Free Press Journal

Done: The Billion Dollar Deals and How They’re Changing Our World-Review


Title: Done: The Billion Dollar Deals and How They’re Changing Our World

Author: Jacques Peretti

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 416; Price: Rs 550

Are we just pawns in the hands of a few people that decide the important aspects of our lives, i.e., food, health, work and money? A very unsettling thought indeed. Right?  You might wonder if this is some conspiracy theory, but the book, Done: The Secret Deals That Are Changing Our World by Jacques Peretti, unravels information that are supported by evidential facts and numbers that would surely change your perception of the world.

Reading this book is like reading a thriller. It is an absolute page turner. Peretti’s lucid writing makes the book even more engaging. The book forces you to ponder upon things that you see, but never gave much thought to, until now. The fine print everywhere is often overlooked by us. If you like connecting dots you will soon observe how secret deals and the secret handshakes decide how we buy, what we eat, how we feel about ourselves, and more.

While proceeding through the chapters, you might start to feel helpless of the situation, but do continue reading it, as Peretti will take you further down the rabbit hole to show you how deep it goes. You soon realise how different industries are working in tandem. Although, the philosophy is as old as the dawn of industrialisation based on the simple economics of ‘demand and supply’, however, there is a bit of a twist here, as now the industries supply the public with a product that they do not need in the first place, and then get them hooked on it, hence creating the demand, and following it up, with supply.

The book says “…Drugs companies would no longer be in the game of merely curing illness, but conjuring it.”

Done, focusses on a trend that is worrisome but is extremely common nowadays. Every little discomfort in our body, even if it is just a momentary twitch, it has now been labelled as an illness, and the pharmaceutical industry has a medicine for that. There is a complete chapter that deals with this topic in the book “…Wellness is an identity for the successful and illness has become an identity for the poor.”

On page 100, Peretti writes, “…HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) was soon pumped into every conceivable food: pizzas, coleslaw, even meat. It provided that ‘just baked’ sheen on bread and cakes, made everything sweeter and extended shelf-life from days to years. A silent revolution in the amount of sugar that was going into our bodies began to take place.”

“The public was starting to get fat and keen to embrace a new product… The food industry had the answer… a brand-new concept in food called ‘low fat’.” Done, speaks on the alarming scenario of the future of jobs and the chapter, Robots, explains it so fully “…second industrial revolution – the robot revolution …Instead of ending human jobs, it could lead to full employment with the creation of billions of low paid, routine-manual and non-routine manual jobs …there is zero value to labour.”

If you are the curious kind, that often wonder why things are, the way they are, then this book is meant for you. It is an amazing book that is comprehensive and Jacques Peretti’s investigative journalism background, shines through. This book could easily be a reference point to understand the future scenario of the changing world order and our place in it.

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