Globalization: Take It Personally (How Globalization affects you and powerful ways to challenge it)

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9780007128983: Globalization: Take It Personally (How Globalization affects you and powerful ways to challenge it)

A hard-hitting look at the myths and reality behind the spread of corporate globalization.

'Globalization is the most important change in the history of humankind, and the latest name for the conspiracy of the rich against the poor. It is the phenomenon most subject to the efforts of economists and statisticians, and the least understood and measured change in our time.'

In this extraordinary book outspoken business leader Anita Roddick brings together the voices of some of the most prominent authorities on the phenomenon of Globalization, including Susan George, David Korten and Naomi Klein. Full of hard-hitting images this full colour book gets right to the heart of the issue, exploding the myths that would have us believe Globalization is a force for good. Covering aspects of the subject as diverse as human rights, the environment, international finance, health, the food we eat and trade, the book combines medium-length articles with quotes, cases notes and interviews. This book constitutes a call to action, showing how each and every one of us can take on the corporate giants and make a real difference.

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Review:

When Anita Roddick calls her new Fair Trade agitprop handbook Take It Personally, you know that she means business. Ethical, fairly traded business, of course. Take It Personally has two hosts. Roddick herself steers the text with introductions to the essays and extracts that make up the book's five sections, headed Activism, People, Development, Environment and Money. Her hapless sidekick is George W Bush, whose unintentional humour provides the light relief in what is mostly a depressing analysis.

A focal point, naturally, is the 1999 Seattle demonstrations, and eye-witness accounts tell of the brutality protestors experienced, including Roddick, who was probably the only CEO on the streets that day. Directed at a World Trade Organisation meeting, held appropriately in the Land of the Free (Trade), the book takes similar aim, in addition to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, all guilty, in Roddick's words, of "social Darwinism". The tone of the rhetoric is striking, and though the writing can be variable, much of it is persuasive, particularly the contributions of Naomi Klein, whose book No Logo has inspired an unbranded generation, Indian activist Vandana Shiva, David Boyle (The Tyranny of Numbers) and a short interview by John Pilger with Burma's elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The graphics for this highly visual book are frequently arresting, steeped in the culture of "subvertising", and mingled with hard-hitting soundbites, as well as listings for useful, informative Web sites and magazines.

With proceeds going to NGOs and relevant organisations, Take It Personally practises what it prescribes. While the details of sweatshops, child work abuse, arms trading, poor food distribution, global warming and "profits before people" are hugely dispiriting, the contributors' consensus is the need for individual responsibility, ethical choices, to build from the bottom, from GM-free, organic grass roots, until it grows into corporate response. Biodiversity over monoculture is infinitely the most fruitful agricultural choice, and it stands as a similarly bountiful metaphor for our interconnected world. "Take It Personally" proves a vitally accessible addition to the growing debate on alternative economics and ecological awareness, alongside John Humphrys' The Great Food Gamble, George Monbiot's Captive State, and even Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist. --David Vincent

From the Author:

Dedicated to the activists, the grassroots organizations, the thought leaders and the alternative media who challenge the myth of the global economy and especially to Tony Clarke (director of the Polaris Institute in Canada) from whom I first heard the challenge "Take it Personally." Also to Ralph Nader, whose sense of the possibility of citizenship has been an inspiration to all of us. Anita Roddick

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