The Shock Doctrine
The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
By Naomi Klein
In her groundbreaking 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-[Hurricane] 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 so 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 fifty years.
“Naomi Klein is in the best tradition of I.F. Stone and Upton Sinclair, a muckraker who digs in where others accept the surface.”—Studs Terkel, author of Working
“This is a brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long time.”—Howard Zinn
“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 Capitalism: A Ghost Story
“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
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