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Summary

A toxic ideology rules the world of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that reengages people in politics and lights a path to a better world.

George Monbiot shows how new findings in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology cast human nature in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and cooperators. He shows how we can build on these findings to create a new politics: a 'politics of belonging'.

Both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up, enabling us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society.

Urgent and passionate, Out of the Wreckage provides the hope and clarity required to change the world.

©2017 George Monbiot (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars

A rather sketchy map towards a new political era

Monbiot starts with a neat and eloquent rant about where we are, how we got here, and seemingly, how doomed we are to remain. At first I didn’t feel as though we ever would get out of the wreckage at all, and for all the clever and stimulating analysis, it felt like he was going to leave us languishing.

In the end the books wraps up quite nicely and left this listener feeling at least a little bit inspired and much more able to diagnose and potentially treat the causes of his current political malaise. Of all the post-Brexit self help books I’ve consumed, this one is probably the most effective yet.

A good balance of political and economic analysis throughout. Though for all the talk of the person, the people, the commons; and the need to tell an engaging story; the book feels rather impersonal and doesn’t have a hero that draws the listener in. Maybe Monbiot sees himself filling that role - in that respect he makes a brave attempt, but I’m not quite convinced.

29 people found this helpful

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Comprehensive and inspiring

A succint yet rich in concrete proposals blueprint for a new society. Direct participation now appears irresistible.

6 people found this helpful

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A manifesto for hope

In a World where you feel so insignificant, a book comes along and empowers. A real joy, enlighting and from someone that sees themselves on the right side of politics, not a small endorsement. Modern political issues made simple and understandable, but unlike most books dissecting the current zeitgeist actually goes into steps ordinary people could do to make the difference. Great suggestions well argued. Interesting to anyone disillusioned with the current political quagmire.

5 people found this helpful

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Smartest book on politics I've ever come across

This book is like a cross between Malcolm Gladwell, Naomi Klein and 12 Rules for Life. It has taught me so much about the current political situation, and I’ve found myself bringing up things I learnt in conversations all the time. Everyone I've recommended it to loved it.

It’s also incredibly engaging and readable. It’s a hopeful look at politics, and a smart perspective on the future – with amazing insight in to how to life your life well. The best current affairs book I’ve listened to!

4 people found this helpful

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Somewhat hypocritical

An essay on the current state of our political systems as well as a critique of those same systems and the (largely) neo-liberal ideologies that drive them. I enjoy George Monbiot's writing, he makes some decent arguments here, whilst also putting forward ideas for a better, fairer system of government. Unfortunately, some of it is hard to take seriously and I'll explain why.

Monbiot critisces the media throughout this book for propping up this pro-capitalist system, but it's generalised criticism. His own paper, The Guardian, seems to get a free pass, despite also pushing a largely neo-liberal, imperialist, pro-war, capitalist agenda.

Then there's the way that paper undermined the former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a genuine old-school socialist, by regularly portraying him in a negative way. Labour's manifesto and Corbyn's own beliefs seem to fall in line with some of Monbiot's own suggestions for a better society and political system, so you'd think he'd be a fan. That wasn't the case in 2017 when this book was published, as Monbiot tweeted the following.

"I was thrilled when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, but it has been one fiasco after another. I have now lost all faith."

He appeared to have bought the same media propaganda he decries in this very book. Monbiot also tweeted this just months before the 2017 general election, where, despite the barrage of negative coverage from the media and members of his own party, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour gained 32 seats and the Tories lost their majority. In fact, under Corbyn's leadership Labour's share of the vote had risen to nearly 40%. Imagine what might have happened if the self styled left wing Guardian had gotten behind him, if the BBC had remained impartial or if he'd received the full support of those within his party. We'd probably have that environmentally friendly, anti-war, progressively socialist government you appear to be arguing for. What a shame we don't, and the same systems made sure of this fact in 2019. Barely a whisper from Mr Monbiot. He even parrots Corbyn's "for the many, not the few" slogan, in his chapter gushing about the Sander's campaign (Bernie Sanders, who wasn't even the democratic nominee). I'd laugh, if I didn't want to cry.

That's why I find a lot of what he has to say here hard to swallow, because I don't know how much he truly believes in it.

5.5/10

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Nice ideas but not the most thorough arguments.

Could have done with more in depth real world examples. Decent book though, but felt a bit lightweight, though I agree with most of the content.

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Boring. This is a bit of a stodgy lecture.

Couldn't finish. George's politics are great but this is a bit of a boring rant. He lecturing to the converted. Feral is great by comparison.

2 people found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting

Make sure it's what you want to listen to. Make sure it's what you want to listen to.

Sorry I had to repeat myself to get over the minimum word limit!

2 people found this helpful

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Mind opening

A superb piece of literature that educates you to another way, this has changed by life.

1 person found this helpful

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Naive and Unprofessional

This is basically an opinion piece rather than a thesis backed by any research or facts. I was expecting better, frankly, from a respected journalist.

I don't have a problem with dreamy optimism as such, but this is not worthy of an audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Robyn Sheldon
  • Robyn Sheldon
  • 06-10-19

Superb. Uplifting. Taking the complicated mess of our global crises and offering simple, clear and attainable solutions

Out of the Wreckage is the finest audio book. I want everybody in the world to hear it. I could become quite evangelical in promoting it. It offers hope in seemingly hopeless situations. Thank you George Monbiot; it takes a brilliant mind to create such simple and elegant solutions. I will be forever grateful for your clarity and insight.

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  • Layne Mostyn
  • 09-07-19

Riveting

I couldn't put it down. Not just a book about the environment, but how citizens can take control of government for much more equitable outcomes that actually align with our values of community, justice, and fairness.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ROBERT DRAZIN
  • 09-08-18

Inspiring.

A guidebook to a utopian future where we have cole.to love each other and our planet.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Ian Storrar
  • Ian Storrar
  • 13-07-18

A cornerstone of the democratic revolution

This short but powerful book provides a vision of the world as it should and could be, calling on real world examples that give us stars to navigate by. One of the most vital works of the 21st Century revolution to reclaim democracy.

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  • Magpie
  • 09-07-18

Perfect timing.

This excellent book is exactly what we need right now. Practical, inspirational, and perfectly timed. Don't give up on humans just yet!

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Profile Image for Kevin Mahoney
  • Kevin Mahoney
  • 03-04-18

An attempt at a new political story

More inspirational than practical, born of the post-Trump era. Monbiot hopes to inspire a new story for political change...sketching a horizon that progressives can orient Mass calls for change.