A Brief Book Review: The Divide: Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets by Jason Hickel

After reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein I decided my next book in my steps towards radicalization and self-liberation should be this wok by Hickel. After reading this in less than 24 hours you could say I was very impressed. This book was very similar to Klein’s but provided an easier and more digestible way to question global institutions. I found this book very informative and complex in the positions it examined, yet non-excessive and equally unpretentious in its explanation. This was one of the first books I’ve read that I felt really put my own thoughts on things like legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and systems like charity and economic support into perspective. His claims on things like why charity doesn’t systematically help, or the effects of US intervention into elections from other countries, were routed in clear evidence and explained simply. His own real-life experiences and times where he had to examine his own biases was refreshing– it felt like all the claims he made he really meant. And not only did he support all of his evidence through historical evidence but he provided his time as a teacher and professor as a way to solidify his claims. He often brought up counter ideas or conflicting positions that the reader could inevitably have through the questions his students asked him, and then would explain why he concurred or rejected those claims. To the young radical who wants to educate themselves on leftisit politics and the realities of our world I would definitely recommend this book even before The Shock Doctrine because I think it is an excellent starting point. Although on the shorter side for this kind of political theory reading, its narrative is complex, beautiful, and liberating.

Published by ellakotsen

student at Bryn Mawr College

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