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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the U.S. military's global Interventions (City Lights). Shock and awe!" (Vanity Fair)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-04-13

Fifty-Two Reasons to Listen to Chomsky

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.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Reader Ruined the Book

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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an aquired taste

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Canada
  • 07-13-15

Excellent

Chomsky's op-eds for the New York Times are thoughtful and well-written. They are short, in-depth essays on topics that were current between 2006 and 2011. The book ends with an address Chomsky gave to the Occupy Movement in Boston. Chomsky is a wonderful antidote to the right-wing propaganda that floods mainstream media in the west.

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  • jon
  • Meridian, ID, United States
  • 03-29-14

Repeat much?

What disappointed you about Making the Future?

This book was supposed to be a collection of Chomsky's articles. I guess that this is technically correct, but you will find the collection is very repetitive. After you have heard one article you have heard them all.

Any additional comments?

Pass on this. Read Nemesis instead. That was worth the time.

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 02-02-14

Read More Chomsky

I'm a bit embarrassed that "Making the Future" is my first introduction of Noam Chomsky. I like politics, but don't really enjoy following it on the news because I find that most TV hosts express their views too much, where it becomes a rant. Reading Chomsky's views of the future is refreshing. Instead of beating the audience with a stick on personal rhetoric, Chomsky gives the reader enough space to come to their own conclusion and then comment to his theories. I need to read a lot more of Noam Chomsky to expand my views on what is going on beyond my cross streets..

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 01-26-14

A dramatically different view of the world...

If you could sum up Making the Future in three words, what would they be?

If you want to see the world from a "different perspective", then you must read this book. It will challenge your perceptions. Norm Chomsky may be wrong. But he is also very smart and just sees the world differently.

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Looking back to move forward

Should be called making the future by looking at the past. It is a collection of articles by Chomsky from roughly 2008 - 2011. Some interesting insight but was looking for fresher views from Chomsky on how we need to make our future.