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  • Published: 6 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802061956
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $24.99

Doppelganger

A Trip Into the Mirror World




A wild ride into the uncanny mirror world of our polarised culture, from the international bestselling author of The Shock Doctrine

What if you woke up one morning and found you'd acquired a double? Someone almost like you, and yet not you at all?

When Naomi Klein discovered that a woman who shared her first name, but had radically different, harmful views, was getting chronically mistaken for her, it seemed too ridiculous to take seriously. Then suddenly it wasn't. She started to find herself grappling with a distorted sense of reality, becoming obsessed with reading the threats on social media, the endlessly scrolling insults from the followers of her doppelganger. Why had her shadowy other gone down such an extreme path? Why was identity - all we have to meet the world - so unstable?

To find out, Klein decided to follow her double into a bizarre, uncanny mirror world: one of conspiracy theories, anti-vaxxers and demagogue hucksters, where soft-focus wellness influencers make common cause with fire-breathing far right propagandists (all in the name of protecting 'the children'). In doing so, she lifts the lid on our own culture during this surreal moment in history, as we turn ourselves into polished virtual brands, publicly shame our enemies, watch as deep fakes proliferate and whole nations flip from democracy to something far more sinister.

This is a book for our age and for all of us; a deadly serious dark comedy which invites us to view our reflections in the looking glass. It's for anyone who has lost hours down an internet rabbit hole, who wonders why our politics has become so fatally warped, and who wants a way out of our collective vertigo and back to fighting for what really matters.

  • Published: 6 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802061956
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Naomi Klein

Born in Montreal in 1970, Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and author of the international bestseller No Logo, which was shortlisted for the Guardian first book award. Translated into twenty-five languages, No Logo was called "a movement bible" and placed Naomi Klein at the vanguard of a new wave of considering globalisation and corporations. In Blank is Beautiful, Klein will once again revolutionize our way of thinking.Naomi Klein writes an internationally syndicated column for the Guardian and her articles appear in numerous publications, including The Nation, The New Statesman, Newsweek International, the New York Times and the Village Voice. A collection of her work, titled Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, was published in October 2002. For the past six years, Klein has travelled throughout North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe, tracking the rise of anticorporate activism. She is a frequent media commentator and university guest lecturer and was a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her latest book is The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Penguin, 2007).

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Praise for Doppelganger

This book is as foreboding as a guide through the maze of mirrors of the modern right should be. But it's not only that: Naomi Klein has made Doppelganger gripping and scintillating, too. The result is a reckoning with the present moment that's as insightful as all Klein's indispensable work, and as suspenseful as a novel.

China Mieville

Naomi Klein never disappoints. Doppelganger swirls through the bewildering ideas of the ultra-right that often appear as a distorted mirror of left struggle and strategy. With her always incisive analysis of the systems and structures linked to global capitalism, Klein now fiercely and brilliantly urges that our justice movements be prepared to follow the quest for new meaning into dimensions where we might least expect to find it: in injury and vulnerability.

Angela Y. Davis

This will be remembered as Naomi Klein's true master work: the ultimate expression of our collective crisis, told through the necessarily subjective lens of human experience ... With the benefit of Naomi Klein's journey through the crucible of self-annihilation, we can understand everything from Covid conspiracies to climate denialism in a new light. A triumph.

Douglas Rushkoff

I finished this book and nearly cried with relief, Klein gave me the gift of being calm. She explores and diagnoses with empathy, warmth and searing precision the confusion and utter madness of what it is to be alive right now. This is a big book with big ideas which poses the most direct questions for our times. Everyone needs to read it as a matter of urgency.

Sheena Patel

If you want to make sense of a world upside-down, this staggering masterpiece will show you how - and then it blazes a path to a more loving and caring future.

V (formerly Eve Ensler), author of Reckoning and The Vagina Monologues

Klein's prose is tight and urgent ... evoking both laughter and dismay and entrancingly matching the mounting frenzy of seeing your public self morph into someone else ... [Klein's] comprehensive and nuanced treatments of these issues are valuable and compelling ... A disarming and addictive call to solidarity.

Kirkus

[A] striking meditation . . . Klein's writing is perceptive and intriguingly personal . . . By articulating such an expansive view of the uncanny, Klein's mesmerizing narrative reflects the unique anxieties and modes of analysis that have come to dominate the online era. Like Klein's previous books, it's a definitive signpost of the times.

Publishers Weekly

Once a decade, Naomi Klein writes a book that prompts us to completely rethink the moment we're in. If you want to understand where we are now - and how to find our way back to sanity - you have to read this totally brilliant book.

Johann Hari

A deeply compelling read, one which feels urgent and necessary as we enter yet another period of political strife. In Doppelganger, Klein gives shape and context to that apocalyptic mindset – and implores us to offer up an alternative.

Evening Standard

Klein wields her polymathic expertise like a sword, slicing through the mirror world ... There's a lot going on in Doppelganger, yet somehow Klein ties it all together into what we seem to be lacking as individuals: a cohesive whole. Doppelganger is both timely and timeless, a work in a grand tradition.

LA Times

Like your smartest friend guiding you through a rather knotty personal conundrum that just happens to involve the most pressing issues of our age.

Irish Independent

Dazzling and erudite ... There is something hopeful in this project, in its sheer intellectual ambition and range, its effort to pick apart and decipher the absurdities and ironies of our political derangement, which almost no other writer could pull off. If I had to name a single book that makes sense of these last few dark years, it would be this one.

New York Times Book Review

I’ve been raving about Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger ... I can’t think of another text that better captures the berserk period we’re living through.

Michelle Goldberg, New York Times

This story of mistaken identity would on its own be gripping and revealing enough, both as a psychological study and for its explorations of the double in art and history, the disorienting effects of social media, and the queasy feeling of looking into a distorted mirror. But the larger subject of Doppelganger turns out to be a far more complex and consequential confusion ... A uniquely astute account of the scrambled political formations that have come out of the pandemic.

Laura Marsh, The New Republic

[A] brave new book . . . By the end, I wondered if maybe Klein had come closer than ever to cracking the code that reveals what, really, is at the heart of our collective dysfunction ... Klein brings her analytical prowess and keen wit to an exploration of the concept of doubles ... [She] blends the personal and the political so seamlessly that it’s hard to imagine they could ever be apart.

The Progressive

A book of surprising insights, unexpected connections and great subtlety ... Doppelganger is really a story of political and psychic confusion ... True to form, Klein’s ultimate message is log off and get on to the streets.

William Davies, Guardian

In an ever-increasing polarised world, Doppelgangers asks the big contemporary questions and is dripping in acerbic wit from a phenomenal writer.

Glamour

A deeply insightful inquiry into the ways in which the technology that drives our lives increasingly demands mirror-image doubles, tribal combatants to fuel a divided culture ... a powerful antidote. In articulating and examining some of the darker forces of the world her "double" inhabits, Klein never forgets that the primary purpose of mirrors is actually self-reflection; to understand the other, you first have to know yourself.

Tim Adams, The Observer

International bestseller Naomi Klein returns with her attempt to make sense of what has been a wild and bizarre few years ... Everything you have been afraid to do a real deep-dive into, Klein goes right in and what she comes up with is equally fascinating and terrifying.

The Examiner

This bold, brave and expertly researched book diagnoses the big problems and offers practical, considered solutions for them.

The Irish Times

A fantastic read, witty and illuminating, informative and thoughtful, deeply humane while uncompromisingly clear about some very disturbing truths.

Octavia Bright

This book is the product of Klein’s fascination with her doppelgänger. As she charts [Naomi] Wolf’s journey towards extremism, Klein shines a light on the dangers of social media and the new world of online conspiracy theories.

James Marriott, The Times Books of the Year

The most comforting book I read this year – Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger tells of her slightly paranoid obsession with Naomi Wolf, her conspiracy theorist "double". Klein catches that sense that the world has become fictional, but she manages to stay sane, interesting and trenchantly political throughout. In difficult times, this feels very empowering.

Anne Enright, The Observer Books of the Year

Wonderfully esoteric ... it expands into the territory of mass confusion: about politics, technology and what we can ever really know.

Prospect Books of the Year

Naomi Klein masterfully weaves her way through anti-vaxxers, wellness influencers and alt-right demagogues, attempting to make sense of the conspiratorial turn in contemporary politics ... far reaching and relentlessly incisive.

Paula Lacey, The Skinny Books of the Year

The most comforting book I read this year – Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger - tells of her slightly paranoid obsession with Naomi Wolf, her conspiracy theorist "double". Klein catches that sense that the world has become fictional, but she manages to stay sane, interesting and trenchantly political throughout. In difficult times, this feels very empowering

Anne Enright, Observer Books of the Year

I’ve been a massive fan of Naomi Klein ever since the groundbreaking No Logo. Her latest book, Doppelgänger, purports to deal with people constantly mistaking her for the conspiracist, Naomi Wolf, but is actually about the polarised duality of modern life. It’s full of clever, funny, thought-provoking stuff

Dom Joly, Daily Express Books of the Year

Naomi Klein has a very strange problem: people keep confusing her with Naomi Wolf. So what, you might think. But whereas Klein is a mainstream left-wing author, Wolf (who found fame as the author of The Beauty Myth) has drifted off into nutty vaccine conspiracy theories and election denial. This book is the product of Klein’s fascination with her doppelgänger. As she charts Wolf’s journey towards extremism, Klein shines a light on the dangers of social media and the new world of online conspiracy theories

James Marriott, The Times Best Ideas Books of the Year

Naomi Klein’s wonderfully esoteric Doppelganger begins with an individual case of confusion: Klein is often mistaken for Naomi Wolf, another Jewish thinker and author—albeit one who, unlike Klein, has sunk into conspiracy theories about Covid vaccinations. But then it expands into the territory of mass confusion: about politics, technology and what we can ever really know

Prospect Books of the Year

Viciousness towards famous women is also part of the story in Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger, in which she becomes obsessed with her half-namesake Naomi Wolf, and the latter’s curious transformation from hip feminist to Covid conspiracy theorist and truther on the topic of contrails. It doesn’t help that Klein is so often confused with her subject "in this crowded and filthy global toilet known as social media". But as she continues "cringe-following" Wolf her themes widen and darken, taking in a cultural history of doubles and evil twins, conspiracy theories more generally, the rise of the populist right in the person of Steve Bannon, and a close reading of Philip Roth, whose Operation Shylock she reads persuasively as the key to many such mythologies

Observer Best Ideas Books of the Year