Clive Veroni is a masterful writer and this is a timely book. Not until most of the way through this book does he reveal that his degree in English literature has served him well in the world of marketing…and it has also served him well as a writer. This 295 page book is tightly edited to emphasize the organization of Veroni’s argument and and the marvelous flow of his ideas. Although it is largely a retrospective on politics and marketing in order to show cause and effect relationships, Veroni’s introspective analysis rings true about current events as well. My favourite chapters are #4, The Age of the Open Brand, and #7 The Impropable Team. Veroni argues that real-time social media has “turned the old brand autocracy into a new brand democracy” and I think we’ve just seen that happen in the Canadian election with the sweeping majority won by now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In line with this concept, Veroni also argues that the best think tanks happening today are a heterogeneous group of people from different backgrounds and that their varied perspectives create a tension that they have to work through in order to harmonize. In education, we call that creating dissonance. There is a lot to learn from Spin and I hope to see more from Veroni.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reading this book has changed my life. This book is the first book I’ve read from the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen selections for 2015. Naomi Klein is such an important voice for Canada that this book was on my to-read list well before it was nominated though. I enjoyed reading this book through Audible.com‘s selection so I listened to about 7 hours a week which was wonderful because it has a lot of important information about climate change that are combined with unfamiliar issues such as economics, world trade, environmental law, industrialization, and indentured slavery that I needed to digest in smaller pieces. Klein manages to put all of these issues together into one book and concludes that if we can’t manage to adjust our culture of consumption that we don’t have a chance of stopping global warming. More importantly though, that we need to start making right the crimes that we have committed through industrialization and globalization and make reparations to developing nations that are still disadvantaged by centuries of colonial actions. At home in Canada, Klein argues that we need to demand a higher minimum wage so that people can stop taking McJobs for shitty companies who continue to put capitalism first and human needs and the environment as distant seconds. In a deeply personal chapter, Klein reveals that her concerns for climate change exploded during her struggles with infertility and points to our dramatic increases in infertility and disease as the red flag symptoms that we continue to ignore by believing in the capitalism-driven pharmaceuticals instead. In summary: I learned a lot.
As a secondary school teacher-librarian, I will carry this book in my library but it isn’t going to be an easy sell. However, as a research tool it will be phenomenal and I will bring bits and pieces of it out to stimulate inquiry research and for discussion for years to come.