Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order. Richard J. Barnet, John Cavanagh. Simon & Schuster.

Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order Book Cover Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order
Richard J. Barnet, John Cavanagh
Simon & Schuster
February 11, 1994

From Richard J Barnet, coauthor of the groundbreaking bestseller Global Reach, and John Cavanagh comes an authoritative portrait of global corporations as they have evolved over the last twenty years – replacing national power; controlling the flow of money, goods, and information across the world; and dominating the fate of the world’s economy and people.

On the threshold of a new century, the world is shrinking fast, but it is not coming together. Global Dreams explores the many different ways in which the global economy shapes our lives, changing politics, work, and families in the United States and throughout the world, including: How the integrated global production system is creating a job crisis that affects every American; how a few corporations, thanks to their control of earth-spanning technologies, control global commercial culture that can penetrate any village or neighborhood; how the clash of global commercial culture and traditional societies is unleashing fundamentalist backlash and political conflict; how great corporations have become less and less accountable to public authorities everywhere, and what this means for the environment, job opportunities, and our economic future; how “globalization,” the business buzzword of the decade, is creating not a global village but a divided planet in the grip of global gridlock.

With major profiles of five of these corporations based on hundreds of interviews on four continents, Richard J.Barnet and John Cavanagh reveal how a few hundred companies with worldwide connections dominate the four intersecting webs of global commercial activity that make up the new world economy. In the Global Cultural Bazaar the focus is on Sony and Bertelsmann as they compete with Philips, Time Warner, Matsushita, Disney, and other giants in the global market for education and entertainment. In the Global Shopping Mall, the front runner is Phillip Morris against RJR Nabisco, Nestlé, Sara Lee, and H. J. Heintz in the battle to decide what people around the planet will eat, drink, smoke, wear, and enjoy. Ford leads the way into the Global Workplace, a network of factories, workshops, hospitals, and restaurants with participants as far-ranging as Levi Strauss, Nike, Texas Instruments, and Toyota. Citibank, the largest bank based in the United States, is the window through which the authors explore the rapidly changing Global Financial Network.

As all this activity and reach come together, Barnet and Cavanagh show how these conglomerates contribute to political and social disintegration as they become the fragile world empires of the twenty-first century.

Richard J. Barnet  is the author of Global Reach (with Ronald E. Muller) and ten other books. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, The New York Times, and numerous other periodicals. He lives in Washington, D.C.

John Cavanagh is the co-author of seven books on the world economy and is currently a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the Transnational Institute in Washington, D.C., where he lives.