Making the Future presents more than 50 concise and persuasively argued commentaries on U.S. politics and policies, written between 2007 and 2011.
Taken together, Chomsky's essays present a powerful counter-narrative to official accounts of the major political events of the past four years: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the U.S. presidential race; the ascendancy of China; Latin America's leftward turn; the threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea; Israel's invasion of Gaza and expansion of settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank; developments in climate change; the world financial crisis; the Arab Spring; the assassination of Osama bin Laden; and the Occupy protests. Laced throughout his critiques are expressions of commitment to democracy and the power of popular struggles. "Progressive legislation and social welfare," writes Chomsky, "have been won by popular struggles, not gifts from above. Those struggles follow a cycle of success and setback. They must be waged every day, not just once every four years, always with the goal of creating a genuinely responsive democratic society, from the voting booth to the workplace.
©2012 Noam Chomsky (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the U.S. military's global Interventions (City Lights). Shock and awe!" (Vanity Fair)
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Grasping the data, and using uncompromising logic, Chomsky offers a counter-narrative to the rah-rah mock distress of mainstream reportage on U.S. foreign policy--"We had no choice but to go in there, we have to support these dictators to spread freedom."
Afghanistan, Israel, global melting, the recession-- you'll recognize every current headline as well as less-talked-about conflicts in Somalia, and Georgia.
One of the reasons Chomsky's writing is so meaningful to his readers is that he never fails to relish the alternative. He has his eyes set on those who are trying— and winning— their battle against corporate hegemony. He groks the daily triumphs and insights, not the ceremonies and awards.
If you FEEL the dissonance between what you hear in the news vs. what you see in front of you— start here to find out why.
Having read Chompsky's first book of essays ('American Power and the New Mandarans") when I was 19, now reading this collection when I'm 48, I find the first experience of having my mind blown a hard act to follow. Much of what Chompsky has to say is better laid out in his longer books, when he can really direct his intellect into one subject and throughly shake it out. I find the Op-Ed style dispatches just more current event review.
Now, for slice of life snapshots on history, I found myself marveling over the last ten years essays covers, and the truely tumultuous era we has just survived. So much has happened that it really takes a rendering of history as Chompsky tells it to take it in, being there was just not enough.
My greatest objection to the book is the reader's dreadful performance. In my opinion, his reading was entirely mechanical. What small changes there were in the reader's tone and inflection came at regular intervals, like expansion joints in a highway, regardless of the content or meaning of the text. It was like watching the same 15-second video clip over, and over, and over again. The reading obliterated the nuances of Chomsky's text and obscured Chomsky's subtle arguments. Moreover, the reader's voice was not pleasant to my ears.
Unless you are a news junkie and policy wonk, the issues Chomsky discusses are terribly dated. The middle years of the last decade and the 2008 American presidential elections seem as distant as the 1850s.
In a fawning foreword, the writer strangely chooses to portray Chomsky as a sort of intellectual track star, a man on fast forward who meets deadlines, churns out articles and gives speeches like a champion athlete setting a new world record. I'm less interested the Chomsky's gee-whiz quotient than I am in his ideas and arguments and, more importantly, the changes - if any - they've wrought in the real world.
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