The Shock Doctrine
Yesterday, I picked up Naomi Klein’s new book, The Shock Doctrine. It is something I’d been hearing about for some time, as I work with her brother, and Naomi gave a teaser with the keynote at our annual fundraising dinner this past February (video here). I’ll leave the summary to what is on the website, and point only to an interview on CBC’s The Current from yesterday and a feature on her in the Globe from the weekend. This is a book you will be hearing a lot about this Fall, so just go to your local bookstore and get a copy. Now.
I’m only a couple chapters in at this point, but already it is a reminder that Naomi is one of the best writers of our generation, with lucid prose that sucks you in, peppered with brilliant turns of phrase, but also a knack for connecting the dots in new ways that reframe contemporary debates. On the latter, what I remember from No Logo was not so much new information but a novel meta-narrative weaving information and stories together. Few writers have both the intellectual depth and writing skills to pull this off.
Thus far, the response from the Right has been tempered. The book is very well researched and my sense is there is nothing left to take a major shot at. But I’m expecting a lot of bombast in the weeks to come, since the book attacks the core of free market fundamentalism. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as negative responses are not necessarily that effective given the wholesale reframing undertaken by Klein.
UPDATE: Hereâ€™s a link to the Shock Doctrine film by Alfonso CuarÃ³n (of Y Tu Mama Tambien and Prisoner of Azkaban fame) & Naomi Klein.