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Publisher's Summary

An Instant New York Times Best Seller

A young entrepreneur makes the case that politics has no place in business and sets out a new vision for the future of American capitalism.

There’s a new invisible force at work in our economic and cultural lives. It affects every advertisement we see and every product we buy, from our morning coffee to a new pair of shoes. “Stakeholder capitalism” makes rosy promises of a better, more diverse, environmentally friendly world, but in reality, this ideology, championed by America’s business and political leaders, robs us of our money, our voice, and our identity.

Vivek Ramaswamy is a traitor to his class. He’s founded multibillion-dollar enterprises, led a biotech company as CEO; he became a hedge fund partner in his 20s, trained as a scientist at Harvard and a lawyer at Yale, and grew up the child of immigrants in a small town in Ohio. Now he takes us behind the scenes into corporate boardrooms and five-star conferences, into Ivy League classrooms and secretive nonprofits, to reveal the defining scam of our century.

The modern woke-industrial complex divides us as a people. By mixing morality with consumerism, America’s elites prey on our innermost insecurities about who we really are. They sell us cheap social causes and skin-deep identities to satisfy our hunger for a cause and our search for meaning, at a moment when we as Americans lack both.

This book not only rips back the curtain on the new corporatist agenda, it offers a better way forward. America’s elites may want to sort us into demographic boxes, but we don’t have to stay there. Woke, Inc. begins as a critique of stakeholder capitalism and ends with an exploration of what it means to be an American in 2021 - a journey that begins with cynicism and ends with hope.

©2021 Vivek Ramaswamy (P)2021 Center Street

Critic Reviews

“Vivek Ramaswamy provides the single most informative and insightful analysis yet of woke ideology.... Woke, Inc. is indispensable for understanding how America's newest and most consequential cultural dogma is fundamentally transforming virtually every sector of our lives.” (Glenn Greenwald, author of Securing Democracy)

"In this engaging, brilliant book, Vivek Ramaswamy hits the nail on the head: Companies go woke because they get richer from division rather than unity. This book is an essential weapon in the battle to reclaim America's soul." (JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy and founder of Narya Capital)

“A provocative critique, wrapped in a gripping personal story that pulls you in from page one. Vivek Ramaswamy is breakthrough brilliant and arrestingly original. Woke, Inc. is essential reading for anyone who cares about America’s democracy, economy, and future.” (Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations)

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The Best Book to Date: The Woke Industrial Complex

Vivek is providing the best analysis to date on the drivers and motivations of the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) movement. It exposes the elements of Stakeholder Capitalism, and how Big Tech, Wall Street, Universities, and Governments (including the CCP) collude to increase their own power and capital, at the expense of democracy, and the voice of the people. Vivek recommends that members of the electorate familiarize themselves with the material, in order to re-assert democracy and strengthen the checks and balances that make freedom and liberty possible. Highly recommended.

33 people found this helpful

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  • 08-17-21

Timely

In a time where people are easily swayed and moved from one vapid cause to another, this book rips open the curtain. Written by an immigrant, there can be no claim that this is anything but a factual look into the inner workings of corporate America.

23 people found this helpful

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Too Broad

The author makes very broad claims supported by ad-hoc examples. He makes a decent argument about corporate America’s disingenuous attempts to support social issues in order to drive revenue but I disagree with his conclusion that it’s eroding democracy. He’s a good narrator though.

12 people found this helpful

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This is an important book

It is refreshing to read a book that cherishes REAL American values of free speech and respectful dialog. We have been dominated by the facist cancel culture for too long. Time to return to real American values.

12 people found this helpful

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Must read of 2021

I had absolutely no clue who Vivek Ramaswamy was, but when I was interviewing the author Peter Boghossian for my podcast, he told me that I should check this book out. As a person who considers himself pretty left-leaning, I instantly judged Vivek with my first impressions of him. Personally, I’m not sure if capitalism can be fixed, so when I learned that he was a former CEO of a biotech company, and the first clips of him I saw was on Fox News, I had an idea of what type of guy he was. And on top of that, typically any book that has the word “woke” in the title or subtitle makes me think it’s going to be some ultra-conservative person just trying to play into tribalism.

But, I was 1000% wrong, and I’m so glad that I was. Once I started this book, I couldn’t stop reading it. I grabbed my copy on Friday and finished it by Sunday.

As someone on the left, I’ve felt insane watching so-called liberals get played by the rich and elite like a bunch of fiddles. In this book, Vivek brings his insider knowledge as a former CEO to showcase how corporate America loves playing into the culture wars because it makes them more money and distracts from all of the real issues. Vivek is a man with principles, and as you read the book, you can tell he’s a legitimately good person who wants to help people. Unfortunately, when it comes to the culture wars, people don’t care if you want to do the greatest good; all they care about is if you’ve properly shown you’re “one of the tribe”. Rather than buckling to the pressure, Vivek left his position as CEO and wrote this extremely important book.

Aside from Vivek being a decent guy, he’s a deep thinker. As I read this book, I almost felt like I was reading the words of a philosopher, and I loved it. I don’t completely agree with all of Vivek’s ideas and solutions, but I definitely respect all of them. I think there may be some other root causes and potential solutions, but the point is that we need to recognize what’s happening and work together. In my opinion, this is one of the best books of 2021 alongside Batya Ungar-Sargon’s upcoming book Bad News.

11 people found this helpful

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EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD READ THIS BOOK

Reading this book literally gave me hope for our country that I have long feared was gone. Maybe, just maybe, there is still hope for the AMERICAN DREAM, if only we can WAKE UP to the WOKE propaganda.

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Daring

Boldly written. Provocative in the way that honesty is provocative. Wont say I agree with everthing here, but this book says a lot of things that need to be said in a business climate that is hostile to anyone with opposing viewpoints. Kudos to Vivek for having the daring to go against the grain.

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Woke From The American Dream?

America's Left believes that once-dreaming America's come woke to a world where feelings are reality. A place where thoughts and even facts are crimes. They preach a theocratic message of skin-deep identities, each identity a tribe that the Left can herd into one single mission with the the guillotine of cancellation. Over 7 or 10 decades the Woke have made a long march through the universities, the schools, the media, churches, government, non-profits, and corporations to shatter America's common identity and reverse the belief that America has created a unique common culture out of many into one (E pluribus unum). Instead through atomizing America's commonality, the Left has turned one into many (Unum in multis). And in dividing, conquer.

Have I got Ramaswamy's drift?

He focuses most heavily upon the corporate takeover to have executives do what the government cannot constitutionally do in terms of policing the speech/actions of wage-earners into conformity with their dogmas. He reveals how profits, normally a result of corporate behaviorhave been directed into a cause of corporate behavior.Which is a jujitsu tactic employing the opponent's muscle and weight against itself. Are the results Brilliant? Sinister? Both? Neither? Good questions but those aren't Ramaswamy's questions really. With respect to its corporate take-over, this book's neither a whodunit, or why-dunnit but it succeeds in revealing how-dunnit through both the Left's strategy and their consequent brilliant tactics.

Is the confrontation between Left and Right over? Has the Church of Wokeness (as the author describes it) evangelized or at least pacified American-Dreamers sufficiently that only a few ineffective heretics remain to recant? Has the match ended before the spectators even realized it both began and that this was an audience-participation event?

Perhaps... and Ramaswamy, having described his opponent's strategy offers up a defensive stance. Too little too late? Is his a Maginot Line easily by-passed by an agile force nourished well by the spoils of its successful battles? If you are not Woke and still cling to The American Dream of a unique bastion for individual opportunity, perhaps this is a book of hope? Me? I'm glad I'm too old to fight and hope my locks, guns, and barred windows will discourage the looters.

This is NOT a book for the masses. It is a demanding read for minds open to some technical instruction of the ways of Wall Street, finance, and Constitutional law. Will the essential understandings discourage the vey large swath of people hungry for Ramaswamy's message?

Hope not... but hope has never been a business plan.

6 people found this helpful

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Wake up to woke

This is a complex concept and Vivek skillfully unravels it using facts, examples, history, and humor. Highly recommended reading for anyone wanting to better understand the mind-boggling dominance of “woke” ideology in America today.

6 people found this helpful

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Great work!

What a great book. I work for a corporation and the woke culture is ruining the morale at work. Thank you Vivek for writing this book. I love your ideas about civil service to the community. I hope we see some changes in the near future.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Privat
  • 08-25-21

thought provoking and crucially relevant

If you are worried about overly polarized politics, this book is a must for you!

It is a shame the book is so focused on the US rather than on democracies as a whole but it holds important lessons for all of us.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anduko101
  • 10-01-21

Good intro to woke-ism and corporate America

A slighty slow start, but worth sticking with. Some of the information goes a long way to explaining the malaise of modern times. The author reads his own book, you can tell he's passionate about his subject. Toward the end the author offers some possible way outs which are quite interesting. I'd defo listen to it a 2nd time, there is a lot of information in here so you'd not absorb it all on the first go.

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  • Olly Buxton
  • 09-29-21

Well intended, but misses its mark a little

It's a courageous book, and makes some good points, but I'm not sure I'm that interested in life lessons from any 36 year old, let alone one who happened to get lucky on a startup. There are some more careful, painstaking critiques of critical theory (Helen Pluckrose’s Cynical Theories, and more elegantly argued angry ones (Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds): this one has too much of the theoretical certainty that all successful young men have, and not really enough rigour or real-world application. As he goes on, Ramaswamy’s Republican leanings become more overt, making this seem an idealogical objection rather than a practical one. The thing is, the practical objections are always going to be more damning than idealogical ones.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-17-21

Thought provoking treatment of US culture wars

This is a great book for anyone interested in engaging with a wide range of ideas.

Perhaps the most prescient diagnosis of modern day societal ills is a lack of unifying identity based on common purpose and a shared sense of humanity.

The case for leaving business to focus on providing goods and services without undue harm to society, rather than actively engaging in fixing societal problems was also surprisingly compelling.