Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein

Doppelganger by Naomi Klein (Doppelgänger im richtigen Deutsch) is an incredible look into conspiracy theories, the impact of social media, the effects of the Covid pandemic and social isolation, and how we got ourselves into a world where people can exist in entirely different realities. Naomi Klein's book has also just won the inaugural Women's Prize for Non-Fiction 2024. We have the book, eBook, and eAudiobook


Naomi Klein, famous for her writing and work on capitalism and climate change found herself in an odd situation where she was repeatedly confused publicly with Naomi Wolf, once an influential feminist writer and public figure who has now become one of the key figures pushing misinformation and conspiracy theories about Covid, vaccines and so much more.

Her book grapples with the idea of what it means to have a doppelganger and how it impacted her. Naomi Klein takes the reader on a fascinating journey looking at our public presence and ‘brand’, how the Covid pandemic and social isolation impacted people and our societies, and how even having a shared truth began to break down.

But she also traces the roots of this thinking and explores the emergence of a ‘mirror world’. Existing conspiracies fed into and primed people to latch onto conspiracies about Covid and the responses to it. Some of these conspiracies are very old indeed, such as antisemitism. Others are newer far-right ideas about replacement and minorities, unfortunately all too familiar in Christchurch. Covid conspiracies were built upon existing anti-vaccine conspiracies about autism.

Common themes of Klein’s work are the political and social impacts of neoliberalism, and how it breaks down collective organisations and relationship. In a world where we are all expected to act as individuals and rely only on ourselves, the Covid pandemic and responses to it were such a shock and some people created a ‘mirror world’ with their own truths and realities.

What I especially liked about Naomi Klein’s book is something that is quite an important message – empathy. She shows it to both the ‘other Naomi’ and people caught up in conspiracy theories. She makes it very clear that she wants to understand them, and to discover how they got entangled. She looks for solutions and ways out, and does not simply judge them or look down on people as misinformed or unintelligent. The root causes lie not as much in individuals, but in social and political forces and human psychology. She considers the way out has to be collective – a running theme in all of Naomi Klein’s works.

Overall, this is a fascinating and terrifying book to read. Naomi Klein really does a great job in showing how and why conspiratorial thinking has grown with the pandemic, the forces that helped make this happen and the effects this can have. But she also talks about how not all is lost and how we might find a path out of this all.

Read more by Naomi Klein

No Logo

This Changes Everything

The Shock Doctrine

More by Naomi Klein

Read more about misinformation, social media, and extremism


The Other Pandemic

The Chaos Machine


Women's Prize for Non-Fiction 2024

Check out our page on the prize and some of the other candidates.
We also have lists for other literary prizes (fiction and non-fiction).