalization ideologies that disguise a
conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property
for the rich few. She is brilliant on the
malevolent influence of Milton Friedman and the University of
Chicago's Economics Department in promoting global privatization.
She offers an excellent explanation for the failure to repair New
Orleans after Katrina. Hers is a long-needed
analysis of our headlong flight back to feudalism under
the guise of social science and 'freedom.'"
-Chalmers Johnson, author of The Blowback
Praise for No Logo:
"A movement bible."
-The New York Times
"Klein . . . takes the mounting anecdotal evidence and places it in
an analytical context that is articulate, entertaining and
illuminating. . . . Her Canadian perspective allows her a spacious
view of the terrain that many U.S. critics, obsessed with empire,
-The Globe and Mail
"No Logo is an intelligently written and superbly
reported account of a culture that has moved from selling products
to hawking brands . . . A couple of chapters in, your mind is
already reeling. Klein can write: favouring informality and
crispness over jargon . . .convincing and necessary, clear and
fresh, calm but unsparing."
"A riveting conscientious piece of journalism and a call to arms.
Packed with enlightening statistics and extraordinary anecdotal
evidence, No Logo is fluent, undogmatically alive
to the contradictions and omissions, and positively seethes with
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and international bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism . Published worldwide in September 2007, The Shock Doctrine is being translated into 20 languages. The six-minute companion film, created by Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice Biennale and the Toronto International Film Festival and became a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times. Her first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies , was also an international bestseller, translated into over 28 languages with more than a million copies in print. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, was published in 2002. Naomi Klein writes a regular column for the Nation and the Guardian that is syndicated internationally by the New York Times Syndicate. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s magazine won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Also in 2004, she co-produced The Take with director Avi Lewis, a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories. The film was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best International Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s film festival in Los Angeles. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor o
"Klein tracks the forced imposition of economic privatization, rife with multinational corporate parasites, on areas and nations weakened by war, civil strife or natural disasters….pointing an alarmed finger at a global “corporatocracy” that combines the worst features of big business and small government…. Klein’s book incorporates an amount of due diligence, logical structure and statistical evidence that others lack….[P]persuasive…Provocative…. Required reading for anyone trying to pierce the complexities of globalization." —Starred Kirkus review "Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell." —John le Carre "Naomi Klein is one of the most important new voices in American journalism today, as this book make clear. She has turned globalism inside out, and in so doing given all of us a new way of looking at our seemingly unending disaster in Iraq, and a new way of understanding why we got there." —Seymour M. Hersh, Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker "This beautifully written, very readable book will change the disgusting history it so calmly chronicles" —Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda and Theft: A Love Story "Her argument is well-documented, logical, riveting, and convincing." —Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres and Ten Days in the Hills "This masterful book i