Glory halleluiah, I finished The Shock Doctrine.
Oops, did that news knock you over? Let me help you up.
If you’ve ever watched The Inconvenient Truth, you might remember how that movie went on and on, crushing you further into the couch with more and more bad news until you had to call up your friends who had already seen it and BEG them to promise there was a happy ending, a rainbow, a compact flourescent lightbulb at the end of the tunnel. And there was… a glimmer… at the very, very, very last moment.
The Shock Doctrine is like that. There may actually be hope for the world, but you have to get through about six billion pages of money-grubbing, war-mongering, conflict of interest stories first. You have to read about gruesome torture and corporate conspiracies and more corruption than you ever thought possible.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I do have to say that this is one of the top five non-fiction books I’ve ever read, and I can’t think of a better one. I actually think I’m smarter than I was when I started it. I finally understand at least something about the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and the turbulent histories of a dozen different countries. I’ll watch the news differently from now on. (Okay, I hate the news. But if I did watch it, I’d watch it differently.)
I think part of Naomi Klein’s purpose in writing the book must have been to pre-shock, or shock-proof, her readers. No one will finish the book and look at corporations, public-private partnerships, wars, disaster relief plans, or government contracts the same way, ever. She’s breeding a flock of prepared and sceptical citizens.
And so, despite all my complaining, I highly recommend the read. And if anyone would like to read it and vent his/her reactions in the comments here, please feel free!
I did notice the book is out in softcover now, and looks a little less intimidating.