Take it Personally

Roddick, Anita





Curriculum and Classification


Business Design

Society 2 - The Fourth Sector

Semester 4


Amazon.co.uk Reviews When Anita Roddick calls her new Fair Trade agitprop handbook Take It Personally, you know that she means business. Ethical, fairly traded business, of course. Take It Personally has two hosts. Roddick herself steers the text with introductions to the essays and extracts that make up the book's five sections, headed Activism, People, Development, Environment and Money. Her hapless sidekick is George W Bush, whose unintentional humour provides the light relief in what is mostly a depressing analysis.

A focal point, naturally, is the 1999 Seattle demonstrations, and eye-witness accounts tell of the brutality protestors experienced, including Roddick, who was probably the only CEO on the streets that day. Directed at a World Trade Organisation meeting, held appropriately in the Land of the Free (Trade), the book takes similar aim, in addition to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, all guilty, in Roddick's words, of "social Darwinism". The tone of the rhetoric is striking, and though the writing can be variable, much of it is persuasive, particularly the contributions of Naomi Klein, whose book No Logo has inspired an unbranded generation, Indian activist Vandana Shiva, David Boyle (The Tyranny of Numbers) and a short interview by John Pilger with Burma's elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The graphics for this highly visual book are frequently arresting, steeped in the culture of "subvertising", and mingled with hard-hitting soundbites, as well as listings for useful, informative Web sites and magazines.

With proceeds going to NGOs and relevant organisations, Take It Personally practises what it prescribes. While the details of sweatshops, child work abuse, arms trading, poor food distribution, global warming and "profits before people" are hugely dispiriting, the contributors' consensus is the need for individual responsibility, ethical choices, to build from the bottom, from GM-free, organic grass roots, until it grows into corporate response. Biodiversity over monoculture is infinitely the most fruitful agricultural choice, and it stands as a similarly bountiful metaphor for our interconnected world. "Take It Personally" proves a vitally accessible addition to the growing debate on alternative economics and ecological awareness, alongside John Humphrys' The Great Food Gamble, George Monbiot's Captive State, and even Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist. --David Vincent

Book Description “What is needed now is a revolution in kindness.”

Anita Roddick is one of the world’s most outspoken, controversial and successful businesswomen. Her new book Take It Personally focuses on the social accountability of the business world and shines a light on human rights violations, environmental issues, the developing world, globalisation and who holds both the purse and the political strings around the world.

Naturally this book was written before the tragedy in the United States on 11th September 2001. Anita Roddick believes the message of the book is now more important than ever, and that it is a time to focus on issues that we find truly important. “For me, these are the values of freedom and fairness. We are surrounded by inequalities but we must react with sympathy, and then act with imagination, hope and courage, because things can change.”

Take It Personally is a call to action. Anita Roddick sets us a challenge to take responsibility for ourselves, whether we are employer or employee, CEO or consumer. This extraordinary book is a primer on globalisation and the state of the world today. The book gathers together articles from political commentators, journalists, activists, economists and businessmen who reveal what goes on behind the closed doors of big business and more importantly offer alternatives for the future.

With issues as far-ranging as child prostitution, sweatshops, fair trade, the Kyoto agreement, global activism and GM foods, Take It Personally is an empowering guide which gets behind the myths of globalisation.

Backed-up with startling statistics about everything from the distribution of wealth to environmental pollution, this book excels as an informative, pro-active guide to the world around us. With dramatic pictures, action points and a comprehensive resources guide, Anita shows us that you can quite literally put your money where your mouth is. Every time you spend money on a product, think of it as giving a vote of confidence to the company that produces it. If you don’t like what a company stands for… don’t buy it.

Another important aspect of Take It Personally is creating community. Local, national, global community. Nurture your links with your own small local network as well as looking at the contributions you can make to the world at large.


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