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Title    Author    Year    Contributors
The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine

Author: Naomi Klein

Year Published: 2007

Description: After reporting from Baghdad at the height of the Iraq War, Southeast Asia after the devastating tsunami in 2005 and New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Klein develops a thesis on the relationship between capitalism and democracy in which she argues that free-market economic reforms, like those favored by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, can only be embraced by a democratic populace if it experiences some sort of crisis, like a terror attack, natural disaster, or war. The book made Klein an intellectual superstar of the activist left. Her thesis is rooted in a comparison to the medical effects of shock therapy treatment, which can render an individual's personality open to manipulation. She traces examples of the pattern of crisis followed by free-market reforms through several decades, writing about the Pinochet regime in Chile, Margaret Thatcher's Falklands War, and the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

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What Others are Saying

'Once you accept that profit and greed as practiced on a mass scale create the greatest possible benefits for any society, pretty much any act of personal enrichment can be justified as a contribution to the great creative cauldron of capitalism, generating wealth and spurring economic growth – even if it’s only for yourself and your colleagues.'

The Shock Doctrine

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