Last week, Simon and Schuster published a provocative new business book that flew to the # 3 spot in the best-seller list revealed in the 9/27/2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
The book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate, written by Naomi Klein, is a certain selection for one of us at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. Watch our web site for the exact month we will present this one.
Who is Naomi Klein? She was educated at the University of Toronto, and is known as a social activist due to her criticism of corporate globalization and her candid political analyses. She is only 44 years old, and became well known in business circles with her 2007 New York Times best-seller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Picador). In that book, she argued that those who wish to implement unpopular free market policies do so by taking advantage of particular societal segments following major disasters, including political, economic, military, or natural varieties. Her analysis was that when a society experiences a major ‘shock,’ a widespread desire for a rapid and decisive response to correct the situation follows. In the light of that desire for swift action, unethical and unscrupulous individuals have opportunities to implement policies that are self-serving and illegitimate. The shock doctrine allows such responses, including manufactured policy changes, to go into immediate effect.
You can read an interview published on September 25, 2014, on Slate.com, about her new book, by clicking here. Note that the bottom of the interview contains two important corrections.
In This Changes Everything, Klein argues that the climate crisis provides a challenge for us to abandon free-market thinking, restructure the global economy, and rethink current political systems.
This descriptive paragraph about the book comes from Amazon.com: “Climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.“
And, later on the same site, “Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.”
You can bet this book will produce many stimulating conversations. Watch the major editorial pages of national business magazines and newspaper sections. I am sure that some will include personal attacks on her own credibility. Time will tell what is actually true.
Remember that we do not select books to present at the First Friday Book Synopsis that we agree with. And, we don’t try to get you to agree with the books we select. We are merely reporters – transferring the information in an objective manner from the author to our audience.
But, when we do this one, I would sure like to stand in the hallway to listen to our attendees talk about it.