PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT: The New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money, and Economic Crisis

Charles Derber, Author, Noam Chomsky, Et, Preface by . St. Martin's $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-30669-4

Sociologist Derber (Corporation Nation) has a breezy writing style, slightly more academic than that of Thomas Friedman, whom he invokes often in this critique of the increasing trend toward globalization. Where Friedman sees globalization as an inevitable process, Derber believes we can still change globalization's direction, eliminating its market-driven excesses to provide truly universal economic development. The goals he proposes—ending global poverty, promoting local democracy and culture, making businesses socially accountable and creating a framework for genuinely collective peace and stability—aren't new, nor is his observance that people all over the world are coming together to achieve those goals, but what his analysis lacks in originality, it makes up in accessibility. Despite Derber's optimism that American citizens will sympathize with the emphasis of "third-wave" activists on combating corporate corruption and influence over government, he does admit his insistence that "we cannot have global democracy in a world so thoroughly dominated by the United States" is likely to meet with mainstream resistance. Reaction to that frank assessment is likely to overshadow other discussion, such as Derber's cogent explanation of the threats that the WTO and IMF pose to local sovereignty, especially with regard to labor and environmental legislation, and his 25 suggestions for "what to do right now," simple actions that almost anyone can take to become politically aware and active. It's clear Derber wants to do more than preach to the choir and less clear that the public is ready to listen. (Dec. 1)

Reviewed on: 10/28/2002
Release date: 12/01/2002
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-312-30670-0
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