I first read parts of this book (the earlier edition) in 2002 as part of an international political economy class at my community college. However, I dropped the class halfway through the semester and never really knew what that meant. So, while the themes were sort of familiar, it was as if I was reading this book fresh for the first time.
A lot of the material she covers is not new as the book was written about ten years ago (as gathered by the statistics used), but seeing it all in black and white paints quite a stark picture of our current material culture and how that has impacted all aspects of our lives. The first half of the book is quite compelling and appalling as she details how brands have impacted the lives of people around the world, producers and consumers alike. She does veer off track a bit when she starts to talk about the “resistance” to this, giving too much credence to underground groups and alternative protest machines. Her afterword leaves a lot to be desired, and I think that if she were to revisit this book in earnest, her arguments might change.