vendredi 28 mars 2008

For fantasy lovers

Recently, Kathleen Duey stopped by the store to sign copies of her book Skin Hunger which was a finalist in the National Book Award for Literature for young readers. Since its publication, Skin Hunger has been gathering praise from critics and readers alike. It is the first book in a trilogy. It tells the alternating story of two teenagers living generations apart but whose lives are somehow intertwined far more closely than they think. Sadima is a young woman living at a time when magic is feared and reviled and practitioners are hated. However, she herself has an affinity for magic and when her father dies she comes to the big city to live with Franklin and Somiss, two magicians who are working to legitimize magic and to restore it to its noble purpose. The alternate chapters tell the story of Hahp. He is the second born son of a wealthy man who sends him to the Magicians Academy where only one out of ten boys will live to become a magician. In Hahp’s time, magic is reserved only for the wealthy.
This is a deeply absorbing novel that grips you from the initial pages till the cliffhanger end. The characters are well drawn, with their flaws and their strengths and are worth rooting for. The story is never condescending and is intelligently told. You genuinely want to know what happens to Sadima and Hahp and how their lives will finally intersect. Even readers not particularly fond of the fantasy genre will appreciate the well told story of two people trying to make their way in a difficult world.

Great New Titles

What exciting new books we have! To whet your appetite, here are some of them:

A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar: Qara Koz, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbek warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan. When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, and much trouble ensues."The Enchantress of Florence" is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other - the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture, where Argalia's boyhood friend "il Machia" - Niccolr Machiavelli - is learning, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both. But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he's a liar, must he die?

On a rainy morning, not long after the funeral of his mother, Commissario Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello respond to a 911 call reporting a body floating near the steps in one of Venice's side canals. Reaching down to pull it out, Brunetti's wrist is caught by the silkiness of golden hair, and he sees a small foot - together he and Vianello lift a dead girl from the water. But, inconceivably, no one has reported a missing child, nor the theft of the gold jewellery that she carries.So Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death but also for her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children - be they innocent or guilty. The investigation takes Brunetti from the canals and palazzos of Venice to a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, through quicksands of connections and relationships both known and concealed, as he struggles with both institutional prejudice and entrenched criminality to try to unravel the fate of the dead child.
And last but not certainly not the least for our non fiction lovers:

A Dangerous Liaison tells the intense, passionate and sometimes painful story of how these two brilliant free-thinkers - and rivals - came to a share a relationship that was to last over fifty years. Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne and the chestnut groves in the Limousin, to the cafes of Paris's Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard-drinking Jean-Paul. Seymour-Jones describes that first summer of 1929: the heated debates that went on long into the night, the sexual rivalry and betrayal, the dangerous ideas that led people to experiment with new ways of behaving and the deep love that this perhaps unlikely couple shared. We hear how Sartre clandestinely compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap. And, thanks to recently discovered letters written by de Beauvoir, the darker, more dangerous side to their philosophy of free love is revealed, including Simone's lesbianism and her pimping for younger girls for Jean-Paul, in order to keep his love. This is a compelling and fascinating account of what lay behind the legend that this brilliant, tempestuous couple had created.

The Enchantress of the Forest, The Girl of His Dreams and A Dangerous Liaison are all available at the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore

A RWB Favorite

Brick Lane by Monica Ali was first published in 2003 to great critical acclaim. Universally hailed by critics and readers alike, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize of 2003 and Ali was hailed as one of the year’s best new writers. It is a big sprawling hefty story covering close to twenty years of the life of Nazneen, a young Bangladeshi woman. The book begins with Nazneen’s auspicious birth but the real story begins when she is betrothed at the age of 18 to Chanu, twenty years older than she is and living in London’s Brick Lane. From there it charts their marriage and Nazneen’s life as she makes her way in an altogether foreign world. Her story is interspersed with that of her beloved sister Hasina, who is left behind in Bangladesh. As the book progresses we see the growth of Nazneen as a young woman who believes that she must forever bow to destiny’s demands into a self-fulfilled woman, capable of taking things in her own capable hands. And the catalyst for such change is her incendiary affair with a young radical named Karim.
Though Brick Land is the writer’s first novel, there are no missteps that a novice writer may make. Lyrical and evocative, it is written with a sure and deft hand. The story never falters and Ali has succeeded in writing a rich and textured story. The main characters of Nazneen and Chanu are fully fleshed and sympathetic in all their flaws. As Nazneen comes to realize that she loves her husband, despite or perhaps because all his loud posturing hides a delicate sensibility, so too does the reader come to feel great affection for him. And ironically enough, it is the affair with Karim that makes Nazneen realize the great worth of her marriage. What is perhaps the novel’s greatest achievement is the convincing portrayal of Nazneen’s transformation to a self determined and determining woman. It is all the more impressive given her beginnings and the traditional conditioning she has always received.
The book succeeds on another level with its depiction of the immigrant life in Brick Lane. Though the main characters are Nazneen and Chanu, we also meet a host of memorable other characters who have like Nazneen, fought to have a place in a soil not their own. The novel tackles the often thorny issue of trying to transport cultural values and traditions in a different place and the different ways by which people try to adjust. And as can be imagined, this is often fraught with conflict and difficulties. The inclusion of such an element in the book adds another layer of richness to the story.

mardi 25 mars 2008

Authors galore

One of the (many)perks of working at a bookstore is meeting the different authors we carry. Today must have been an especially lucky day as we had the pleasure of the visit of two different authors. In the morning, we had a visit from Kathleen Duey. She is the author of numerous books for younger readers and today she came in to sign copies of her new book Skin Hunger. Since its publication, Skin Hunger has been reaping critical praise and was National Book Award Finalist. Its been on our collective reading list since it arrived in store and the newly minted dedication from Ms. Duey just about sealed the deal. Its definitely on top of the pile now. In fact, its the program for the evening.

Later in the afternoon, after the morning excitement had died down, we got a visit from Bryce Corbett whose book A Town like Paris has just been published. He too, came by for a chat and to sign his lovely book. It was really interesting to meet the Aussie who left a London job for an altogether new life in Paris.

Both Skin Hunger and A Town Like Paris are now available at the Red Wheelbarrow. Watch out for future reviews of both books!

The Subject of Cool

Being cool and all that it means is the subject of Scott Westerfeld's book So Yesterday. It is written ostensibly for teen readers but an adult reader will be hard pressed not to feel a twinge or two of recognition at the characters and their predicament. The book is premised on the idea that society resembles a pyramid –divided into the Innovators, the small select few on top who are so original as to be beyond and above the average definition of cool, followed by the Trendsetters who are actually cool, keep watch on innovations and are watched by others so that what they wear and do becomes cool. Two steps down from the top are the Early Adopters who have the newest and latest in everything before everybody else but unlike the Trendsetters, find their stuff from the magazines. They are followed by the Consumers, the vast bulk of people who need to see tv, magazines and movies before deciding on what is cool. And finally we have the Laggards, those who resist all change. The story’s main protagonist is Hunter, a 17 year old Trendsetter whose work is to find the latest cool thing in the streets. Along with other trendsetters, he takes part in cool tastings or focus groups as known in the real world and they determine whether the Client’s product passes muster in the cool barometer. Things change when he meets Jen, an Innovator. Matters become complicated when his boss disappears and they stumble on a mysterious cache of the coolest shoes they’d ever seen. Worse yet is how the disappearance and shoes seem to be linked together. What follows is a hunt all across NY city to solve the mysterious disappearance of his boss and the mystery shoes and its implications for Hunter and Jen.
In So Yesterday, Westerfeld has written a fast paced and funny story of two teenagers on the brink of a huge discovery. He has written likeable characters who stumble about and make mistakes but ultimately make their way successfully. It is written in a breezy manner but underlying such manner is an examination of the way big business works and the necessarily related consumer process. The author tackles the question of who determines what people want, or at the very least think they want and the process is not necessarily a pretty one. And contrary to what we may want to believe, our choices in what we wear, what we buy or even places to patronize are not necessarily the result of free will. Underlying the breezy tone of the book is a worry that because of the need to belong, we have become too much the product of a fabricated environment which precludes original thinking. It makes for an uncomfortable thought and gives added gravitas to the think out of the box concept. It’s a clarion call to stand out and be different. We all have it in us. Somehow.

samedi 22 mars 2008

The Annual Red Wheelbarrow Children's Writing Contest

Its that time of the year once again when children have a chance to show off their writing skills with the annual Red Wheelbarrow Children's writing contest. The deadline for this year is the 1st of April.

Here below are the newly updated rules for the contest. Please make sure that your entries correspond to the rules in order to be included in the contest.

1) The Red Wheelbarrow contest is open to all school-aged children (5-18) in Paris and its surrounding suburbs who write in English. The contest is for children enrolled in Grande section de l’école maternelle (Kindergarten) through Terminale (12th grade/class level or senior year of high school).

2) Only ONE story per person may be submitted.

3) Your story must be original and written by you, with a beginning, middle, and end.

4) NEW!!! In 2008 stories will ONLY be accepted electronically (by e-mail) to save trees. Please include the information listed on the following cover page in the BODY of your e-mail message so we can clearly identify your story. Just COPY and PASTE the lines listed and FILL IN your own personal information. Then type your class level in the SUBJECT LINE of your e-mail message. (For example, SUBJECT: Red Wheelbarrow Writing Contest Entry, 4th GRADE.) You MUST include this information.

5) ATTACH your story to the e-mail as a DOCUMENT/TEXT file with the TITLE of your story as the name of the file – DO NOT type your name anywhere on the story. We MUST receive an anonymous copy of the story itself attached to your e-mail, or it will be rejected. When we receive your entry, we will send you a return confirmation of receipt. If you do not receive this confirmation, we may not have received your story. So be sure to double-check!

6) No hand-written stories will be accepted; if you can’t type, please have someone help you.

7) While we love art, please do not illustrate your stories. This is a writing contest only. Stories with art or wild type and colors will be disqualified.

8) Stories must be TYPED 12 POINT TIMES NEW ROMAN or COURIER, and DOUBLE-SPACED. Be sure to follow the formatting guidelines in the attached WRITING SAMPLE and TYPE your story, with one-inch margins, EXACTLY like in the sample.

9) Stories should be fresh and written after 2 September 2007.

10) If you must use sensitive language, please use symbols to represent this (i.e., &%$#!); otherwise your story risks being rejected. All ages read the winning stories. Thanks for your understanding.

11) Story word length limits per grade:
K-5th Grade (GS through CM2): 750 words MAXIMUM. (If it’s longer, it will be rejected.)
Middle school-High school (collège through lycée): 1,000 words MAXIMUM. (If longer, it will be rejected.)

12) Stories MUST be received by 1 April 2008. Stories received after 1 April 2008 will be disregarded.

13) No work will be returned. Only e-mail submissions will be accepted.

14) There is no entry fee.

15) Winners are announced at the Awards Party on Saturday, May 31st, 2008, where Jack Gantos will be our Master of Ceremonies! Authors are STRONGLY encouraged to attend.

16) Questions? Please contact

vendredi 21 mars 2008

Petite Anglaise

Petite Anglaise is all about Catherine, a British thirty something living in Paris with her French partner, hidden under the pseudonym Mr. Frog and their two year old daughter Tadpole. Despite having dreamt most of her youth of living in Paris, Catherine is deeply unhappy with her domestic life and routine. To alleviate her boredom, she decides to create a blog about her life in Paris. Hence, Petite Anglaise is born on the web. Originally designed to be a light and funny blog with a fish out of water theme, it soon evolves into an online diary of sorts for Catherine, who uses it to vent, to explore and express all her bitterness and dissatisfaction in life. Needless to say, she attracts hordes of readers with her stories and it isn’t long before she becomes involved with a new man (no surprise that it is a reader of hers) who turns her life upside down.
Despite being a first time writer, Catherine Sanderson writes with a light and witty tone. It is compulsively readable and the pages fly by. Its earlier incarnation as blog entries helps explain the easy tone of the book. It is also, what distinguishes it from a number of other expatriate themed books. It is a commendable effort on her part that the book’s tone never descends to high drama despite its coverage of a personally distressing time in her life. Through her prose, one gets a sense of a real person struggling to make sense of the upheavals that she has willingly brought upon herself.
What I particularly liked about the book is the almost palpable love of the author for Paris. More than being beautifully described, the author’s Paris is lovingly described with familiar streets and cafes made memorable by her experiences in each place. In fact it is safe to say that Paris is a major character in the book. It is also through these descriptions of the city and city life that readers are able to get a sense of an expatriate life. Her personal story aside, it is a recurring theme of the book that Catherine is always trying to find a place for herself in this city, which is not often easy. Certainly it is a theme that most people can identify with. Fittingly enough the book ends on a hopeful note and for fans of Catherine it is a very welcome one.
P.S. Catherine Sanderson paid us a visit last Sunday and signed copies of her book available at our store. Watch out for a future reading with Catherine!

Spotlight on Chanel

Sometimes you just can't have enough of a good thing...

The first book titled “The Collection” by Gioia Diliberto is the story of Isabelle Varlet, a young talented seamstress who dreams of one day joining the great Parisian couture houses. Her dream comes to pass after a personal tragedy pushes her to leave her hometown and to make her way to Paris. Through the efforts of her kindly previous employer, she is able to find employment in the house of Chanel. It is here that we see the inner workings of the atelier, with Chanel depicted as a hard and demanding taskmistress. It is fascinating to read about the inner workings of the atelier, with all the seamstresses competing and scheming to be in the good graces of Mademoiselle, as she is referred to. However, once one of them does catch the eye of Mademoiselle, her success does not last. One of the more seasoned seamstress warns Isabelle that the fall is not far for her once she is singled out for her work. The book is simply, if elegantly written and is rich in period details that give the reader a good idea of life during those times. More interesting is the way the author depicts the process by which clothes are prepared for their unveiling before the clients in the first fashion shows of those times. And while the story also includes the love story of Isabelle, far greater attention is paid to her work at the atelier and her struggle to be successful at her chosen profession. Despite whatever aversion she might personally feel for Mademoiselle, there is likewise great admiration for her grit, determination and the sheer talent that has taken her to the heights of success.
The second book to deal with Mademoiselle tells a far more personal story. Written by Chris Greenhalgh, Coco and Igor is a retelling of the tumultuous affair between Coco Chanel and the composer Igor Stravinski. At this period of her life, Coco is enjoying the fruits of her hard work and the fashionable set clamor for her personal attention to dress them. Despite her success however, she is suffering from the innate snobbery and prejudice against a working woman who has managed to succeed largely on her own. She is likewise suffering from the death of Arthur “Boy” Capel. Stravinksi on the other hand is in exile with his family. His monetary position is precarious as he is dependent on the kindness of strangers and his wife Catherine is ill. At a fateful dinner hosted by Diaghliev, he is introduced to Coco and there is a frisson of attraction, unaccountable and unacknowledged between them. Soon after this dinner, she invites him and his family to spend the summer at her villa in Garches. Marveling at such generosity, he acquiesces and soon moves his entire family to the villa. Unsurprisingly, they drift close to each other till they succumb to the secret raging attraction. The consequences are of course dire, but surprisingly, it is the women of this story who come out on top. In writing a story about Coco and her relationship with Stravinski, the author has given us a portrait of a more vulnerable Coco. She is shown here as a woman and who, cliché or not, wants to be loved for herself. Despite herself she hopes to be accepted in the high echelons of society. But it is the affair with Stravinksi which reinforces her belief that work comes before everything. She is adamant in insisting that her work merits the same respect as that accorded to artists. It is a finely written elegiac portrait of a supremely talented woman determined to succeed even at the cost of personal happiness.

Third but certainly not the least is the book “Different like Coco” written and illustrated by Elizabeth Mathews. It is a jaunty telling of the highlights of Coco’s life. It is charming book filled with amusing illustrations that still manage to tell the story of this formidable woman who’s changed the face of fashion in so many ways. It makes for a nice gift for anyone looking to be introduced to Mademoiselle.

New titles in store

The Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander Mccall Smith
Birds without wings by Louis de Bernieres
Taking Pictures by Anne Enright
Something to Tell You by Hanif Kureishi
Nothing to be Frightened of by Julian Barnes
The Bride Hunter by Amy Appleton
Non Fiction
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
Common Wealth:Economics for a Crowded World by Jeffrey Sachs
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard
The Trouble with my Neck by Nora Ephron
All things French
Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson
Sacre Cordon Bleu by Michael Booth
A Translantic Love Affair:Letters to Nelson Algren by Simone De Beauvoir
Murder in the Rue Paradis by Cara Black

Paperbacks Galore:
Slam by Nick Hornby
Then we came to the end by Josh Ferris
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
Oystercatchers by Susan Fletcher
Day by A.J. Kennedy
Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Mister Pip

Storytelling has long been part of the human experience. Along with the need to express ourselves, is the need to make sense of our environment and often, we do that by telling stories. It is by doing so, that our minds take flight and it is free to imagine what could be. This ability to mythologize and to story tell I dare say, is what distinguishes us, humans, from all the rest of the animal species. And it is this theme which is at the heart of Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones.
It is the story of young Matilda growing up in a small island in the Pacific at a time when civil war rages. Due to the war, the island is blockaded and caught in the crossfire between the rebels and the soldiers of the mainland. The islanders’ life is reduced to the barest minimum in order to survive. One day however, all the school age children are summoned back to school by Mr. Watts, the lone remaining white resident of the island. He has always been a figure of interest, even mystery to the people of the island and now he has decided to become the children’s teacher. He has decided to teach them Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Interspersed with Great Expectations are various lessons given by the different members of the community, brought to the classroom by Mr. Watts. And so, along with learning about Pip’s adventures, the children learn various things such as how predict the weather from the behavior of crabs. So begins the children’s introduction to a bigger world, one of which is very different and far from their island life. More importantly, they learn independent thought. Despite her mother’s displeasure at the lessons she’s receiving from Mr. Watts, Matilda’s sets out to learn as much as she can. Mr. Watt’s lessons however, ultimately lead to a dangerous mix up of identities that lead to a devastating conclusion.
As Matilda’s mother points out, “stories have a job to do.” And in tackling this theme in his book, Jones shows us exactly how powerful stories can be. In his retelling of Great Expectations, Mr. Watts enabled the children, and especially the protagonist to dream of a different life. It has literally opened their minds to a different way of thinking and more than being escapist fare, it has enabled them to look with new eyes at themselves. When he is asked to tell his own story, he gives them back a retelling of all the stories, his and that of the villagers. And while he and the other islanders may be at the mercy of the ravages of war, their minds and spirits are free to roam and discover. Yes, stories have a job to do and this is a lesson that needs reminding from time to time. And who among us will deny having learned a thing or two from the stories in our life?
It is a simple story that resonates with the reader long after turning the last page. It is to the author’s credit that the narrative flows seamlessly with the prose carrying itself without recourse to much literary tricks. The story tells itself. In the end, it is more than enough.

The Shock Doctrine

Only a crisis, actual or perceived can produce real change. That in a capsule defines the Shock Doctrine. As conceived by its primary proponent Milton Friedman, the shock doctrine allows the imposition of otherwise unpalatable economic conditions on an unsuspecting populace through the haze that follows a catastrophic event. By taking advantage of a crisis or disaster (natural and increasingly man made) the three primary tenets of the doctrine, namely deregulation/free trade, privatization and severe cutbacks on social spending could be imposed with impunity and without regard for what is considered as nationalist safeguards. As envisioned by Friedman and his disciples (whose economic policy is forever known as the Chicago school of thought), the objective is to strip away all regulations until all distortions are removed and the markets are free to regulate themselves. The idea being that the free regulation of the market would allow all people to benefit from the wealth that is subsequently created. But in Milton’s hands and as practiced by his fervent disciples, it has evolved to pure corporatism coupled with a disaster capitalism. The basic doctrine thus put in place, Naomi Klein’s excellent book the Shock Doctrine sets out to challenge the basic assumptions and tenets of the Doctrine by showing that its unfettered application all over the world has brought about the grossest violations of human rights and created and in numerous instances broadened and increased a hundredfold the inequality between the rich and poor. It has brought about the very opposite of what it purports to bring about.
Given such a highly controversial and potentially contentious subject, Klein has undertaken in depth research and from the wealth of information contained, has put in a significant amount of time to gather all the facts and to ensure that the facts speak for themselves. And the facts are damning indeed.
The first half of the book is devoted to studying the cases of the countries where the doctrine was first applied. From Latin America, to South Africa, Poland, Russia, China, Korea and Indonesia, the book shows us how the application of the doctrine has necessitated the most brutal repressions (i.e. Chile’s Pinochet and Argentina’s generals) and wide application of torture. Indeed the stringent economic measures required that torture be applied. It was the means of ensuring compliance of the people and to remake the society in accordance with the vision of its creators. As such it was carried out systematically and clinically both on individuals and on whole societies. And the result of such experiment was the almost complete privatization of its national industries, the lay-off of thousands of state employees, huge national debts to the IMF and World Bank, and the enrichment of a very tiny segment of society. It does not even begin to describe the misery, exploitation and deprivation that was endured and in some cases, still being endured today by the ordinary people of these countries. And because the interests of big multinational companies are involved, it comes almost as no surprise to learn that the US backed several coups which subsequently put governments in place that supported the Chicago School.
The second and third parts of the book deals with the application of the doctrine to the country of its birth-the US. And we see how the evolution of the doctrine and its accompanying disaster capitalism has led to the Iraq war and even more disastrously, the privatization of all but the most basic government functions. What has happened is the logical next step in the process. Where the national industries of other countries were once the target, it only makes sense that the target now is what may be the richest prize of them all, the US Government. From the findings of the book, it appears that any and everything that could be contracted out has been contracted out, reducing and stripping away functions that have traditionally belonged to the State. Thus, we see how the reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has lead to rich gated communities (built by private contractors) and huge blocks of poor areas that are still without water or electricity. In the words of the book, what has evolved is the hollow state. If the previous chapters have already been already sickening in its detail of torture, murder and poverty, this chapter is perhaps the most sickening as it enumerates in painful detail the huge amounts of public money that have gone to line the pockets of very select corporations (in many cases owned by very prominent individuals). It is cronyism and corruption at the highest levels and banana dictators have apparently nothing on them when it comes to amassing enormous amounts of money.
Klein concludes the book by showing that at the moment there is a growing move to reject the policies of the Chicago school and this is by no means an easy task. Despite the experience of countries under the shock doctrine, there are ominous signs of its continuing power. A quick look around us confirms the existence of rich gated communities while increasingly large segments of society remain disenfranchised and down trodden. And should the shock doctrine continue, these gated communities could become fiercely armed and read to fight to the death to maintain its stranglehold. But as with everything else, there is hope. Latin America is now on its first attempts to bring back a democratic socialism, which attempt was brutally cut short in the 70s. They have before them a few models, namely Scandinavia, but it remains to be seen whether it can be applied everywhere else. An important insight to take away from reading the book is the idea that we owe it to our collective existence to fight against the continuing hold of this insidious doctrine whether or not we are from countries that have been under shock. As pointed out by the author, disasters have traditionally united humans; it cuts across religious, cultural and political ties and alliances. We must learn to do so again and we must learn to rebuild our society into a more just version of what we have thus far created.

Note: The Shock Doctrine is now available at RWB for 15 Euros