A major new collection from "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times). Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sold-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's recent talks on the past, present, and future of the politics of power.
In a series of enlightening and wide-ranging discussions, all published here for the first time, Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during Vietnam to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America's imperialistic foreign policy and the decline of domestic social services, Chomsky also discerns the necessary steps to take toward social change. With an eye to political activism and the media's role in popular struggle, as well as U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power offers a sweeping critique of the world around us and is definitive Chomsky. Characterized by Chomsky's accessible and informative style, this is the ideal book for those new to his work as well as for those who have been listening for years.
©2002 Noam Chomsky, Peter Rounds Mitchell, and John Schoeffel (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This is a great book. It is tough going in places, so make use of the bookmarks and go back until you understand. It's long but it's worth it. The detail and examples are well thought out and relevant to today.
If you find yourself questioning information you read on social media, watch on the TV or read in the newspaper, this book is for you.
This is probably one of the most influential books I have ever experienced. It covers so much ground, is so detailed and fact-rich that I never for a moment questioned the authenticity and sincerity of Chomsky's opinions and study of a world in the grip of trans-national corporate power. The depth of analysis and reasoning is at times breathtaking and much of the content will stay with me forever. I hope many will have the chance to read it and spread the word in order that we might all, in our small way, change for the better the sociopolitical landscape we find ourselves in today.
I will never see the world in the same way after reading this book
I will never see the world in the same way after reading this depressing book about power. Noam is probably focusing on the dark side but all the annoying facts presented are real.
we all agree that the current system is unfair, I think future will be better with technology, an Anarchist-Chomsky solution will be possible in 20-30 years from now.
(A Must Read Book)
This is a good introduction to Noam Chomsky, and enjoyable. I'm glad I bought it.
However, some of the material is redundant - repeating arguments made elsewhere in the audiobook. Also, some of it has nothing to do with politics and society: it's just Noam telling us his guesses and opinions, and explaining how he feels about social activism.
Also, the way the narrator reads the questions from the audiences often presents them as stupid, or worshipful. That's not great.
The book, which touches on so many intricate subjects, is a masterpiece. Human introspection at the highest level.
Possibly the most powerful and thought-provoking material produced this century.
Very long and detailed journey of American and world history rooted in real examples a day references. The relevance of some predictions and commentary from 1990's to today's political landscape is truly reflection of well grounded understanding of power dynamics
Say something about yourself!
This book is quite philosophical in nature. It defines the class of Chomsky if you’ve, only, vaguely heard about the man before. I have had reasonably good understanding of how US is working towards her hegemonic plans. But this book has given me strong understanding as to how serious the country is towards it’s malicious schemes. Arguments presented in the book are very strong and clear. It’s simple and so easy to follow and comprehend. There is no rhetoric, spat or rant of any kind. It’s pure intellectual work. Really loved it!
A most amazing compilation of facts surrounding the understanding of world power and their structures by one of greatest minds of our time! I just hope he is wrong in his conclusions.
"Current times demand you get this into your head."
I'm not what you would consider a member of the left, actually I'm a capitalist entrepreneur. But the ideas and concepts in this book are universal, fundamental and are necesary if you wish to understand how the modern world works and the true forces tha shape our lives.ostl6, if you want to make a change for thr better it's necesary to understand what change looks like in the long timeframes we humans need to make real lasting change.
I don't agree with some of the ideas he presents but they are microscopic and of little importance in comparison to the scope of the information in this book, but that's just an opinion.
The best thing is to read this now, almost 30 years later. Chomsky got most of it right as you will learn if you listen to this completely. he basically predicts our current state.
By the way, I have had this book for 10 years in print and never had made the time to read. so yeah, thanks Audible.
"The bleak reality of the US"
Everyone needs to listen to Chomsky. Whether you're a corporate shill or a concerned citizen, this puts the bleak cultural wasteland of America into focus and exposes the nastiness and the modern form of slavery that corporations are imposing on everyone.
"Excellent Standalone or as a Supplement"
Yes.Noam Chomsky's writings and lectures are filled with an overwhelming number of facts, numbers, and statements. So many, in fact, most of it will never reach your long term memory after just a listen or two. I read the hard copy first. While I don't mind plucking through the pages for a part I want to revisit, this was a much less daunting review that allowed for a cover-to-cover experience.
Every single aside and footnote could be traced to a real world reality. If he said a corporation wrote a letter asking for something from the government, even if the request seems insane, that letter exists and is available to the public. That is not to say there isn't opinion in here, there is very strong opinion. The facts are immaculate, however.
Robin Bloodworth performed Chomsky's work throughout. One thing that immediately jumped out to me, having seen or heard some of the lectures, was the difference between inflection and emphasis. I only mention this because I am aware that most who would call themselves Chomsky fans have heard a lot of audio and seen many lectures. I found that Bloodworth's performance evened out Chomsky' and provided consistency to a collection written over such a long period (at 85, he sounds healthy, but obviously different than in his youth) and including diverse formats.
"And the end result is in fact quite similar: what are called opinions "on the left" and "on the right" in the media represent only a limited spectrum of debate which reflects the range of needs of private power-but there's essentially nothing beyond those "acceptable" positions."
The content transcends left or right "politics" and focuses on the mechanism of human power. It does so in a way that enables anyone to learn how to reason about power, namely organizational power.
Fantastic book. Well organized and narrated. Essential for all, especially anarchists. Chomsky is like a political and economic encyclopedia. Don't make the mistake of idolizing him, think for yourself and go organize!
Though I don't agree with all of Noam's points I think he does a great job of getting us to understand power and how it functions in society.
"Great production and summarization"
Definately job well done in organizing all of these talks. Tip of the hat to the producers
"There are good reads and must read, THIS IS A MUST READ"
This is what they failed to teach in PolSci 101. The ultimate fill in the blank for the Republic, The Wealth of Nations and My Struggle.
"One of the most critical insights to modern issues"
Now, mid 2016, more and more of what is talked about in this book is becoming relevant. With presidential candidates like Donald Trump, an obvious demagogue, stirring up hatred like Hitler did in his rise to power, and the general state of the U.S. population, it hits the nail on the head. A must read for anyone.
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