CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

In Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (Free Press/August 9, 2011/$26.00 hardcover), Joel Bakan reveals the astonishingly callous and widespread exploitation of children by profit-seeking corporations-and also society’s shameful failure to protect them. The creator of the award-winning film and internationally best-selling book The Corporation, Bakan shows how corporations pump billions of dollars into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from a relentless commercial assault designed solely to exploit their unique needs and vulnerabilities.

childhood under siege front

Focusing on the United States in particular, Bakan demonstrates how:

  • Marketers target children with increasingly devious methods to manipulate their vulnerable emotions, cultivate compulsive behavior, and addle their psyches with violence, sex, and obsessive consumerism.

  • More and more children take dangerous psychotropic drugs as pharmaceutical companies commandeer medical science and deploy dubious and often illegal marketing tactics to boost sales.

  • Children’s chronic health problems are rising dramatically as corporations dump thousands of new chemicals, in increasing amounts, into the environment, usually with the blessings of industry-influenced governments.

  • Children as young as six are working illegally on farms, getting injured, becoming ill, and dying on the job, while the legal age for farm work remains a shockingly low 12 years old in the U.S.

  • America’s schools are becoming private-sector markets for profit-seeking companies, harnessing education to the needs of industry and promoting increasingly regimented and standardized learning.

  • And more

“As governments retreat from their previous roles of protecting children from harm at the hands of corporations,” Bakan writes, “we, as a society, increasingly neglect children’s needs, expose them to exploitation, and thus betray what we, as individuals, cherish most in our lives.” Childhood Under Siege is a call to action to reverse these trends, and provides the necessary insights, information, and concrete proposals to do so.

childhood under siege back


“Joel Bakan’s powerful, well-documented polemic is just what we need to hear right now, if we are to even begin to reverse the toxic consumerist legacy we are bequeathing to future generations.”
Literary Review of Canada

“The information in Bakan’s book is…stunning….The book sounds alarms about issues that go under most parents’ radar.”
USA Today

“Childhood Under Siege” is an essential read for anyone who works for or cares about children because we simply can’t advocate for and teach them effectively if we don’t know what we are up against. As a mother and a teacher, it was sometimes overwhelming to read this book, but for my own work and parenting I forced myself to keep going. At times it was deeply frightening–and I do media literacy training as part of my work. It’s very simple: If you want to be relevant in a child’s life, you need to read this book.”
Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

“Childhood Under Siege” outlines the powerful strategies at play in the corporate war against children.
This engaging, carefully researched and important book is a call to action to those who believe we have a responsibility to protect all our children with our laws and public policies as well as our hearts.”

Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other and Seeking Peace

“The assault on childhood in our corporate-dominated and profit-driven society, painfully dissected in this penetrating study, is a tragedy not only for the immediate victims but for hopes for a better future. It can be resisted, as Joel Bakan discusses. And it is urgent not to delay.”
Noam Chomsky

“Our new century of unlimited private profits has put an end to the era of publicly protected childhood. Separated by corporate design from their parents, kids have become capitalism’s newest, most lucrative, consumers. Joel Bakan offers an angry but careful analysis of how the market flourishes today by selling our children everything from dangerous drugs, toxic plastics and unhealthy snack foods to violent and addictive video games and for-profit standardized tests. If they read Bakan carefully, once they get over their rage, both parents and policy makers may be ready to lift the corporate siege that is threatening not just our children but childhood itself.”
Benjamin R. Barber, author of Consumed: How Markets Infantilize Adults, Corrupt Children and Swallow Citizens Whole

“Childhood Under Siege” is a compelling call to arms in the covert war for our children’s minds, health, and future. Joel Bakan empowers us all to stop lamenting the destruction of childhood and do something to rescue it.”
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author of Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child’s Learning Problems

To be a child today, even in affluent countries like ours, is no longer a time of innocence, idyll and discovery, as Bakan reveals in “Childhood Under Siege”. Most children today grow up on a planet in which billions of tons of toxic chemicals have been poured into the air, water and soil; in a big city where the opportunity to encounter nature has been replaced by concrete, fast cars, video games and shopping malls; in a world in which childhood represents a marketing challenge and opportunity. Read this important book and then start working for change.”
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, The David Suzuki Foundation

In “Childhood Under Siege”, Joel Bakan documents and depicts a modern disaster-in-the-making as ominous as our society’s assault on the natural environment: the social and economic destruction of the conditions for healthy childhood. An eloquent and prophetic work we need most urgently to heed.
Gabor Maté M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

Bakan offers passionate argument and copious research in this compelling call for parents to stand up for their children.
Vanessa Bush, Booklist, starred Review


Hier sind alle Menschen, die an einer Cannabis-Überdosis gestorben sind

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Hier sind alle Menschen, die an einer Cannabis-Überdosis gestorben sind

Tatsächlich gibt es in Deutschland keinen einzigen belegten Fall, bei dem ein Mensch an zu viel Cannabis gestorben ist. Wir wissen nicht, wie es bei Pandas aussieht, gehen aber von ähnlichen Zahlen aus.

Die amerikanische Drogenbehörde DEA hat Ende der 80er-Jahre versucht, Labortiere mit Marihuana zu töten. Allerdings ohne Erfolg.

Das Fazit der Wissenschaftler: “Um an Cannabis zu sterben, müsste ein Kiffer 1.500 Pfund rauchen – innerhalb von 15 Minuten.” Aspirin sei beispielsweise weitaus gefährlicher. :::

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The Guilty and the Innocent : The case for punishing prosecutors who abuse their power.

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The Guilty and the Innocent

The case for punishing prosecutors who abuse their power.
BTL_Hannah-Overton's-2006 new-trial_680
AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Todd Yates

On September 17, in a decisive 7–2 ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the capital murder conviction of a Corpus Christi woman named Hannah Overton. Readers of Texas Monthly may recall Overton’s case, which I examined in an article a few years ago called “Hannah and Andrew,” a lengthy story that questioned the assumptions that had led to her prosecution. Overton is one of a number of defendants I have written about in recent years whose convictions have been overturned by the CCA. Michael Morton, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for the murder of his wife, and Anthony Graves, who was sent to death row in 1994 for killing six people, were exonerated after spending a collective 42 years…

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VERBAL ABUSE is just as painful…”This Message is so important to me for so many Reasons”

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Verbal abuse is just as painful…this message is so important to me for so many reasons

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Children as Hidden Victims of Domestic Violence

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Children as Hidden Victims of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence

On February 28th ECSA participated in an international symposium on violence against children, hosted by the Policy Exchange in partnership with the Centre for Parliamentary Studies. The symposium was held to raise awareness of children as hidden victims of domestic violence and abuse in Europe.

According to Marta Santos Pais, the United Nations Secretary General Special Representative on Violence against Children, 70% of children aged 2-14 are victims of some form of domestic violence.

The UN World Report on violence against children states that an estimated 133-275 million children worldwide witness violence at home.

The European Commission estimates that the cost of domestic violence in just the 4 states measured (UK, Netherlands, Finland and Spain) exceeds 38 billion euros per year. This includes the costs of police action, the criminal justice system, healthcare, social services, emergency housing, civil legal support, and…

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Stanford Medicine »School of Medicine » Programs » Family Abuse Prevention » Child Abuse » Screening

Why screen?

Child abuse is unfortunately a very common problem. More than 3 million cases of child abuse and neglect are reported in the US each year.

The effects of child abuse and neglect are far reaching, including emotional, physical, and interpersonal problems that can last a lifetime. The ACE study (Adverse Childhood Events) is an ongoing prospective study of Southern California Kaiser patients, with tens of thousands of records now on file. Multiple adult medical problems have been shown to be directly related to the number of adverse childhood events.

Adverse childhood event pyramid

Besides becoming victims of abuse themselves, children are also adversely affected by witnessing domestic violence. This includes not only the actual episodes of verbal or physical abuse, but the accompanying atmosphere of isolation, fear and intimidation.

Bringing the discussion of this problem…

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Captive Customers: Outsourcing Prison Services Is Ruining Lives and Bilking Taxpayers – A BRILLIANT ARTICLE

Private Prisons Fail to Save Taxpayers Money

Failures in Outsourcing

Captive Customers: Outsourcing Prison Services Is Ruining Lives and Bilking Taxpayers

Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of America’s Public Services – See more at: