- Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Format: Hardback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 154mm x 236mm x 30mm | 481g
- Publication date: 3 September 2009
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0743275403
- ISBN 13: 9780743275408
- Sales rank: 609,534
Why is it that so many people around the world appear willing to give up freedoms in return for either security or prosperity? For the past 60 years it had been assumed that capitalism was intertwined with liberal democracy, that the two not just thrived together but needed each other to survive. But what happens when both are undermined? Governments around the world -- whether they fall into the authoritarian or the democratic camp -- have drawn up a new pact with their peoples. These are its terms: repression is selective, confined to those who openly challenge the status quo, who publicly go out of their way to 'cause trouble'. The number of people who fall into that category is actually very few. The rest of the population can enjoy freedom to travel, to live more or less as they wish, and to make and spend their money. This is the difference between public freedoms and private freedoms. We choose different freedoms we are prepared to cede. We all do it. Freedom for Sale will set a new agenda. Mixing narrative from different countries around the world, it breaks new ground in revealing the extent to which the old assumptions and securities have died. It will crucially ask why so many intelligent and ambitious citizens around the world, particularly among the young, seemed prepared to sacrifice freedom of the press and freedom of speech in their quest for wealth. A new world order may well be upon us, and in this gripping and devastating book John Kampfner reveals how it may just be too late to stop it.
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John Kampfner is the author of three previous books including a biography of Robin Cook and the acclaimed BLAIR'S WARS, a devastating survey of the Prime Minister's foreign policy. He lives in London.
By The Orwell Prize 26 May 2010
'John Kampfner's strengths as a reporter are used here to illustrate the trade-off in various economies around the world between freedom and material comfort and security. He doesn't simply theorise or analyse; he actually goes there. In a way that Orwell would surely have applauded, Kampfner travels from China to Russia to India to Britain, observing the subtle and dangerous losses that lie beneath the obvious gains. His opening chapter on Singapore is extraordinary - a devastating portrait of a success and/or nightmare that Orwell might have dreamed up in fiction.'
The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing. The Book Prize judges for 2010 were Jonathan Heawood (director, English PEN), Andrew Holgate (literary editor, Sunday Times) and Francine Stock (writer and broadcaster).