Last Updated September 5, 2023.
Naomi Klein is a Canadian social activist who records her activism in her books. In doing so, she also transcribes the activism of others and broadcasts it to the wider reading world.
Previously, Klein's works have focused on a range of subjects. Her first book, No Logo (1999), explores the power of branding and the psychology it exploits. With Fences and Windows (2002), a collection of articles and essays, Klein aimed to disseminate the ideas of, and grant exposure and analysis to, the anti-globalization movement.
The book which preceded This Changes Everything investigates the use of economic "shock therapy" in order to overturn political systems, as conducted by so-called "Friedmanites"—economists working within the ideological framework of Milton Friedman. The Shock Doctrine was published in 2007. This Changes Everything, published in 2014, was the first of Klein's books to tackle climate change directly.
Klein's style is journalistic as well as social-scientific. Her works are heavily footnoted and comprehensively cited. While she includes analyses on an academic level, paired with intellectual speculation, Klein's primary modus operandi is to interview individuals who have first-hand experience of the relevant issue. Many of these interviews are conducted in person, on location.
Klein weaves together the testimonies and anecdotes of a range of eyewitnesses, families under siege, climate activists, and workers. By sourcing first-hand information and reporting verbatim (a journalistic technique), Klein ensures a degree of fidelity. Coupling this methodology with her global outlook and thorough academic understanding of the issues at hand, she presents a real-life, comprehensive account of the ways in which corporations are destroying swathes of land all over the world, as well as livelihoods.
This Changes Everything arrived at a pivotal moment in modern history. As Klein states, the planet is only a few years away from the tipping point, past which there is no return. This book aims to persuade its readers to join forces with each other in order to overturn the current economic paradigm of unfettered capitalism.