ISBN: 0312421435
ISBN 13: 9780312421434
By: Naomi Klein

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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


Naomi Klein is an incredibly sloppy scholar. As a writer she reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell. Both write books that seem as if their author has reflectively thrown everything they've found that seems vaguely interrelated and interesting. In this book, Klein takes on marketing, branding, and sweatshops. Her main theme is the gradual corporatization of the world, but I find it hard to compare the absolute horrors of sweatshops (which her investigative journalism exposed beautifully) to the public eyesores of billboard advertising or the general annoyance of mass marketing and branding. Which is not to say it's not related, but the problems of the sweatshops, imo, are much more relevant and interesting to our lives and worlds, then the minor annoyances of a logo on a stadium.Again, don't get me wrong. It's all important, and it's all interrelated, but conflating the subjects - conflating something that is horrifically exploitative and is damaging individuals and countries to the concerns of well-heeled Americans who don't like advertising seem to me absurd.That said, it's a good book, well written and full of great reporting on sweat shops and the way corporations silently run them (and fuck over nearly everyone, including, eventually, US, the consumers).

مروان البلوشي

لفترة ما في التسعينات، كانت ناعومي كلاين هي الصوت الأميركي الأكثر غضباً ورفضاً لكل نتائج العولمة والثقافة الاستهلاكية التي أصبحنا نعيشها في كل دقيقة وساعة من حياتنا. تحكي كلاين عن طفولتها ومراهقتها قائلةً أنها كانت مهووسة بالموضة والأزياء وأغلى السلع والبضائع، وأنها كانت تقيم نفسها والآخرين من خلال ما يمتلكونه. وكانت تحلم بالعمل في إحدى الشركات الدولية الكبرى.ولكنها تغيرت فيما بعد، وهذا التغير الذي نضج أثناء عملها في مجلة "تايم" الأميركية الشهيرة جعلها ترى أضرار العولمة نمط الحياة الاستهلاكية على حياة البشر وأخلاقهم ومعاملاتهم اليومية، وكذلك مستويات الفقر والمعيشة في بلدان العالم الثالث.نشرت ناعومي كلاين هذا الكتاب في العام 2000، ينقسم الكتاب إلى 4 أقسام وهي: بلا مكان، ويتحدث عن غزو الاعلانات التجارية للفضاء العام في أي مجتمع. أم القسم الثاني من الكتاب وهو : بلا اختيار، ويتحدث عن الأساليب المختلفة التي تستعملها الشركات العالمية العملاقة للقضاء على صغار التجار وأصحاب المحلات والأعمال الصغيرة المستقلة. أما القسم الثالث من الكاتب وهو : بلا وظيفة، فيتحدث عن الطريقة المشابهة التي يقترب فيها العمل في الشركات الكبرى من العبودية، بدون أن يشعر العاملون هناك بذلك. ويتحدث القسم الأخير من الكتاب وهو : بلا ماركة، عن الحراك العالمي ضد سيطرة الشركات الضخمة المتعددة الجنسيات والثقافة الاستهلاكية على حياتنا.يتميز الكتاب بأسلوب الكاتبة السهل الممتنع (باللغة الإنجليزية) ويتميز كذلك بالأمثلة الواقعية التي صاحبت جميع أقسام الكتاب. كما أن الكاتبة لم تعتمد فحسب على خبرتها كصحفية، بل قامت بمقابلة عشرات العاملين في الشركات الكبرى التي أضحت توجه أسلوب حياتنا، وتقوم ناعومي كلاين بكشف تفاصيل الفساد الأخلاقي وفساد الذمم المنتشر في هذه البيئة.الكتاب يستحق القراءة وخاصة لمن يريد أن يزيد معرفته عن العالم الاستهلاكي الذي نعيش فيه اليوم.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Reading this book more than ten years after it came out is hard. It's difficult to realize how momentous it was at the time. It's hard to understand that this book is one of the cultural underpinnings of the anti-sweatshop movement, the WTO protests, Occupy Wall Street. The cynicism about brands that Klein documents is so pervasive now it's hard to remember how much people just loved brands blindly and completely at one point. THis book completely changed things. Having read several Klein articles in recent years - as well as the revised forward to the ten year edition - you can see that Klein has moved away from using the concept of brands as a fulcrum for her intellectual arguments against certain aspects of globalization, corporatism, etc. But not completely - Brands are still the most visible component of a company, and, thus, serve as a mechanism to attack them. That is still useful. In some ways, though, the brand approach to anti-globalism seems a bit dated. Many of the sinister examples Klein listed didn't pan out, and some of the companies are hardly massive brand juggernauts these days, just a little over ten years later. I almost laughed out loud about the panic Klein bestows on Celebration, Florida. I had just visited last summer and it was nothing like she described. This, of course, is because of the fall of one of the villains of the brand portion of the book - Michael Eisner. However, in reading many economists' work on brand and advertising, Klein has come up more than once, and indeed, her concept of Brand disconnects the concept of Brand from its original economic form. This can have some profound ramifications, and many modern academic economists have explored it further. Concretely, a brand no longer symbolizes a specific origin or quality, in fact it could signal just the opposite. It's a weird thought. Finally, having worked in advertising for 15 years, I can say that Klein definitely intentionally or not distorts the motivations of many of the creatives she lists. I know because there are a few places in the book where she references campaigns I worked on, and we were thinking nothing of the sort of plots and schemes she attributed to us. Whether in the end that matters may be immaterial - the effect is the same - but the book does read substantially more like it's all a big single plot than, in my experience, any of it really is.


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? 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.

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.


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.


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.


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

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