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Naomi Klein has a surprisingly dispassionate style for the radical image that preceeds her, but there’s no doubting the punch in her latest offering, The Shock Doctrine, particularly if The Guardian’s extracts are anything to go by. The war on terror, she writes, has spawned an age of “disaster capitalism” whereby the Bush administration siphoned off vital government responsibilities to the private sector. While the first responders – police and firemen – were praised immediately after the attacks on 9/11, they were forgotten soon after.

Instead, private laboratories won contracts for producing unneeded anthrax vaccines, Dick Cheyney’s Halliburton secured deals to build Guantanamo-esque detention centres and Boeing fared well out of extraordinary rendition, flying terror suspects to dubious locations in Eastern Europe.

All this is hardly new to a casual observer, however. What would be truly shocking is if an Obama or Clinton White House failed to change Bush policy.

The court of revolutionaries

Ignoring the wife