(b. 8 May 1970
, Montreal, Quebec
) is a Canadian journalist
well known for her political analyses of corporate globalization
Klein ranked 11th in an internet poll of the top global intellectuals of 2005, a list of the world's top 100 public intellectuals compiled by the Prospect magazine in conjunction with Foreign Policy magazine. She was the highest ranked woman on the list.
Klein's writing career started early with contributions to The Varsity
, a University of Toronto
student newspaper, where she served as editor-in-chief. She credits the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre
of female engineering students for her wake-up call to feminism
. She dropped out of the University of Toronto to become an intern at the Toronto Globe and Mail
, followed by an editorship at This Magazine
. She returned to university in 1995 to get a degree.
Career in journalism
In 2000, Klein published the book No Logo
, which for many became a manifesto
of the anti-corporate globalization movement
. The book lambastes brand
-oriented consumer culture
by describing the operations of large corporations
. These corporations are also accused of being often guilty of exploiting workers in the world's poorest countries in pursuit of ever-greater profits, she writes. Klein criticized Nike
so much in the book that Nike published a multi-point response to the issues raised in the book. No Logo
became an international bestseller, selling over one million copies, and has been translated into over 28 languages.
In 2002 Klein published Fences and Windows, a collection of articles and speeches she had written on behalf of the anti-globalization movement (all proceeds from the book go to benefit activist organizations through The Fences and Windows Fund). Klein also contributes to The Nation, In These Times, The Globe and Mail, This Magazine, and The Guardian.
She has continued to write on various current issues, such as the war in Iraq. In a September 2004 article for Harper's Magazine entitled Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia, she argues that, contrary to popular belief and criticisms, the Bush administration did have a clear plan for post-invasion Iraq, which was to build a fully unconstrained free market economy. She describes plans to allow foreigners to extract wealth from Iraq, and the methods used to achieve those goals. The 2008 film War, Inc. was partially inspired by her article, Baghdad Year Zero.
In 2004, Klein and her husband, Avi Lewis, released a documentary film called The Take about factory workers in Argentina who took over a closed plant and resumed production, operating as a collective. The first African screening was in the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the South African city of Durban, where the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement began.
The Shock Doctrine
Klein's third book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
, was published on 4 September 2007, becoming an international and New York Times bestseller
translated into 20 languages. The book argues that the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman
and the Chicago School of Economics
have risen to prominence in countries such as Chile under Pinochet
, Russia under Yeltsin
, the United States (for example in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
), and the privatization of Iraq's economy under the Coalition Provisional Authority
not because they were democratically popular, but because they were pushed through while the citizens of these countries were in shock
from disasters or upheavals. It is also claimed that these shocks are in some cases, such as the Falklands war
, created with the intention of being able to push through these unpopular reforms in the wake of the crisis.
The Shock Doctrine was also adapted into a short film of the same name, released onto YouTube. The film was directed by Jonás Cuarón, produced and co-written by his father Alfonso Cuarón. The video has been viewed over one million times.
Klein once lectured as a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics
Klein was the keynote speaker at the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC)'s first National conference.
Klein has been criticized by The Economist, which noted that her books have been bestsellers and she has profited from them.
Johan Norberg has criticized what he described as flaws in The Shock Doctrine. He pointed out instances in which he said Klein distorted history and he criticized the book for what he said was a misleading presentation of Milton Friedman's views and actions. Klein responded to Norberg's criticism, which led to further criticism from Norberg.
- 2000. No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs. ISBN 0312421435
- 2002. Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate. ISBN 0312307993
- 2007. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. ISBN 0805079831
Klein was brought up in a Jewish
family which has a history of activism, as does that of her husband, Avi Lewis
. Her grandfather was fired for labour
organizing at Disney
in the United States
. Her father Michael, a physician, was a Vietnam War
resister and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility
. Her mother, film-maker Bonnie Sherr Klein
, directed and scripted the anti-pornography
documentary film, Not a Love Story
. Her brother Seth is director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
. Her in-laws are Michele Landsberg
and Stephen Lewis
, son of David Lewis
. An aunt of Lewis's is married to architect Daniel Libeskind