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Book reviews for "Barlow,_Maude" sorted by average review score:

Alternatives to Economic Globalization
Published in Paperback by Berrett-Koehler (15 November, 2002)
Authors: John Cavanagh, Jerry Mander, Sarah Anderson, Debi Barker, Maude Barlow, Walden Bello, Robin Broad, Tony Clarke, Edward Goldsmith, and Randy Hayes
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Essential reading on globalization
Drafted by a committee of 19 (but sufficiently well edited to read as if it were written by a single author) this book provides a well-argued, detailed and wide-ranging analysis of the consequences of economic globalization (the term corporate globalization is also extensively used in the book) and an examination of alternatives and the action required to move towards those alternatives. It has succeeded brilliantly, and deserves very close study, whether or not you agree with the drafting committee's views.

This is no extremist anti-corporate, anti-capitalist text, although it does clearly come to the conclusion that the vector of economic globalisation that we are on is neither inevitable, desirable nor sustainable. It is notable for arguing at the level of underlying principles and their practical consequences - it makes explicit the assumptions underlying corporate globalisation and questions them. This, in itself, is a valuable service as so much of the 'debate' in the media proceeds on the basis of bald assertion of essentially fallacious economic dogma.

The report starts with a critique of 'corporate globalization'. The term itself is useful, because the term 'globalization' has become something of a 'Humpty-Dumpty' word ('when I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean, neither more nor less'). 'Corporate globalization' describes a process driven and promoted by the large global corporations which, whatever its other consequences, gives primacy to the benefits that will flow to global business.

The critique identifies eight key features of corporate globalization:

1. 'Promotion of hypergrowth and unrestricted exploitation of environmental resources to fuel that growth
2. Privatization and commodification of public services and of remaining aspects of the global and community commons
3. Global cultural and economic homogenization and the intense promotion of consumerism
4. Integration and conversion of national economies, including some that were largely self-reliant, to environmentally and socially harmful export oriented production
5. Corporate deregulation and unrestricted movement of capital across borders
6. Dramatically increased corporate concentration
7. Dismantling of public health, social, and environmental programs already in place
8. Replacement of traditional powers of democratic nation-states and local communities by global corporate bureaucracies.'

It demonstrates each of these propositions and explores who are the beneficiaries of application of these policies. One of the complexities of trying to follow the arguments of the pro- and anti- globalisers is that both use statistics, both from apparently authoritative sources, that directly contradict each other. It is almost as if the two sides inhabit parallel universes that operate in different ways. Suffice it to say that the report puts forward convincing arguments in support of its case.

The critique proceeds to a devastating analysis of the impact of the World Bank, The IMF and the WTO, the three pillars of corporate globalisation, over the last four or five decades.

The report then argues ten principles for sustainable societies, as a basis for identifying ways of realising these principles in the subsequent chapters of the report. It argues that these principles 'seem to be the mirror opposites of the principles that drive the institutions of the corporate global economy.'.

One of the minor problems in the debate is that, whereas 'globalization' rolls easily off the tongue, 'the principle of subsidiarity' is neither easy to say nor obvious in its meaning. The report contains a chapter on the case for subsidiarity, and it is a strong one. The counter argument is almost entirely concerned with power. While there are many elements of conflict between corporate globalisation and the principle of subsidiarity - local control - they are not entirely antithetical. But the reach of the large corporates would unquestionably be reduced.

You may or may not agree with the arguments in this report, but they deserve serious attention. They are well and carefully argued, they represent (in fairly sophisticated terms) the views of a growing number of people around the world who believe that current beliefs and institutions serve them poorly, and they show those who wish to promote change a path for doing so.

recommended by anarchist grad student at snobby grad school
This book is excellent for all those who think we can do better-that small farmers needn't be driven from the land, our water needn't be polluted, people need not go hungry while others are overfed genetically engineered chemically altered junk food, etc. It has great thinkers presenting clear, well thought out ideas about what's wrong and what we can do about it. It helps when getting in that classic argument of keynesianism/communism v. neoliberalism because it outlines the thrid alternative very well. I am a grad student and I used it for a paper i wrote recently refuting neoliberalism and it was very helpful. I highly recommend it! Also, look into Maria Mies. She is the anti-capitalist-patriarchy bomb, yo.

This Book Shows That Another Way IS Possible!
A friend of mine who is involved with Rabbi Michael Lerner's Tikkun Community movement recently gave me a copy of Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible. I'm not an expert in this field at all, but I found the book worthwhile and very accessible. (So accessible that I read the entire thing in a week!) The writers include Jerry Mander, David Korten, Lori Wallach, and many people working around the world in the anti-globalization movement.

What makes the book really important is the positive solutions and alternatives offered. The authors offer real ways to put into practice the Tikkun Community's first and second core principles (interdependence and ecological sanity, and a new bottom line in economic and social institutions).

I think other Tikkun readers, progressive-Democrats, Green party members, and thoughtful people everywhere---who want to see the world change from how it is now to how it could be---would want to read a book outlining specifics of how to create sustainable energy, transportation and food systems. And Alternatives to Economic Globalization does just that. I can't recommend this book enough (in fact I've already bought several copies to give to some of my friends).

Mai: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment and the Threat to Canadian Sovereignty
Published in Paperback by Apex Press (April, 1997)
Authors: Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
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Feeling like there's no hope for the world? Then read on!
If you need reassurance that there are still people among uswho are committed to spiritual, moral, and ecological renewal, thenVoices of Hope is the perfect book for you. Hope and Young'sdescriptions of how activists around the world are living out theirFaith and their yearning for a better world gave me a strong sense ofenergy and hope; this book will surely provide sustenance to otherreaders who are trying to live their lives centered in Simplicity,Awareness and Love -- in a world that feels increasingly at odds withsuch endeavours.

Compelling, informative, challenging, motivating, accesible.
Voices Of Hope In The Struggle To Save The Planet reveals the lives of individual men and women engaged presenting a renewed vision of our relationship to the earth, describing actions by faith-based environmental groups to nurture and protect the environment. Included are the lives and ideas of spiritual leaders and activists drawn from Judaism, Western and Eastern Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, and the faiths of indigenous peoples. Each chapter includes a brief analysis of a particular faith's ecological teachings and description of the environmental problems of the country where a particular activist is living. Voices Of Hope In The Struggle To Save The Planet is compelling, informative, challenging, motivating, and very highly recommended reading for environmental studies, activists, policy makers, as well as the non-specialist general reader with an interest in religion and environmental issues.

Frederick Street: Living and Dying on Canada's Love Canal
Published in Hardcover by HarperCollins Publishers (April, 2000)
Authors: Maude Barlow and Elizabeth May
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Shocking and sad
This is a powerful book about a case that I have not heard much about until I found this book at a garage sale. I really find it hard to believe that in a country like Canada, the citizens of Sydney were so maligned. Even though it has been a few years since this book was written, there still hasn't been much development in the treatment of the waste.

Mai : The Multilateral Agreement on Investment and the Threat to American Freedom
Published in Paperback by Stoddart Pub (March, 1998)
Authors: Maude Barlow, Lori Wallach, and Tony Clarke
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If you liked NAFTA, you'll love MAI
MAI is an international trade treaty currently being negotiated among the world's richest countries in Paris. Think of it as the next generation beyond GATT and the World Trade Organization. MAI will allow foreign corporations and investors to demand cash damages before international tribunals for almost any government action, from local laws to consumer protections, that they claim are a threat to their profits. Laws like the Community Reinvestment Act, that requires banks to loan in local communiteis as a condition for setting up branches, would be forbidden. The investment boycott that helped end apartheid in South Africa, would be forbidden. MAI will severely weaken the ability of governments to control the way foreign-based corporations behave toward their workers, the environment, or society in general. This is a more than must read.

Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of World's Water
Published in Paperback by McClelland & Stewart (March, 2003)
Authors: Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
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Thoughtful, mature treatment of a vital issue
Blue Gold succeeds at correlating the issue of dwindling fresh water supplies with the increasing power of multinational corporations. The book also suggests what needs to be done to secure a water-rich future for the world.

Barlow and Clarke begin their analysis by discussing the shortcomings of many publicly-owned water systems, where the use of science and technology have overwhelmed the carrying capacity of the earth. The author's description of Mexico City literally sinking into the ground as underground water supplies are pumped to exhaustion is frightening.

But private ownership of water will not rectify the situation. If the corporations' purpose is to serve shareholder interests, the authors argue, how can anyone suppose that water resources will be managed sustainably or equitably by them? Indeed, the book provides many examples of corporate projects that threaten to deplete local fresh water supplies in order to provide (short-lived) profits for investors.

Yet, Barlow and Clarke show that schemes to transfer control to corporations are often promoted by the World Bank and other institutions that champion multinational capital investments. This should not be too surprising, as water infrastructures are not unlike other publicly-held assets that have become favorite targets of the investment community (disguised under the banner of "deregulation") in recent years.

While making a compelling case that growing corporate influence can only make a bad situation worse, the authors spend several chapters discussing how people can begin to constructively address the situation and turn it around for the better. These sections in particular are thoughtful and are obviously written by persons who have spent a great amount of time on this issue. Far from being merely a "screed" (as the reviewer from the pro-business Cahner's reviews claimed), I found the author's thoughts in these later chapters to be mature, balanced, and humane. Water, as a necessity for life, might indeed be the one issue that unites people around issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

I highly recommend this book for readers interested in learning more about an issue that will undoubtedly become increasingly important in the future.

Pirating our Water Supply
Blue Gold's a book to let you know more about where your water in America is going. Can we stop this theft of our most valuable resource. A study reports huge corporations seeking control of the world's water supply. These involve giant European corporations in collaboration with the World Bank. Together increasingly taking control of public water supplies with tragic results. a report 'The Water Barons' says that by 2002 private water companies were operating in 56 countries and 2 territories. This rose from a dozen in 1990. Companies that are expanding control are Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and Vivendi Environment of France, Thomas Water by RWEAG of Germany, Suar of France and United Utilities of England working with Bechtel Co. of the United States. All of these have worked closely with the World Bank. They lobby aggressively for legislation and trade laws to require cities to privatize their water. A recent update is that these companies continue in their acquisition to control water companies in the Northeastern U.S. region.

In major cities around the world, they persuade governments to sign long-term contracts with major private water companies. The concern, is that a handful of private companies could soon control a tremendous bulk of the world's most vital resource. Are water barons providing a good product? One certain city in the U.S. cancelled it's water contract because of complaints of poor service and unsanitary water conditions. In other countries and poorer countries were unable to pay huge water bills were forced to drink from disease-ridden lakes and streams resulting the spread of deadly epidemic outbreaks such as chlorea. In regions of the U.S. where ground water isn't enough to support domestic and fire protection water needs. It's necessary to develop alternative sources of water. The water crisis is worldwide. Many countries are facing a severe shortage. Some will run out of water by the year 2011. Can we find alternative ways to conserve our greatest resource. And, in the meantime can we stop the railroading of public water to greedy giant corporate barons. This book is a eye-opener. Another good reading on this subject is, 'Cadillac Desert.'

Blue Gold is extremely easy reading replete with abundant data and reasons why private corporations should not be allowed to provide public services. While there is no doubt that private enterprise has failed in some cases and has been guilty of unseemly business practices, the authors completely ignore the dismal failure and inability of government to develop and manage water supplies. Santa Fe, New Mexico, for example, convinced their citizens that the Sangre de Cristo water company was poorly run and the water was too expensive. Since they took it over, service has been downhill and costs have been uphill. Readers are urged to use google to determine the Santa Fe water woes. The book provides a specious look at the Walkerton, Ontario affair, a publicly run water system, by saying the E. Coli outbreak was the fault of a private laboratory because they only reported what the government required. Other examples of poorly run public systems are too numerous to mention including Dar es Salam, Nairobi, Cochabamba and many others.

The book is a pleasant and informative read but must be read with the understanding that the authors are completely opposed to any private involvement in the production and distribution of water. They make the mistake of equating the operation of a water system with the ownership of the resource. They make the mistake or would like the reader to believe that the cost of water is actually the cost of water. It is not. When we refer to the cost of water it is really the annualized amortation of the capital infrastructure cost and the annual operation and maintenance cost. There are very few situations where the water is sold as a resources, San Diego, El Paso, and San Antonio being a few recent examples. So to say water is like oil is misdirection.

The authors also would lead readers to believe that bottled water is bad. In actual fact, bottling companies are held to the same standard as municipal systems for water quality.

The authors are strongly opposed to the bulk water export from Canada or from anywhere else. Those who propose such schemes could not make their proposals unless there were an uneven distribution of water on earth and their proposals are sometimes received favorably by governments such as Israel in their proposal to temporarily import 50 million cubic meters for 10 years until their desalination plants are up and running.

The Fight of My Life: Confessions of an Unrepentant Canadian
Published in Paperback by HarperCollins Publishers (September, 1999)
Author: Maude Barlow
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It was a fight to finish this book
Maude Barlow does not like free trade. Why she has written so many books about hating free trade, and by extension freedom to associate and contract with other people, is a mystery. If she could state just what is so bad about free markets perhaps some meaningful dialogue could take place. Barlow main point is that it is bad if people who run corporations make money, but it is okay is labors make money. What does she favor one group of workers over the other? Well, firstly she does not consider managers to be doing any type of meaningful work, yet she gives no reason for why she believes this. Secondly, like the previous review her dislike of foriegn corporations borders on xenophobia, Barlow knows this and actually states that she is not xenophobic, but making such statement is meaningless given the position she has staked out.

Running on Empty
For over 200 pages Barlow repeats every single argument against free trade that she has stated in all of her other works. The difference this time is that she's decided to call it an autobiography.

If you've read any of her past work, Parcel of Rogues or Class Warfare, there is no need to read this book. She trots out her tired old arguments: corporations are bad, markets are bad, foreign ownership is bad. At one point she states that her nationalism is not xenophobic despite the fact that she constantly rails against foriegn ownership: foriegner ownership is bad because the owners are not your own nationality and therefore cannot be trusted, if this isn't xenophobic and potentially racist I don't know what is.

Another odd characteristice of the book is that any proponent of free markets is presented as fools, but any of Barlow formers colleagues who turned their back on her causes are pretty much forgiven.

National Socialists like Barlow should learn some economics and history before they write drivel like this and contribute to deforestation.

Parcel of Rogues: How Free Trade Is Failing Canada
Published in Hardcover by Key Porter Books (March, 1991)
Author: Maude Barlow
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The message is: Freedom is Bad
The essence of demagogue Barlow tirade against free trade is quite simple: corporations run by foriegners cannot be trusted. The second lesson is: domestic corporations cannot be trusted. Third lesson: individuals cannot be trusted to make decision for themselves because they may not buy more expensive domesticly manufactured goods. Fourth lesson: nationalistic government is the best type of government.

However, Barlow is incapable of putting these lessons together to show that they would lead to the world being a very poor place in a state of constant warfare due to nationalistics policies leading to trade wars, and then eventual military war as they try to capture eachothers natural resources.

National Socialism Returns
The book is an angry denounciation of the free market system with absolutely no coherent argument to explain why. Barlow seems to be suggesting that free trade is never a good idea because some people may lose their jobs in the short term, of course, all consumers benefit from free trade but Barlow fails to mention this.

The basic message of the book is that protectionist economic policy is the key to growth and prosperity. This type of national socialist policy is exactly what led to the collapse of Japan, and the rest of the Asian Tigers.

If you want a recipe for economic disaster read this book.

The Big Black Book: The Essential Views of Conrad and Barbara Amielblack
Published in Paperback by Stoddart Pub (April, 1998)
Authors: Maude Barlow and James P. Winter
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Another Hilarious Leftist Screed
You mean people who choose to spend their lives in media actually have political views? Wow, what a revelation.

It obviously outrages Barlow that people who defy the Canadian left's groupthink are still allowed to own newspapers in this country. But if Barlow wants to examine bias in the Canadian media, she should start on the left. Some examples she might have considered include the Atkinson family, the Liberal party apparatchiks who control the Toronto Star, Canada's biggest and dumbest newspaper. I'm sure it is mere coincidence that the paper reads like a Liberal propaganda sheet.

And lest a socialist like Barlow attempt to pin the blame for this kind of bias on capitalist ownership of the media, let's not forget the CBC, Canada's government-supported broadcaster and a leading manufacturer of at least two kinds of red ink and so howlingly leftist that it has lost any semblance of credibility for reporting anything beyond hockey.

Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water
Published in Hardcover by Stoddart (March, 2002)
Authors: Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
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Global Showdown: How the New Activists Are Fighting Global Corporate Rule
Published in Paperback by Stoddart Pub (March, 2002)
Authors: Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
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