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"Excellent. ... Impressive." — Financial Times An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern world We tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite differen "Excellent. ... Impressive." — Financial Times An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern world We tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite different argument: much of the world around us—from the food we eat to teh products we buy to the medications we take—is shaped by private negotiations and business deals few of us know about. The Deals That Made the World takes us inside the sphere of these powerful players, examining ten groundbreaking business deals that have transformed our modern economy. Peretti reveals how corporate executives engineered an entire diet industry built on failure; how PayPal conquered online payments (and the specific behavioral science that underpins its success); and how pharmaceutical executives concocted a plan to successfully market medications to healthy people. For twenty years, Peretti has interviewed the people behind the decisions that have altered our world, from the CEOs of multinational corporations to politicians, economists, and scientists. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Peretti reveals a host of fascinating and startling connections, from how Wall Street's actions on food commodities helped spark the Arab Spring to the link between the AIDS epidemic in 1980s San Francisco and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. Touching upon tech, finance, artificial intelligence, and the other levers of power in a postglobalization environment, Peretti offers a compelling way to understand the last hundred years—and a suggestion of what the next hundred might hold. An essential book for anyone seeking to understand the hidden forces that shape our modern economy, The Deals That Made the World is illuminating and surprising—and an immensely fun read.


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"Excellent. ... Impressive." — Financial Times An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern world We tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite differen "Excellent. ... Impressive." — Financial Times An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern world We tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite different argument: much of the world around us—from the food we eat to teh products we buy to the medications we take—is shaped by private negotiations and business deals few of us know about. The Deals That Made the World takes us inside the sphere of these powerful players, examining ten groundbreaking business deals that have transformed our modern economy. Peretti reveals how corporate executives engineered an entire diet industry built on failure; how PayPal conquered online payments (and the specific behavioral science that underpins its success); and how pharmaceutical executives concocted a plan to successfully market medications to healthy people. For twenty years, Peretti has interviewed the people behind the decisions that have altered our world, from the CEOs of multinational corporations to politicians, economists, and scientists. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Peretti reveals a host of fascinating and startling connections, from how Wall Street's actions on food commodities helped spark the Arab Spring to the link between the AIDS epidemic in 1980s San Francisco and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. Touching upon tech, finance, artificial intelligence, and the other levers of power in a postglobalization environment, Peretti offers a compelling way to understand the last hundred years—and a suggestion of what the next hundred might hold. An essential book for anyone seeking to understand the hidden forces that shape our modern economy, The Deals That Made the World is illuminating and surprising—and an immensely fun read.

30 review for The Deals That Made the World: Reckless Ambition, Backroom Negotiations, and the Hidden Truths of Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    55th book for 2017. The book is composed of fifteen mostly unrelated chapters, each dealing with a particular economic/political issue. The book is constructed so that each event is explained by some surprising hidden set of decisions by a few people/companies. Unfortunately, while the book makes some interesting observations, the explanations are often quite shallow and there is a sense that complex events are being reframed in a particularly contrived fashion to work within the breezy structure 55th book for 2017. The book is composed of fifteen mostly unrelated chapters, each dealing with a particular economic/political issue. The book is constructed so that each event is explained by some surprising hidden set of decisions by a few people/companies. Unfortunately, while the book makes some interesting observations, the explanations are often quite shallow and there is a sense that complex events are being reframed in a particularly contrived fashion to work within the breezy structure of the book. For instance, the impact of the iconic image of a single man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square is put forward as THE reason China liberalized its economy. A meeting with two of the Paypal founders is THE cause that cash is being phased out internationally in favor of electronic payments. The Arab Spring is SOLELY caused by the actions of grain speculation by the big four food companies. Etc. Etc. Overall I would give this 2.5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vikas

    Wonderful book very necessary and I hope that the things are as they are claimed by the author but the scenarios and the proof do make sense. This is this is truly eye-opening book. Review will be expanded later. People who don't read generally ask me my reasons for reading. Simply put I just love reading and so to that end I have made it my motto to just Keep on Reading. I love to read everything except for Self Help books but even those once in a while. I read almost all the genre but YA, Fant Wonderful book very necessary and I hope that the things are as they are claimed by the author but the scenarios and the proof do make sense. This is this is truly eye-opening book. Review will be expanded later. People who don't read generally ask me my reasons for reading. Simply put I just love reading and so to that end I have made it my motto to just Keep on Reading. I love to read everything except for Self Help books but even those once in a while. I read almost all the genre but YA, Fantasy, Biographies are the most. My favorite series is, of course, Harry Potter but then there are many more books that I just adore. I have bookcases filled with books which are waiting to be read so can't stay and spend more time in this review, so remember I loved reading this and love reading more, you should also read what you love and then just Keep on Reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kanchan Shine

    This book will change the way you see the world and events occuring around you. Everything is planned , every move , every reaction analysed to predict our next moves and alter the course of the world accordingly. The author has done a fantastic job of explaining facts in a simple and easy manner. Although it's a non fiction book it is very engrossing and engaging. This book will change the way you see the world and events occuring around you. Everything is planned , every move , every reaction analysed to predict our next moves and alter the course of the world accordingly. The author has done a fantastic job of explaining facts in a simple and easy manner. Although it's a non fiction book it is very engrossing and engaging.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charles Remington

    A brilliant piece of journalism - Jacques Peretti has researched the many complex issues that are facing society today and distilled them into crystal clear prose that even a dunce like me can understand. From how robotics and AI will affect the labour market, to the machinations of the big tech companies, from the skulduggery of the food industries and the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to make us all drug dependent, his narrative moves effortlessly and lucidly, lighting up the dark cor A brilliant piece of journalism - Jacques Peretti has researched the many complex issues that are facing society today and distilled them into crystal clear prose that even a dunce like me can understand. From how robotics and AI will affect the labour market, to the machinations of the big tech companies, from the skulduggery of the food industries and the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to make us all drug dependent, his narrative moves effortlessly and lucidly, lighting up the dark corners that most of us don’t even know exist. I can only gasp in admiration at the amount of hard work, travel, interviews and research that will have gone into producing this book and congratulate Mr Peretti sincerely on the result. If you have any interest at all in what is going on around you, read this book. It will annoy and astound you, surprise and depress you but in the end, I can say honestly that it left me with a feeling of optimism. The human race is resilient and inventive and not as easy to manipulate or control as some would have you believe.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    While the book doesn’t go into too much detail and could be easily accused of skimming the surface, the author has what I feel is the appropriate light touch for a popular audience. He builds an interesting set of surprising case studies while making them accessible, drew out many useful insights, and managed to challenge cherished assumptions. I very much appreciated that it steered clear of fortune-telling and doomsday predictions, which is all too common in this genre. A light TED Talk-style While the book doesn’t go into too much detail and could be easily accused of skimming the surface, the author has what I feel is the appropriate light touch for a popular audience. He builds an interesting set of surprising case studies while making them accessible, drew out many useful insights, and managed to challenge cherished assumptions. I very much appreciated that it steered clear of fortune-telling and doomsday predictions, which is all too common in this genre. A light TED Talk-style read, which perhaps can be forgiven for a potentially over-ambitious title, but well worth the read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Tang

    Enjoyed the myriad of examples and companies described in this book, but my eyes glazed over several pages here and there because the ideas were not very cohesive. Overall I’d recommend but there are better economics books out there

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    ====== Yikes, this book came out over 9 months ago and was released for sale a few days ago and I just found out about it now? Dang! He's the same guy that wrote about inequality. The French economist? Oh wait that's Pettit. This is the British journalist that has slightly thick lips and almost talks with a lisp. He's made some good docos. Cool. Oops: Thomas Picketty. How is he French?! This book The Economics of Inequality Double oops, it's Thomas Piketty also wrote Capital in the Twenty-First C ====== Yikes, this book came out over 9 months ago and was released for sale a few days ago and I just found out about it now? Dang! He's the same guy that wrote about inequality. The French economist? Oh wait that's Pettit. This is the British journalist that has slightly thick lips and almost talks with a lisp. He's made some good docos. Cool. Oops: Thomas Picketty. How is he French?! This book The Economics of Inequality Double oops, it's Thomas Piketty also wrote Capital in the Twenty-First Century

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Perhaps to some this information is new and mind expanding but I found myself speeding ahead to the next section without picking up anything overly useful. The post-facto narrative quality feels more like weaving a story over history rather than uncovering a grand conspiracy or design. It is unsurprising to hear that innovation springs up in the minds of individuals who challenge any existing system, the world is changed by us and governments can only regulate and hold on for the ride. The few p Perhaps to some this information is new and mind expanding but I found myself speeding ahead to the next section without picking up anything overly useful. The post-facto narrative quality feels more like weaving a story over history rather than uncovering a grand conspiracy or design. It is unsurprising to hear that innovation springs up in the minds of individuals who challenge any existing system, the world is changed by us and governments can only regulate and hold on for the ride. The few positive points in the final chapters were interesting with respect to the teaching of children and the future but overall I can't really recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Libby Andrews

    Fantastic insight into the way our world is run. Forget Putin declaring war or our Western governments having control - the modern world is governed by the tech companies and food companies... and the Chinese and thats without mentioning the inevitable threat of AI!! Read this book, open your eyes and learn!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Trevino

    In summary: this book lays out how business has transformed politics, how and where countries around the world illegally launder money, profiles on a couple of companies that seem to reach out through every private sector with no regulation, how china came to practically run the world, and how the five biggest tech companies practically run the countries they're based out of. In summary: this book lays out how business has transformed politics, how and where countries around the world illegally launder money, profiles on a couple of companies that seem to reach out through every private sector with no regulation, how china came to practically run the world, and how the five biggest tech companies practically run the countries they're based out of.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Mokaya

    It starts slow but ultimately builds momentum. The simplification of occurrences and trends can be infuriating akin to Malcom Gladwell’s conclusions. Overall the conclusion is similar to Yuval Harari’s “Winter is coming.” The future is uncertain, adaptability is key to survival in the ever changing dynamics of the world of technology and billionaires.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ailith Twinning

    On the second read. . .hmm. Still a good book, and I don't really want to spoil it, but I do want it on record that the last little bit of the book (and the veins of it in the rest of the book) aggravates me. On the second read. . .hmm. Still a good book, and I don't really want to spoil it, but I do want it on record that the last little bit of the book (and the veins of it in the rest of the book) aggravates me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mair Skelton

    My selected book for closing 2017. Well documented and written a must read uncovering truths of the big 5 companies, government, sugar and so much more. Secret deals that change the world what we buy and how.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    Look... it is very good, but not compelling. A great example of an important book that everyone should read, a lot of new to everyone info about news stories we all heard about, but never dug into, but the assemblage is so FT writer workman-like that it has no chance of jumping the ocean and getting its due. Maybe a couple fewer deals and more time spent Michael Lewis-ing the characters and this great but sloggy info would get into more heads.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hrishikesh

    Underwhelming. The book is very well-researched & is very well written. But thematically, gets quite repetitive. I expected more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    J

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Strongest chapters are on Upgrade and the cycle of engineered dissatisfaction and planned obscelence, Power particularly re McKinsey's ability to engineer demand for their own sevices and secure the Finance Minister position Inc. in Australia, Italy, Japan, Think Small with the argument that the internet and Musk's and SpaceX's satellite data will allow SMEs and Africa to leapfrog stages of technological development which slowed other nations (and 50pc growth estimated to be from SMEs, thus comp Strongest chapters are on Upgrade and the cycle of engineered dissatisfaction and planned obscelence, Power particularly re McKinsey's ability to engineer demand for their own sevices and secure the Finance Minister position Inc. in Australia, Italy, Japan, Think Small with the argument that the internet and Musk's and SpaceX's satellite data will allow SMEs and Africa to leapfrog stages of technological development which slowed other nations (and 50pc growth estimated to be from SMEs, thus companies which can act as a layer between them such as Square, Kenyan M-Pesa, Indonesian Gojek, Australian Xero, etc have the potential to benefit. FB very active in acquiring these types of firms. News interesting for explaining the pivot to reality TV (to avoid the Jennifed Aniston problem of exponentially increasing salaries for returning cast members) and rolling 24 hour news coverage (to average out the sunk costs of news production). Robots similarly interesting for arguing Robots and Data will replace the decision layer rather than the labour layer (this can be seen on Amazon's warehouses). Also Revisiting Plutomy interesting for the schism between poverty goods (credit cards, payday loans, ultra budget detail, discount stores) and luxury for the ultra rich (LVMH, etc). Further Reading: Rene Girard mimetic theory, viatical, ABCD food industry, Black-Scholes formula, Robert Dall, Revisiting Plutonomy by Citigroup Equity, DCDC Global Strategic Trends Program, Ha-Joon Chang 23 things they don't tell you about capitalism, The Box by Marc Levinson (Shipping Containers), Rosser Reeves Reality in Advertising (Don Draper), The Essential Turing, ideas that gave birth to the computer age, Executive office of US President on Artificial Intelligence, Big Short, Bill Gates the Road Ahead.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Outimb

    This is not about conspiracy theories as the name might suggest, but actually a very scary vision about the future. It’s about the current state of capitalism, which seems to be above laws. Any regulations come too late or can be circumvented. Governments are dwarfed in the quest of corporations controlling technological advancement. Humans and humanity might be the biggest losers of all time against robots. This book is essential reading for anyone starting to question the current, almost evang This is not about conspiracy theories as the name might suggest, but actually a very scary vision about the future. It’s about the current state of capitalism, which seems to be above laws. Any regulations come too late or can be circumvented. Governments are dwarfed in the quest of corporations controlling technological advancement. Humans and humanity might be the biggest losers of all time against robots. This book is essential reading for anyone starting to question the current, almost evangelical message about the good of AI. The book does not explore the issue of where might the counter forces come from.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A mile wide and an inch deep, nonetheless I enjoyed this book moreso than I expected. Very well selected "deals" (cases) to cover, and even within each deal, the author selected good current-day cases to which he related the original deal's impact. Its refreshing to read a well-written book that's also extremely current - with the cases and settings the author cites, it feels like it was written yesterday. In a book like this, it's good to feel current when reading it - I don't like reading book A mile wide and an inch deep, nonetheless I enjoyed this book moreso than I expected. Very well selected "deals" (cases) to cover, and even within each deal, the author selected good current-day cases to which he related the original deal's impact. Its refreshing to read a well-written book that's also extremely current - with the cases and settings the author cites, it feels like it was written yesterday. In a book like this, it's good to feel current when reading it - I don't like reading books of this nature 5,10+ years beyond their publication date.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Philip Hunt

    We're all dupes, but I, for one, am not surprised to find out. The post-democratic, globalised, money-driven world order is stripped bare in this fascinating and confounding book. Unsurprisingly, the cover quotes Russell Brand who you either think is a prophet or a looney. I tend toward the former characterisation. Read this, and vote. It's not an easy read as it's dense with information, but Peretti does a good job of contextualising much of the data. I found myself taking it a topic at a time, We're all dupes, but I, for one, am not surprised to find out. The post-democratic, globalised, money-driven world order is stripped bare in this fascinating and confounding book. Unsurprisingly, the cover quotes Russell Brand who you either think is a prophet or a looney. I tend toward the former characterisation. Read this, and vote. It's not an easy read as it's dense with information, but Peretti does a good job of contextualising much of the data. I found myself taking it a topic at a time, then putting it down for a week or two.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Obert

    In the world of business, backdoor deals are everywhere. This book takes on the biggest of the businesses with the most reaching global deals ever made. It covers everything from the food we eat, to the drugs we take, to the cash we use, up to the world of business itself. This is one business book that everyone should read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adam Johnson

    Very exciting and rather depressing book about the state of the world, it shows where real power lies. The reason I have given four stars and not five is it is somewhat sensationalist and glazes over nuance (for example, when discussing how governments have ceded power to businesses, Peretti ignores the fact that governments still hold a monopoly on violence).

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Riseley

    I started out listening to this book with no prior knowledge of the author or his political or economic leanings and I had a totally open mind. As I went through the book I found myself wishing I could stop the reader and ask, "how do you draw that conclusion?" Over and over again I found myself wanting an explanation of his claims that, to me, sounded counterintuitive. In the end, I didn't want to finish the book because I felt like the author had a very limited understanding of the subject mat I started out listening to this book with no prior knowledge of the author or his political or economic leanings and I had a totally open mind. As I went through the book I found myself wishing I could stop the reader and ask, "how do you draw that conclusion?" Over and over again I found myself wanting an explanation of his claims that, to me, sounded counterintuitive. In the end, I didn't want to finish the book because I felt like the author had a very limited understanding of the subject matter. The book is a series of "just-so" stories with frustratingly little to back them up. One day, long after I had left this book behind, I came back to Ch. 3 on taxes because I saw an explanation of the Laffer curve and I remembered this book addressed it . Listening again to Ch. 3, I am convinced Peretti dismisses it out of hand without knowing what it is. Of course, he thinks he does but his explanation of it in the book is completely inaccurate. Peretti tells us the result of Laffer joining the Reagan administration was the following. “Tax havens were no longer a shady off-shore secret but a shining beacon of what could be done cleverly with money; a duty to be part of, not a crime to be covered up.” Say what!? He offers no basis for this preposterous claim. The whole point of the Laffer curve is that there is a point at which higher taxes brings in less revenue because people are increasingly incentivized to avoid taxes. The wealthy, the people from whom we derive the majority of our income tax revenue, only have a reason to seek “tax havens” if they feel the taxes are onerous. They will go to greater lengths to avoid taxes the higher the tax rate is and at some point, tax revenue goes down as the tax rate goes up. Then he describes his current day interview with Arthur Laffer. According to peretti’s telling, Laffer starts to explain the Laffer curve by drawing it on a napkin and Peretti cuts him off and says, “That’s great Arthur but what I want to know is, how did you get away with it?” “What do you mean how I got away with it? Because it’s true!” “But it isn’t. As a result of the low tax doctrine, didn’t business move off shore? Manufacturing collapsed in the U.S. and half the population became disenfranchised.” How does he draw this conclusion!? I’m thinking, maybe he’s right but it sure doesn’t sound right and he doesn’t give any statistics or explanation to back it up. I’m thinking, how does lower taxes drive businesses off shore, collapse manufacturing, and disenfranchise half of all Americans? Peretti offers no basis for these claims. Unsurprisingly, Laffer pushes back. “No, no! This is so wrong, so wrong! We were proved right. Rich people are different from other people. The rich are the one group of people where when you lower their tax rate you get more revenue. Taxing the rich is what makes society poorer. If you tax rich people and give the money to the poor, you’re gonna get lots and lots of poor people and no rich people. The dream is always to make the poor rich, not the rich poor.” “Laffer believes in his curve and he’s made everyone in government believe in it too. The thing is, everyone believes in the Laffer curve, right and left. They disagree about its shape but they all “believe” in it. Peretti believes it is nothing more than a “doodle on a napkin”. I certainly would not recommend this book. Sadly, there are a lot of intelligent people out there who think writers like Peretti are exposing uncomfortable truths. To me, it came across more as poorly researched story-telling. Maybe he’s right about a lot of things in this book but he sure isn’t gonna try to persuade anyone that his counterintuitive claims actually make sense when you examine them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ajay Palekar

    A light TED Talk-style read with a compelling premise. We tend to think of our world as controlled by political forces. The politicans we elect, the wars won and lost, the deals struck in Congress. Jacques Petetti knows differently. For twenty years, he interviewed the people who have truly altered our world, the CEOs of multinational corporations, economists, scientists, and politicans privy to private negotiations and business dealings that few of us know about. Touching upon technology, finance, A light TED Talk-style read with a compelling premise. We tend to think of our world as controlled by political forces. The politicans we elect, the wars won and lost, the deals struck in Congress. Jacques Petetti knows differently. For twenty years, he interviewed the people who have truly altered our world, the CEOs of multinational corporations, economists, scientists, and politicans privy to private negotiations and business dealings that few of us know about. Touching upon technology, finance, globalisation, taxation, and pharmaceuticals in a postglobalization environment, Peretti offers a compelling way to understand the last fifty years—and a suggestion of what the next fifty might hold. Some topics - The death of cash and who gains (hint: consumers lose) - The transformation of Wall Street from managing risk to speculating on it - How tax avoidance is hollowing out the world - An increasingly unequal world = new opportunities in luxury and poverty - A corrupt food industry that profits off the fat and the thin - The (over-)medication of modern life - How work went from what we do to who we are - Planned obsolence is both the key of consumerist capitalism and deeply problematic - McKinsey "The Firm" - Business vs Government - Fox News and all the Fake News - Robotisation, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence - The Big 5 of Tech - China is rewriting the rules Ultimately, the book makes some very interesting observations, but it's discussion of nuanced and complex events is simplified and shallow. A fun overview of a world you may not have heard about, but further reading is required to really get at the heart of any of these topics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kovács Marcell

    I though I am pretty much up to date with major deals in histroy, but the book could take me to new levels of undestanding. Peretti pins global trends down into a single "deal", but as you might guess it is almost impossible to originate the current landscape from a simple handshake. The writer greatly escapes from the boardroom and colorfully depict the social and economical trends surrounding the atmosphere where the selected deal was done. Context matters a lot. An eye-opening book with substa I though I am pretty much up to date with major deals in histroy, but the book could take me to new levels of undestanding. Peretti pins global trends down into a single "deal", but as you might guess it is almost impossible to originate the current landscape from a simple handshake. The writer greatly escapes from the boardroom and colorfully depict the social and economical trends surrounding the atmosphere where the selected deal was done. Context matters a lot. An eye-opening book with substantial research and personal interpretations. Peretti keeps the deals close to date (facebook, paypal) which gives the book a nice resonance or reflection to our present. More often the consequecnes of these trends have a dark, menacing tone - but change is inherent part of our life, you can not hide from it for long. More people shall be aware of these techtonic sifts and better informed citizens shall make better, more conscious choices. I hope there will be a second or third part, one looking back to history (Dutch East-India Company, The tulip speculation or evend the affairs of Medici), and another one looking for a deal full of promises and hopefullness (an eyewear company providing inexpensive glasses for millions of indians, or waste-eating bacteria solving the global trash problem). I wish he keeps up the good work.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Published in 2017, The Deals that Made the World uses 10 business deals as a way to set the stage for examining how we got to our current world situation. Peretti looks at issues as diverse as planned obsolescence, health care, food and dieting industries, cashless societies, and China’s Belt and Road initiative to demonstrate how the financial motivations of global corporations are the forces behind the current state of our globe, and that politicians and governments exist to serve them - at th Published in 2017, The Deals that Made the World uses 10 business deals as a way to set the stage for examining how we got to our current world situation. Peretti looks at issues as diverse as planned obsolescence, health care, food and dieting industries, cashless societies, and China’s Belt and Road initiative to demonstrate how the financial motivations of global corporations are the forces behind the current state of our globe, and that politicians and governments exist to serve them - at the expense of the greater good. The book is very readable, given that the author provides an overview rather than a deep dive into some complex issues.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mitali

    While informative and well written, the book places too much emphasis on a single event in the grand scheme of things. For instance, it claims that price speculation by four big food companies caused the Arab Springs, and the Black-Scholes formula led the OECD to raise oil prices during the Yom Kippur war. While such "deals" were definitely contributors to changing the world as we know it, there were other factors at play too, but I guess it was a tradeoff between structure and content- fair eno While informative and well written, the book places too much emphasis on a single event in the grand scheme of things. For instance, it claims that price speculation by four big food companies caused the Arab Springs, and the Black-Scholes formula led the OECD to raise oil prices during the Yom Kippur war. While such "deals" were definitely contributors to changing the world as we know it, there were other factors at play too, but I guess it was a tradeoff between structure and content- fair enough!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul moved to LibraryThing

    Interesting ideas but the authors lack of grasp of all things technical is comical verging on criminal. Mixing up SSL with blockchain, satellites with cell phone towers and basically having absolutely no clue while at the same time making authoritative statements on same. Saved by the overarching idea of not widely acknowledged forces shaping the world, rather than politicians or rich people.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruxandra

    While it seemed at the beginning very inclined towards conspiracy, I'll have to say it put lots of things into perspective. It is an agglomeration of facts and stories from business, tech, industry, and politics. I like to believe that this is what the book wanted, to make us question the world around; otherwise I'm not sure what it wants to convince of. While it seemed at the beginning very inclined towards conspiracy, I'll have to say it put lots of things into perspective. It is an agglomeration of facts and stories from business, tech, industry, and politics. I like to believe that this is what the book wanted, to make us question the world around; otherwise I'm not sure what it wants to convince of.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sanya Azam

    This is definitely one of the most important books I've read this year. A crucial insight into the deals which now affect every aspect of our lives, and not in a good way. The chapters on big pharma and food were very interesting. But I felt in some parts Peretti could have provided a deeper analysis but he chooses breadth over depth to cover several industries instead. This is definitely one of the most important books I've read this year. A crucial insight into the deals which now affect every aspect of our lives, and not in a good way. The chapters on big pharma and food were very interesting. But I felt in some parts Peretti could have provided a deeper analysis but he chooses breadth over depth to cover several industries instead.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anna-Liisa

    This is a one hella book about everything: politics, economics, marketing, technology you name it. Makes some really interesting observations and certainly adds content to your repertoire of dinner topics (provided that you’re not dining with a bunch of airheads).

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