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

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.

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.

Ben

Ok ok ok, I know the hype surrounding this book. Your dreddy activist friend keeps recommending this to you. That dirty hippy that is a total vagabond is doing the same. Well, what sold me on this book was an image taken from a busy street with all of the logo's removed using Photoshop. Striking. And the book is long, interesting and at times redundant. Naomi Klein is hot, first of all, but mainly she's right. Advertising ruined the planet. Basically. We could argue that human desire and the weakness of popular opinion is the culprit, but advertising exploited those weaknesses, and replaced them with pollution, child labor, illegal labor and DMZ bullshit, globalization, and all of the things we were warned about happening by Orwell, PKD, Huxley, and movies like Alphaville, 1984 and Brazil.It's not exactly like any of those things, but it could be...right? Klein is a muckraker that is very biased. But she has to be. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and her suggestion is to not conform to consumerism. George Washington and Jesus were non-conformists, too.

Grant

Reviewer Marc states "Despite what Naomi Klein is trying to imply, the vast majority of the factory workers is happy to have these jobs and nobody is forced to take them", which is precisely the flawed reasoning Klein takes on and demolishes in her beautiful yet tragic portrayal of the post-industrial United States in her well-written and easy to read No Logo. Obviously, neo-con, pro-free trade leaning people will find this book trite simply because of the beliefs Klein holds (it would be like a liberal reading Ann Coulter). Klein proves that the jobs that people are "happy to have" in the developing world are actually forced upon them, and shows a plethora of other atrocities corporations commit daily. What a good book!

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.

Jeff

Having read it about a year after it was first released, I felt as though my eyes had been suddenly opened to a rather horrible reality about how globalized (a.k.a. transnational) capitalism was concentrating wealth in the hands of a powerful few and exploiting a poor majority for their labour. To read it now would surely reveal dated views of the economic and cultural world in which we find ourselves. I would also have to admit that by about page 378 I was finding the tone a bit shrill. In spite of these areas of concern, I think that Klein might have been one of the earliest authors to tackle some of these issues. Even if some critics feel as though Klein and others like her aren't successfully proposing alternatives to a sort of free market where only the biggest corporate dogs eat and everyone else waits for scraps, the book does accomplish one important task: convincing the reader to rethink the consequences of their buying habits. As a consumer I very often have a choice of what I buy and perhaps more importantly, what I don't buy. I may not always be able to find an option to a shirt made in a Bangladeshi sweatshop firetrap, but at least I am aware enough to seek options.

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

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.

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

Dorien

definitely some good information, but something about the books style turns me off. i feel a little preached to, or manipulated. I guess my recent-college-student self wants more of an attempt to appear objective. objectivity may be an illusion, but it is one of my personal favorites.

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.

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.

Reb

um, read this book.it has an unfortunate problem: written in the late nineties, detailing the then-prevailing juggernaut of unbridled globalization, its analysis was almost immediately dated once sept 11 changed the topic of the conversation. in my 2002 edition klein adds a slim afterword/nonupdate that, from the vantage point of 2007, fails to properly reargue her original and very persuasive terms.that said, this is a staggeringly broad and well-researched book. it doesn't just rehash what we (already back then, of course) knew about the unholy troika of brand-based multinationals, cheap third-world labor, and regulatory failure. it combines sophisticated cultural analysis of what branding is (the colonization every piece of life with ideologically imagined products) with a description of the labor and capital conditions of the late 20th century.in particular, klein argues that the companies have ceased to see themselves as holding responsibility for any of their workers, whether skilled or unskilled. workers' lack of security, combined with resentment at shrinking public spaces and the encroachment of marketing, have produced and will continue to fuel anticorporate movements.we all remember the late 90s antiglobalization movement. ten years later it's a different globalization and the media is thankfully paying attention. anyway, read this book to understand a period of recent history that (for me) is hard to remember, because i was a teenager and because of the shocks that have followed.

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.

William

Today, more and more campaigners are treating multinationals, and the policies that give them free rein, as the root cause of political injustices around the globe.The impact this book had was slightly overshadowed by the events of September 11th 2001, when everyone's focus and concerns seemed to suddenly turn elsewhere. But that's not to say it has lost any of its power.Reading it now, having read Klein's latest work (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism), it's just as concerning, if not more so. It's within these pages that you can see her thoughts on Milton Friedman's economic policies building up, and it's fascinating to see how far she's come since she wrote No Logo.The downside is that, nearly ten years on, it's so difficult to know where we stand with our big corporations today. Nike are on the receiving end of a heck of a lot of criticism in the book, but are the conditions in their sweatshops still causing misery to people today? www.nikeresponsibility.com would suggest otherwise. Have other, more onerous examples come to light that aren't mentioned by Klein?It's difficult to say. Ultimately, we have to remind ourselves that No Logo was never intended as a manifesto, but as a documentation of both corporate activity and the growing worldwide opposition to it. One shouldn't read it in order to find out which particular brand of clothing is ethically acceptable - indeed, to do so would be to miss the point - but to learn and understand how and why brands became more important than products, and the effects this has had on the world.

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