Fiction & Biography


Fences and Windows iFlarnrngo 5‘8.E)‘.)u O...

In many ways these ‘Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalisation Debate’ are a much better entry point to Naomi Klein’s ideological writings than the occasionally woolly (in style) No Logo. The only trouble is that whereas No Logo was something of a struggle in places, this leaves you thirsty for more anti-corporate activism rather than a Starbucks iced frappe.

Divided into five parts, Fences and Windows presents in chronological order what Klein calls ‘postcards from dramatic moments in time, a record of the first chapter in a very old and recurring story, the one about people pushing up against barriers that try to contain them, opening up windows, breathing deeply, tasting freedom’.

In part one, ‘Windows of Dissent’, Klein gives us articles on the demonstrations in Seattle, Prague and Toronto that have already appeared in everything from The Nation to The Guardian. Still, their potency is far from diminished. One is reminded that Klein’s strength as a writer (she seems to be neither a born correspondent nor, thank heavens, a celebrity columnist) is her personal, serious style punctuated by breathtaking facts and figures, all underlined by a genuinely informed disgust. Klein certainly has a gift for raising the ire of an averager moralistic reader without ever having to resort to the flagrant manipulative tactics employed by lesser hacks.

Part two, ‘Fencing in Democracy’, sees Klein presenting her ideas on free trade and individual empowerment in a disastroust diseased market. This section contains some of the book’s best moments and Klein proves she is a lot more than just the soundbite



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Fascinating investigation into corruption and stupidity

Shelf life

Classic novels revisited. This issue: Heart of Darkness

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September has been used ‘to silence critics, ram through new trade deals, “re-brand” the USA and turn bra shopping into a patriotic duty’. If this section doesn’t get your blood boiling then you better feel for a pulse or at least a Tory/New Labour membership card.

Klein’s ultimate skill is that she has a way of revisiting the very recent past and questioning everything that western leaders (especially Bush) are doing to the world. Like No Logo this is another invaluable addition from the premier chronicler of the modern protest movement. itl'Y‘tilftriitlf; mun-:23 (l<>'.'.‘r‘; (Paul Dale) tilt} (longio :n 1890. (lllf‘ltgl

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activist she’s been accused of being. Doubters should refer to her writings on the IMF in Argentina, the US customs track record and the dense GM debate.

‘Fencing in the Movement‘ (section three) and ‘Windows of Democracy’ (section five) deal respectively with many age-old themes including criminalising dissent and the possibility of protest movements ever taking power. These are depressing but fascinating investigations into the corrupt and the stupid.

However, it is section four, ‘Capitalising on Terror’, where she really lets loose. Klein decisively shows that 11

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