Podcast / The Time of Monsters / Sep 10, 2023

Naomi Klein and Her Doppelgänger

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Laura Marsh discusses the differences between Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf.

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Naomi Klein and Her Doppelganger | Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
byThe Nation Magazine

On this episode of the Time of Monsters podcast, Laura Marsh discusses Noami Klein's new book, Doppleganger, about Noami Wolf.

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US journalist Naomi Klein (L), columnist for The Nation and The Guardian and the author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” speaks as Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize–winning economist and University Professor at Columbia University, listens at a debate on Economic Power on October 20, 2008, during the Great Issues Forum at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in New York.

US journalist Naomi Klein (L), columnist for The Nation and The Guardian and the author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, speaks as Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize–winning economist and University Professor at Columbia University, listens at a debate on Economic Power on October 20, 2008, during the Great Issues Forum at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in New York.

(Stan Honda / AFP via Getty Images)

Naomi Klein, the esteemed author of The Shock Doctrine and other essential guides to politics, has long had to deal with the minor annoyance that many people conflate her with Naomi Wolf, the increasingly crankish writer best known for her first book, The Beauty Myth. This minor annoyance has become something worse in the Covid era, as Wolf has rebranded herself as a major opponent of vaccination and increasingly allied herself with far right figures like Steve Bannon.

In response, Klein has written a book, called Doppelganger, about Wolf, which might seem like too gimmicky an idea. But in fact, Klein has written an excellent book, one that uses Wolf as a symptom of wider problems of fragmentation and alienation in the age of multiple crisis that are tearing apart the social fabric. The book asks why so many people becoming unmoored and attracted to conspiracy theories. It also provides sobering thoughts about the program needed to renew our shared sense of reality and social purpose. Laura Marsh, literary editor of The New Republic, wrote an excellent long essay that tackled the issues raised by Klein’s book. On this episode of The Time of Monsters, I talked to Laura about this profound and essential new book and the issues it raises.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

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Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the weekly Nation podcast, The Time of Monsters. He also pens the monthly column “Morbid Symptoms.” The author of In Love with Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (2013) and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays and Profiles (2014), Heer has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The American Prospect, The GuardianThe New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

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