Known for her incisive critiques of capitalism, globalization, and corporate power, Naomi Klein has emerged as a leading leftist voice on social and environmental issues. Born in Montreal in 1970, the author, journalist, and activist rose to prominence with the 1999 release of her debut book, No Logo, an exposé on corporate branding and consumer culture that’s become a manifesto for the anti-globalization movement.
In 2007, Klein garnered international acclaim for The Shock Doctrine, a searing look at the tactics economic and political elites employ to exploit crises for their own benefit. Subsequent works include 2014’s This Changes Everything, a call for immediate action to combat climate change, and 2017’s No Is Not Enough, a chronicle of the long-term, systemic political problems that produced Trump. Her latest, Doppelgänger, mixes memoir with social analysis to contrast Klein’s worldview with that of Naomi Wolf, a writer she often gets confused for.
In a reading list for The Week, Klein offered 6 books that explore the intersections of politics, economics and environmentalism. From James Baldwin’s classic clarion for resistance to Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking indictment of the chemical industry, find her recommendations below. Complement with the bookshelves of Angela Davis, The Black Panther Party, Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.
Naomi Klein’s Reading List
“Published in 1963 amid the throes of the civil rights movement, Baldwin’s classic is painfully relevant today. Written largely in the form of a letter from Baldwin to his nephew, the book is a call to channel righteous fury into a powerful resistance.” -NK
“Galeano, who died in 2015, was a Uruguayan journalist and novelist. In his incendiary, poetic, and uncomfortable history of the Americas, published in 1971, he compiled a series of historical vignettes that weave together colonialism’s omnipresent themes: genocide, extraction, and exploitation.” -NK
“Another form-defying work. Mitchell leaps across space and time to tell six seemingly disconnected stories in different styles. ‘Only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean,’ one of his characters writes. ‘Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?'” -NK
“In a sea of dystopian sci-fi, this 1971 novel is a rare example of successful utopian fiction. Set on the imaginary planets of Urras and Anarres — stand-ins for the United States and Soviet Union — The Dispossessed paints a hopeful and complex portrait of a society rooted in collectivism.” -NK
“Carson’s book draws its enduring power from the combination of her deep love for the natural world and her indignation at the attacks waged upon it by the chemical industry. A former marine biologist, Carson was battling an aggressive cancer when she wrote this 1962 masterpiece.” -NK
“Victor Frankenstein created a monster when he took his experiments to a devastating extreme. Today, nearly 200 years after the publication of Shelley’s novel, the pursuit of limitless data and our attempts to exert technological control over nature are producing even more disastrous outcomes — and this time, they’re global.” -NK
(via The Week; photo by Adrienne Grunwald)
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