"A rallying point for the disaffected." Book review: No is Not Enough by Naomi Klein

This quick-fire response to the rise of Donald Trump could become a rallying point for the disaffected and angry
June 20, 2017
No is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein made her name nearly 20 years ago with No Logo, a punchy analysis of the way global brands manipulate us into buying stuff that either we don’t need or is bad for us. She followed it up with a coruscating critique of the Iraq war in The Shock Doctrine, which linked the “shock and awe” military tactics of the US army with the economic “shock therapy” inflicted by unfettered free-market capitalism.

Her new book, No is Not Enough, a quick-fire response to the rise of Donald Trump, draws together these two strands of analysis. For what is Trump, she says, but the “ultimate brand?” His ruthlessness in business and perverse charisma were sold to the American people on the reality show The Apprentice before those qualities took him to the White House.

Klein believes Trump is a “Frankenstein’s monster,” stitched together from different strands of hard-right thinking: from his chauvinism and xenophobia to his denial of the seriousness of climate change. In this sense, he is not an aberration but the culmination of long-term trends in mainstream North American politics.

Her logical leaps are a bit too smooth and the language can be overheated. But her value as a writer is as a skilful synthesiser of different radical causes. You could say her talents are those of the advertising copy-writer matched with the political polemicist. Given the febrile political atmosphere in both the US and the UK, you can see how this book could become a rallying point for the disaffected and angry.