Naomi Klein at 2008 Bioneers conference

Biography of Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein was born on May 5, 1970 in Montreal, Quebec into a political family. Her mother, Bonnie Sherr Klein, directed Not a Love Story, an anti-pornography film which looked into the life of a stripper named Linda Lee Tracey, in 1981, while her father, Michael Klein, is a member of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her brother, Seth Klein, became the B. C. Director of the Vancouver office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in 1997, and her grandfather was an animator at Disney who was fired for attempting to organize a labor union as well as staging the company�s first strike; he was subsequently blacklisted by Joseph McCarthy.

As a child, Naomi Klein was drawn by advertisements and brand names. She was obsessed with Barbie, designer jeans, and other merchandise she could buy. She was also dazzled by the logos of many corporations, especially the incandescent sign of Shell, which was �so bright and cartoon-like I was convinced that, if I could climb up and touch it, it would be like touching something from another dimension – from the world of TV.� She used to stitch fake logos onto her shirts in order to make them look like the genuine article. [top]
College Life and Later

Naomi Klein started writing for The Varsity, a student newspaper at the University of Toronto, while she was attending classes there. During what is termed the First Intifada, she wrote an article called �Victim to Victimizer.� She advocated �that not only does Israel have to end the occupation for the Palestinians, but also it has to end the occupation for its own people, especially its women,� Although she received a lot of criticism as well as a bomb threat for her piece, she refused to change her beliefs.

The event which brought about a complete change to Naomi Klein�s views was the massacre at the University of Montreal in 1989:

�A man went into the engineering school – he had failed to get a place – and he separated the men from the women, shouted, �You’re all a bunch of fucking feminists�, and opened fire. He killed 14 women. There was nothing like that incident in Canadian history – this is not America, where serial murders happen all the time – and it was a hate crime against women. It was a cataclysmic moment. It politicized us enormously. Of course, after that you call yourself a feminist.�

Indeed, she became a feminist activist. During the late 1980s, she campaigned on a wide range of issues, including gender visibility, which accompanied a rape threat. Later, she left college to become an intern at Toronto Globe and Mail. Following her internship, she became an editor of This Magazine, a political magazine. After she watched companies try to change their image by aligning with pseudo-social reforms, she decided to go back to college in 1995 to get a degree. Her association with the new group of young radicals helped her gain new ideas on the massive globalization which was happening around her.
Naomi Klein with her husband, Avi Lewis, in Argentina during their filming of The Take

Klein then became a journalist and a writer for The Nation and The Guardian. In 2000, she wrote No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, which has turned into an international phenomenon along with winning both the Canadian National Business Book Award and the French Prix M�diations. In 2002, she published Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, a collection of many of her previous works. She released The Take in 2004, a documentary directed by herself and her husband, Avi Lewis, about the plight of unemployed workers in Argentina. Klein is currently working on a new book to be released in the Fall of 2007 titled The Shock Doctrine: Rise of Disaster Capitalism. [top]

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