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The Ideological Looking Glass

In her new book "Doppelganger," leftist writer and activist Naomi Klein seeks to make sense of our current political climate by exploring the “mirror world” of online conspiracy theories. In the process, she admirably confronts her own biases and blind spots.

CAMBRIDGE – In her latest book, Doppelganger, leftist writer and activist Naomi Klein delves into the bizarre tangle of political polarization, contested realities, and omnipresent social media that characterizes our current age. Navigating the “mirror world” of online conspiracy theories and far-right propaganda, she provides unique insights into the digital dystopia in which we find ourselves.

Doppelganger’s title is an allusion to Naomi Wolf, the feminist author turned conspiracy theorist for whom Klein has often been mistaken. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wolf emerged as a vocal anti-vaccine advocate, frequently appearing on far-right platforms and claiming that public-health measures were part of an insidious global plot. By juxtaposing her own trajectory with Wolf’s, Klein demonstrates a level of self-awareness that was not as evident in her earlier works, offering a candid critique of the personal brand she cultivated over the years.

Klein, a professor of climate justice at the University of British Columbia, is an enviably prolific and successful author. Her best-selling books, which address issues such as the threat of climate change, the excessive role of money in American politics, and former US President George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq, typically resonate with her predominantly liberal readership.