No LOGO

ISBN: 0312421435
ISBN 13: 9780312421434
By: Naomi Klein

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Business Culture Economics Favorites History Non Fiction Nonfiction Politics Sociology To Read

About this book

28-year-old writer and journalist Naomi Klein describes that much-maligned, much-misunderstood generation coming up behind the slackers. Theirs is a world in which all that is alternative is sold, where innovation is adopted by faceless corporations.

Reader's Thoughts

matt

(drastically condensed reaction)It's a good start to a larger, overarching leftist critique of the way we live now. Klein does a fine job of explaining and exhuming many of the classic discontents of Capitalism, let alone the free-market nuttiness we've come to know. It's worth reading simply for the shedding of some further light on many of the social conditions we seem to take for granted.The trouble is, she doesn't seem to have much to offer in the way of a viable, significant response- an alternative program. She makes the point (sort of over-makes it, to my mind) about culture jamming and such and it sure sounds cool and interesting and worthwhile. It's just that it's also more than a little cosmetic and somewhat self-congratulatory and ultimately rather ineffective. There isn't much in the way of *constructive* criticism, not to patronize the book to death, in that there are many ills correctly and articulately diagnosed but not much in the way of remedy. This is a problem, especially since the argument is known pretty widely in a general way and therefore the need for some kind of counter-program is all the more pressing.I am going to try Disaster Capitalism one of these days and maybe it will have more of a bolder, tougher, more necessary impact.\ten years after this book's breakthrough success, we've seen many of its concerns rear their ugly head and make so huge and unmistakable and infinitely complex a mark that, discouragingly, it seems we're (people of the left, that is, those may take a lot away from this book and the already converted it preaches to) still standing at square one- acknowledgment- and gazing up at this monolith, and taking the temperature....

Justin Mitchell

Another one of those books that I think I would have loved eight to ten years ago...but the thing is that most everything Klein says in this book seems pretty tired and obvious. Granted, this is probably because of the firestorm this book caused, or, more specifically, was contemporary with, and the inundation of our political discourse with anti-globalization, anti-neoliberal critique and debate, but I still generally didn't feel like anything she had to say was quite the revelation that she thought it was. By far the most interesting section was the new introduction to the 10th anniversary edition, discussing, among other things, Barack Obama as a triumph of branding. Additionally, Klein as well as the movement which this book is associated with are real weak on the "what-now?" aspect. I've grown really weary of these relentless attacks on the status quo and this equally amorphous "next step" that nobody seems able to understand or explicate. Until that comes, no real forward progress is going to be made. I saw Klein do a talk a couple months ago, and it was kind of the same thing: lots of piling on corporations and the machinations of unfettered capitalism, but a calculated dodging of any questions about what is supposed to replace it. It's the single biggest failure of this movement and this sort of thinking: too focused on what it is fighting, and not on itself and what it even is. But maybe that's what it is by nature, maybe the whole idea is people step away from ideologies and instead learn to weigh what is true and what is not. I don't know. In addition, Klein's tone when talking about the at-the-time-burgeoning anti-globalization speaks of some incredible paradigm shift right around the corner. The last ten years have shown that that didn't happen--that all the trappings of that movement became hip for a while but didn't lead to much. It's disappointing, and I can't help thinking that it's this lack of an ability to understand what it is that really can be done, beyond partying and hanging posters, that is the most frustrating thing about anti-globalization in general: it's all about symbolic resistance over actual resistance. In its own way, it's as much about image as what it attacks.

L-baus

This book is amazing. It was my bible for awhile. It is an exteremely comprehensive look at advertising, corporate culture, globalisation and anti-corporate activism. It reminds of the things that were important to me in my activisty time and college, why I wanted to go to law school and what I hoped to accomplish. It instills a sense out outrage and inspires one to do more.

Renata

Loved it. Incredibly important, compelling material but also very accessible. Seriously sickening stuff, though--like a living wage in China would be 87 cents/hour, but instead most garment factories pay more like 13 cents/hour? And have 400% profits? But there is hope, too, whew, and it's there in the last few chapters.

Guy

This book was an eye-opening confirmation of my own concerns and criticism of the false economy called good business in the popular media. It provides solidly researched and biographical evidence of how the current practices of outsourcing and Export Processing Zones are our current version of slave labour and slave markets.Also fascinating is the history of advertising, its ups and downs, and the role of advertising in creating markets. I love the following quotation from the book, and have in my random e.mail signature list: David Lubars, a senior ad executive in the Omnicom Group, explains the [marketing] industry's guiding principle with more candour than most. Consumers, he says, 'are like roaches – you spray them and spray them and they get immune after a while' (9). At the time the book went to press, I remember watching her doing her book tour thing. I saw her interviewed 3 or 4 times, I guess, and each one of the so-called journalists tried to embarrass her by citing her as being a hypocrite for using the very eye-catching 'logo-ish' book cover to help sell a book criticizing logos. This displayed two things about the quality of the media. Either they were not reading the book, because it wasn't really about logos as such and two, that there was enough veracity in the book, that they didn't want to touch it for a 10 foot pole.And finally, this book affirmed my observation that the destruction of the middle class is well advanced because the middle class are the group the who primarily support the EPZ slave market products with their love affair with the Wal-Marts of the world, and their emulators.A must read book for anyone wondering why they can buy clothes for pennies - some young girl, working 24 hour shifts somewhere in the world for pennies, often with armed guards keeping prying eyes out, is the reason. Side note: After reading this book, I sent her a copy of my little essay 'Death by Freezing: The Ideology of Economics' that I'd written several years before reading No Logo. She wrote a very nice comment. If you are curious, click here.

Caryn

There are so many reason why I shouldn't like this book. So many. However, I love reading different perspectives and this book was extremely insightful. I was introduced to Klein's work in a media theory class while in Grad school and have been a fan ever since. Really opens your eyes to media, marketing/branding and corporate influence. Highly recommended along with the works of Ben Bagdikian and Noam Chomsky

Todd Martin

No Space:Public space is being branded at an ever increasing rate. From sports stadiums and athletes to concerts and educational institutions. These brands have an extraordinary influence over public policy and our lives. No Choice:As companies gain power they are taking over entire segments of the marketplace and ‘synergizing’ their brand. The classic example is the publishing company, which owns the distributing company that gets the product to the stores, the communications outlets which provide the marketing and advertising and the retail outlets which sell to consumers. To a large extent, these monopolies get to pick and choose what you see, hear and read. The free exchange of ideas is limited and the scope of public conversation restricted.No Jobs: Companies are increasingly outsourcing all manufacturing operations to 3rd party vendors which primarily reside overseas in impoverished countries. In free trade zones around the world individuals work in sweatshops for slave wages to produce overpriced branded products for the developed world. As more companies adopt this model of production, there is a race to the bottom as good manufacturing jobs in the US are exported.No Logo:Student groups, universities, unions, shareholders and municipal governments are fighting back by holding companies responsible for the work practices of their suppliers. They are leveraging the power of the company brand as a means of shaming these institutions into behaving responsibly. Will it work? At the time the book was written (late 1990’s), the author seemed to sense a global movement building. Ten years later, it’s hard to see any appreciable change. If anything, companies have only grown stronger and have increased their hold over federal lawmakers and their visibility in the public sphere.

Celia Powell

God, this was such a fantastic book. I'm sure you've heard of it - it's about sweatshop labour, globalisation, branding, the way in which companies produce and how that's changed over the years. I picked this up because it was on the reading list in the back of Scarlett Thomas's PopCo, and I can see why - the sort of realisations that Alice in PopCo has about branding are all in here, as are the seeds of the movements against branding.This is a depressing book, of course. I'm certain that so many of the products I own are produced in sweatshops, and that I'm influenced by branding in all sorts of ways. I can see why this encourages so many peope to become activists - because it's affecting your life in such an everyday way. Even if I don't go out and start altering advertising, I think I'll still think about it in a different way in the future, and try and source products that aren't produced by global brands utilising sweatshop labour.

Chinook

Blog comments: I have decided to start reading no logo by Naomi Klein cause I think it will be amusing to take it in to work for breaks. I am having quite the literate summer, but needed a break from fiction after having a bit of an overdose in the past three weeks. I wish there was some sort of funky book club around-I think it would be fun. I just own sooooo many unread books. **********************************I've never seen Zorba the Greek, or read it in fact. Perhaps I will add it to my list, though the list has not been moving so quickly what with all the jobs. No Logo is taking me forever, interspersed with small amounts of the women travel anthology. I tried three times to read the Hobbit and never got more than 100 pgs through it. Don't know why really.Work is very, very depressing. A read a quote once that people who do menial, boring work tend to have menial boring personalities. Ha, no doubt. I keep myself sane by reading no logo on my breaks cause it makes me feel somewhat intellectual and keeps my moral outrage working, rather than stagnating like most of my brain.

Stupidusatmaildotcom

Yea but no but...It was a nice try, and while I could probably agree on many levels with the author, I still call Klein a hippie.I have always thought it to be wholly unreasonable to demand and to sincerely expect anyone and everyone to offer their own plan as to how things should be done as opposed to how we do things now. This is preposterous. Anyone who can come up with valid arguments why things currently are amiss and why they should be remedied, must be allowed to voice their opinion despite not necessarily being able to personally formulate (then and there, or even at all) an alternative, better, way of doing things.It's cool if you can, but it shouldn't be a qualification for even being allowed to enter the debate. There isn't a single person on this planet who could come up with a perfect plan because there are no perfect plans! Almost no one will admit that capitalism is without glitches, but many will assert with gusto that capitalism just requires a little bit of tweaking and some tender loving care.This is absolute nonsense.Of course we could always have better democracy. People could easily be given more and better options to vote for changes, for example. We could have "local governments" with localized budgets within different parts of cities to enable those people living there to make concrete decisions and plans that will affect their everyday lives directly. We could do loads to improve democracy, trust me.We could also find ways to actually sustain businesses and private individuals to operate in a free market reality - not just in free market make-believe. This would most likely mean that players who began to dominate markets need to be split in one way or the other to enable other and especially up-and-coming individuals and companies to compete against them in much more fairer conditions. Unlike now, no one could really rest on their laurels and/or just buy off competition. Everyone wanting to play the game would have to be innovating and reinventing themselves constantly. Not now and then, or once in a blue moon, but every single day.Stuff that I personally can't accept is:a) corporations aiming to change schools' curriculums and subtly trying to greenwash their own history and business practices - in a word their public image. b) corporations cornering smaller competitors by dumping prices until local/regional competition is snuffed for good.c) corporations gaining even bigger share of the markets simply because they can buy other competitors out if they can afford it. This is the exact opposite of what Adam Smith called free market economy. This is rule of the few and finally rule of one.And if and when corporations reach a status where they can effectively sensor what people can and can not buy, should be called totalitarianism because that's what it is when you can't buy a book or some other product from anywhere else simply because those few corporations still left will refuse to take them up for sell.d) allowing corporations to grow so big and powerful that they can effectively land in places where they are not taxed, where they can disregard local laws and regulations at will, where they can effectively treat their labor force and the environment any way they want.Even if some poor, underprivileged, schmuck wouldn't mind how the company does business, I abso-f*cking-lutely do, and I'm not the only one! If you pollute the environment (or treat your employees like dirt), you clean up the mess, pay hefty fines, and take some time off from doing business for the time being because you clearly are not a responsible and trustworthy player and the society as a whole can and will not tolerate such behavior. Simple and fair, and not complex or mean at all.If this what we have today is free market economy, we might as well reintroduce chains and just revert to calling workforce as slaves again. I mean why not? We already love to call unemployed people - I'm sorry, "job seekers" - as cancer, vermins, and so on. I don't know about you but to me it echos 1930's Germany.I think it's pretty vile view on life if and when (read In Defense of Global Capitalism) people in effect say that it's still miles better to be working in a sweatshop somewhere and get paid at least something than having to resort to selling one's own ass to anyone keen on buying or just starving to death.This line of thinking not only legitimizes wretchedness and indecency. It guarantees that nothing will ever change for the better.Now, I may think that hippies are moronic bunch of people, but folks who try to reason the above scenario disgust me to no end. Especially coming from a guy who got all the chances in the world provided by the society in a socialist paradise called Sweden. I wonder if he would have had the same tolerance for pain, strength of character and general will power to take it up his small boy's ass from some anonymous older, charming Swedish gentlemen, had he been born in the slums of India, Brazil or Vietnam and be asked to help his family and relatives by all means necessary - and there either not being any sweatshops around or all just refusing to let him work?I'm sure he would have.

Raymund

This will be my first book on goodreads.com, officially. The most "Adult" book I have read, alongside Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, in my twenties. I have the biggest crush on Naomi Klein. For anyone interested in the negative effects of corporations on third-world companies I would also recommend reading The Corporation (or just watch the documentary, which includes interviews with both Naomi Klein and Howard Zinn. I recommend watching the documentary since it includes a bonus dvd apart from the documentary of prominent figures talking specifically about certain issues. You also get to SEE Naomi Klein, ha ha). It brings to the reader's attention the phenomenon of Branding, like Starbucks, Starbucks, Starbucks!!! for example, the word itself being etched into the psyche of the collective unconscious, as a form of corporate advertising.

Martin

This is one of those perfect books, along with "Zinn's People's History". Basically its a evaluation of corporations shift from manufacturing to marketing. From creating products to creating a brand. It addresses the social impact these decisions have had on American labor movement, manufacturing base. It also evaluates of how we see ourselves through the products we buy. It is extremely easy to read, well written, and good stories. I read alot of political books, but Naomi find so many stories I have never heard about. And writes about topics like marketing and advertising in a very entertaining way. And for once there are stories of victories for the good guy (yes the workers win a few once in a while!). There are extremely depressing stories as well, nothing that affects the labor force across the world is usually good. But Naomi strikes a balance. You want to learn about who runs this world, and how power works, this is the book.

Matt

Whew! I finally finished this dense and comprehensive look at how our lives have been reduced to corporate sponsorship (this message brought to you by Nike! Enhance your intellect, strive, go further, Nike.). Naomi Klein leaves no angle unexamined, no critique left unexplored. From the way that branding has affected our daily lives (utter ubiquity and overkill) to the way that it has effected our jobs, (loss of manufacturing jobs... jobs moving overseas to contract laborers) to the way those laborers are mistreated and exploited (sweatshops) to the fact that everyone is doing it, not just "name brands", to the eventual backlash and counter movement this book covers a lot of ground in 458 pages. Although some of this information is a little dated (the bulk of it was written in 1998) the movement against corporate hegemony still persists. Hopefully the current economic shakeup will partially reset the standard mold of business as usual, only time will tell. A good companion read to Shock Doctrine if you really want to dive down the Rabbit Hole

Chris

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek frequently uses as an explanatory topos the following reading of Einstein's theory of relativity: In the special theory of relativity (so the story goes) matter has the effect of curving the space around it, so the shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line. However, with the shift to the general theory of relativity the story is reversed; the curvature of space is no longer the effect of matter's gravity, it is rather matter itself which is the side-effect of the curvature of space, the curvature of space is itself the primordial fact.Whether or not this is an accurate summary of Einstein's contribution to twentieth century physics, it is a useful schema for understanding the transformation Naomi Klein charts in No Logo. If, in early capitalism, the commodity itself is the primary material fact of economic existence, then it would seem that marketing and advertising are the concomitant warping of the ideological/cultural space that is the natural by-product of material commodities' vigorous efforts to get themselves sold on the open market. However, as we transition eras into late capitalism, a profound shift occurs, as branding itself becomes increasingly important. With the success of the mega-brands of the nineties (Nike, Starbucks, Microsoft, etc.) what is ultimately for sale is no longer mere commodities but the brand itself, and the physical products (shoes, coffee, software, etc.) that advertising used to serve become mere vehicles for selling the increasingly ubiquitous brands.This is the shift that Naomi Klein beautifully details in this book, with copious charts and graphs, endless footnotes and references, and engaging and readable writing. Klein is an impeccable researcher, and her marshaling of the data and statistics in the service of the story she has to tell are flawless. If anyone doubts that there still exist Dickensian nightmares of exploitation in the contemporary world of global capitalism (or if anyone has faith that the rising tide does indeed lift all boats) then this is the book you should read.My one caveat is that while Klein is a masterful journalist and a capable storyteller, she is at best (at least in this book) a mediocre theoretician. While her descriptive powers of documenting the current realities are formidable, her analysis of the possibilities of resistance and her prescriptions for future movements leave something to be desired. In particular, the last section of the book, devoted to an exploration of various forms of resistance movements and Klein's own unwavering optimism, seem, from the vantage point of a decade after the book was published, a tad bit naive and underwhelming. I mean, has the Reclaim the Streets movement really thrown a monkey-wrench into the forces of gentrification and homogenization reshaping the faces of North American cities (as Klein breathlessly anticipates in one chapter)? Fortunately, Klein has since published The Shock Doctrine, a far more sober accounting of the events and economic ideologies of the past decade.However, despite the dated feel of the final chapters, No Logo remains relevant for anyone trying to get a picture of contemporary economic realities. It offers a treasure trove of data and documentation that continues to serve as reliable ammunition for anyone wishing to take the wind out of the sails of today's counter-revolutionary apologists of capital that continue to be so much in vogue and dominate global policy making at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Nijla Mumin

I was assigned this book when I was an undergrad at CAL. It stands as one of the best assigned texts I've ever read. Whereas other works on advertising can be dull and dated, Klein's work is informed by her passion and insight into this particular subject matter. Her writing is accessible and not bogged down with textbook language. She also cites "real-world" examples that audiences can readily refer to. I definitely recommend this book.

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