In this groundbreaking book, the bestselling author of "No Logo" exposes the gripping story of how America's 'free market' policies have come to dominate the world - through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq's civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater. After a powerful tsunami devastates the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts. New Orleans' residents, still scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened.These events are examples of what Naomi Klein calls 'the shock doctrine': the use of public disorientation following massive collective shocks - wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters - to push through unpopular economic measures often called 'shock therapy'.
Sometimes, when the first two shocks don't succeed in wiping out all resistance, a third is employed: that of the electrode in the prison cell or of the Taser gun. Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, "The Shock Doctrine" explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Disaster capitalism - the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies that are reeling from shock - did not begin with September 11, 2001.Klein traces its intellectual origins back fifty years to the University of Chicago's economics department under Milton Friedman, whose influence is still felt around the world. She draws new and surprising connections between economic policy, 'shock and awe' warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s; research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.
As Klein shows how the deliberate use of the shock doctrine produced world-changing events from Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973 to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, she tells a story radically different from the one usually heard. Once again Naomi Klein has written a book that will reframe the debate.
Winner of Warwick Prize for Writing 2009.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker. Her first book, the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was translated into 28 languages and called "a movement bible" by The New York Times. She writes an internationally syndicated column for The Nation and The Guardian and reported from Iraq for Harper's magazine. In 2004, she released The Take, a feature documentary about Argentina's occupied factories, co-produced with director Avi Lewis. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King's College, Nova Scotia. www.naomiklein.org