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Download Life Inc.: How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Life Inc.: How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back Audiobook, by Douglas Rushkoff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (524 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Douglas Rushkoff Narrator: Douglas Rushkoff Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780307702326
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In Life Inc, award-winning writer Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from being convenient legal fictions to being the dominant fact of contemporary life. The resulting ideology, corporatism, has infiltrated all aspects of civics, commerce, and culture—from the founding of the first chartered monopoly to the branding of the self, from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking, from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of Facebook. Life Inc explains why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401(k) plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business. Most important, Rushkoffilluminates both how we’ve become disconnected from our world and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and, mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Read this book if you want to understand how the current economic meltdown started 400 years ago, how so much of what you consider to be a natural evolution of daily life was carefully designed to profit a few, and how corporatism has so colonized every part of life that most of us don't even recognize how our lives and fortunes are channeled and manipulated by it. I love that Rushkoff isn't afraid to think big—very big. Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs
  • Ever get the feeling that you're trapped on a hamster wheel of predatory "Corporatism"? An unwitting participant in a system that you didn't sign up for in the first place? What happens when the operating system of this corporate Moloch runs amok? Life Inc is a hopeful, timely call to arms to wrest control of our lives, our sanity and our children's futures back from the corporate agenda. Douglas Rushkoff's best book yet. Richard Metzger, author and TV host
  • Hand wringing over the state of the global economy? Think again. Douglas Rushkoff explains why this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remember what matters, and to rethink our economic system so it reinforces our human values. A profound and important call to action. Tim O'Reilly, Founder & CEO of O'Reilly Media
  • This is a provocative and controversial look at the dark side of corporatist effects on our economy. Douglas Rushkoff explores the various ways, some you may never have considered, that innovation and commerce can be stunted by corporations. Whether or not you agree, you will find this book challenges some of our basic assumptions about how our economy works. Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
  • There are few more important subjects in the West today than the corporatization of public and personal space and few writers as well-suited to the subject as the always insightful and provocative Doug Rushkoff.  A terrific contribution to an urgent debate. Naomi Wolf, author of Give Me Liberty

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Psuke | 2/18/2014

    " I loved the beginning of this book (particularly the intro story that explains the inspiration, as it were) and I loved the final chapters. The rest of the book was (to my mind) too much explaining of how fiat currency and corporate culture have ruined our lives. Fiat currency and corporate culture have a lot to answer for, but they weren't unmitigated evils and they didn't operate in a vacuum. I would have preferred that he spend more time on the excellent material at the end, dealing with obstacles and opportunities for the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 AJ | 1/31/2014

    " I love how this book really tied everything together, and how it managed to remain optimistic instead of dismal like most books of these sorts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elroy Jetson | 1/29/2014

    " This book simplifies and opens your eyes to the flaws inherent in corporatism. The author does a fantastic job of taking complex and very detailed economic information and translates it in such a way that it becomes clear that, not only should we have expected the current financial collapse, but it was fundamentally inevitable in a centralized economic system. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 1/15/2014

    " This is a book everyone needs to read. It articulates ideas that I've been forming about corporations over the last couple of years. It's pro-capitalism while being anti-corporatism and points out the biases of a central currency vs. a local one. A fantastic, easy-to-read and mind-opening book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 1/13/2014

    " Rushkoff's book may be a little crazy at times, but it is worth the read. The main thing I got from this book was that we shouldn't be built upon "monoculture" paradigm. We need to see that our lives are bigger and more important than economics and that economics can be a tool for achieving happiness, rather than happiness in and of itself. His notion that we are too beholden to bank notes rather than to other systems of transactions is worrisome; not because its crazy, but because it makes sense. The most efficient transactions are those of the barter system where one person gives someone something else. We also see this in our daily lives. One person borrows a gardening tool, or I am lent some vanilla for a recipe. What would be more inefficient would be the exchanging of money as a placeholder for these things. I think it sparks new ways of thinking about economics, and a book that leads to better questions is definitely a book worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/11/2014

    " Prefer program or be programmed. Rushkoff leverages many of the same stories as jumping off points in his books. This book is not as introspective nor does it have strong calls to action, which is where I believe a futurist resonates most powerfully. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 12/28/2013

    " One perspective. I find it to be a fascinating, helpful worldview that I had not previously considered. I read a chapter here and there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 12/19/2013

    " Just by skimming the other reviews I see that my criticism of the book is pretty common-lots of How the World became a Corporation and not enough of How to Take it Back. Even so, it was a very interesting read, albeit depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andreas | 12/6/2013

    " Well written, albeit a bit long-winded. I found that I was familiar with much of the material that he covers in the book. I found the final chapter where Rushkoff looks ahead very inspiring, and well-worth reading in any case. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maarten Sinnecker | 12/5/2013

    " Great holistic view on corporatism, sustainability and technology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig | 11/7/2013

    " While i found some of the historical analysis arguable, this is a hugely interesting and vital book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Reese | 9/8/2013

    " i haven't read a good polemic in a long time. Rushkoff trashes everyone from Deepak Chopra to R.D. Laing for their influences on our hyper individuated culture and our personal adoption of corporate values. some valuable insights and a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 8/27/2013

    " I really liked this book, but it really didn't cover as much of the "Take It Back" part as I wanted. I also thought the writing got a little choppy in spots. It's still a very good book. It's coverage of the early history of corporatism is great. Overall, well research and good (if depressing) read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yasheve | 7/7/2013

    " Simply one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It's always nice reading books that support ideals and beliefs that you already. It's even more powerful when these ideals and beliefs are validated with historical archives that you can verify independently. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Lowen | 8/11/2012

    " Fascinating look at how money works and how it doesn't have to be this way. And in fact wasn't always this way -- money wasn't always issued by a central government and expected to bear interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug Stewart | 5/22/2012

    " Five stars as a Rushkoff book, would expect more from many other writers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vance Dubberly | 4/20/2012

    " One of the better articulations of modern life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 8/10/2011

    " The "how the world became a corporation" part was interesting enough, but by the time we got to "how to take it back", we were on the last chapter; disappointing. Hopefully he'll follow it up with something more focused on ideas and examples for future progress. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Awymarie | 7/14/2011

    " Live the ideas, the writing and the history involved. Changed the way I perceive my neighborhood and the city as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 2/23/2011

    " A must read, it will change you as a person. You will never listen to the radio, walk into a mall or read the newspaper again without thinking about this book and what it has to say about these and other simple activities.
    We are so manipulated... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 11/20/2010

    " Five stars as a Rushkoff book, would expect more from many other writers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 9/22/2010

    " Has some interesting ideas and I agree with a lot of the conclusions he makes.
    Scary.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cavolonero | 8/20/2010

    " Too overwraught to get four stars, but close "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/20/2010

    " Really good...The only reason it is not 5 stars is that I thought it read like a manifesto at times. But anyway, this really made me think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 4/11/2010

    " I just finished this book in audio format on a recent trip to Chicago. It is perhaps one of the most influential books I have ever read. I would encourage everyone to read it. I consider it compulsory reading for anyone seeking to be a professional in today's world. "

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About the Author
Author Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff is the bestselling author of Present Shock, as well as a dozen other books on media, technology, and culture, including Program or Be Programmed and Life Inc. Named one of the world’s ten most influential thinkers by MIT, he has made documentaries for PBS Frontline, including Generation Like and The Merchants of Cool, and he is a professor of media theory and digital economics at Queens College, CUNY. He lives in New York and lectures about media, society, and economics around the world.