Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World

Macmillan Audio. Sept. 2023. 14:47 hrs. ISBN 9781250903112. $32.99. MEMOIR
Canadian climate activist Klein (geography, Univ. of British Columbia; On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal) elegantly blends thought-provoking cultural criticism with her unsettling experiences of being mistaken (mostly in social media) for American author Naomi Wolf. This was especially upsetting to liberal Klein during the COVID pandemic because Wolf was regularly sharing anti-vax views on Steve Bannon’s alt-right podcasts. Wolf was perhaps best known for her 1990 women’s studies classic The Beauty Myth, and Klein uses Wolf’s evolution from feminist icon to Bannon War Room regular as a compelling case study into the transformative power of misinformation, as well as the overall state of media and society (focusing on the U.S. and Canada). Serving as narrator, Klein genuinely conveys the discomfort and disorientation she felt after losing control of her online identity (she says she is often attacked for things Wolf says). It is also encouraging to hear Klein share her thoughts on how society might stitch itself back together.
VERDICT Listeners interested in politics or social media should appreciate Klein’s nuanced look at how people of all political ideologies can follow the online trail of alternative facts into the Mirror World.
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