Monthly Archives: June 2011


The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster CapitalismThe Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Naomi Klein book I have read. I might look out for more.

Klein starts with a clever, very intimate portrait of a Canadian woman who was given shock therapy for many years. The attempt was to erase her memory, make it like a blank slate, so that a new self could be created to replace the broken one she had. Sounds very sci-fi, really, but what horror. This woman has resorted to a strange ritual of trying to recover her memories by writing on bits of paper memory fragments that come to her out of the blue. This is the tortured self trying to piece together what had been damaged by “treatment,” an experiment fully funded by the CIA.

With this personal narrative set, Klein moves from country to country, examining dictatorships, invasions, disasters, and other nasties that have been splashed on most TV screens. She throws in astounding yet little known facts, or facts that were omitted by the perpetrators in order to support the myth of free capitalism’s shoulder to shoulder march with democracy.

It’s an intriguing book and does not apologize for its stance. Perhaps not as well written as Arundhati Roy’s The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, but the ocean of information that Klein has put together here makes it a worthy read.

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Body Bereft, first reading

Body BereftBody Bereft by Antjie Krog
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Took me longer to read this than Krog’s Selected Poems (which I liked more). Some very good poems alongside rather pedestrian ones. Worth another read to see if my views change. The last part, on Table Mountain, was more uneven than I felt it should have been.

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