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Publisher's Summary

A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers...

In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.

The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of listeners, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.

©2013 Aviva Chomsky and David Barsamian (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • John
  • Canada
  • 02-25-13

Nice update from Chomsky

Where does Power Systems rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

"Power Systems" is one of the best audiobooks I have read.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Noam Chomsky is one of the hardest-working and best researchers in the field of contemporary politics, power systems, American colonialism, foreign wars, the occupy movement, post-secondary education (he teaches at M.I.T.) the 1%, poverty in America, and the widening gap between the super-rich and everyone else. This book covers more territory than many of his other more specialized titles, and brings the reader up to the past year or so (2012). If you want a good overview of the problems facing America and the west, and what needs to be done to fix them, this is a very good place to start.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Honest

If you could sum up Power Systems in three words, what would they be?

To the point

What did you like best about this story?

The honest truth, like it or not

Which character – as performed by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian – was your favorite?

Noam Chomsky

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The plight of the population

Any additional comments?

Noam Chomsky tells you the facts. He has no favorites, just tells it like it is.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 03-08-13

This is not a book, it's an interview

I was very disappointed to discover that this is a recorded interview with Chomsky, not a book. So it is very repetitive and much of the interview is conducted over the phone so the audio quality is very poor. You have to be a huge fan of Chomsky to want to sit through this.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 05-30-18

Classic Chomsky

Firstly this is a series of interviews not a coherent book, the audio quality is variable but generally understandable.

I have read a lot of Chomsky (on both linguistics and politics) quite a few years ago, and when a friend asked me what I thought of this book and Chomsky, I decided to give Chomsky a fresh look.
This book, as the title implies, is mostly on power politics but there is a bit of linguistics at the end.

I have never been a fan of Chomsky and this book did not alter that.
Chomsky is very well read, is intelligent and says mostly reasonable things, that make sense, and uses quotes that are correct but out of context, then makes final conclusions that do not follow.
Chomsky has slight anarchist bent which I found off putting.
Some of his theories seem to me, at least borderline, conspiracy theories.
One of his theories is there is not good evidence that Osama bin Laden was involved in the 911 attacks and his death was a US "assassination".

On careful analysis Chomsky seems to blame everyone, corporations, government, the media, and even the people but he does not really provide a clear direction. He seems to feel the only solution is revolutionary transformation away from democratic capitalism but this is frustrated by the self-brain washing of the people.

I alway found Chomsky's very influential linguistic theories quite weak, based upon strongly held opinions, not science. His comments at the end of this book did not change that either. He seems to think some recent small language specific brain evolution must be responsible for the development of human language. Although this might be the case, there are other explanations.

Chomsky has written many books on politics and power and remains influential. I recommend reading some Chomsky, but reading with close attention to final step in each of his arguments.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book; poor quality.

This is a great eye opening book. I'd recommend this to someone who might not have the time to read Understanding Power. Unfortunately, the sound quality in this was very poor, which made it somewhat difficult to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent

Thoughtful review of the powers that govern us in today's world. Deep, objective analysis of critical factors affecting our lives.

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Insightful interviews, not a book.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is a series of insightful interviews with Noam Chomsky, providing comment on the meaning and significance of contemporary social, political, and economic trends and events. I should have read the description more carefully before buying. I was expecting something that would more closely approximate a book, which this is not. I was also expect fresh perspectives and new analysis of contemporary concerns. This is a good reflection of Noam Chomsky's ideas. Chomsky speaks off the cuff to questions presented to him. Smart, articulate, well stated. Not particularly novel.

Has Power Systems turned you off from other books in this genre?

I'll pay more attention to the description in the future.

Would you be willing to try another one of Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian ’s performances?

Probably not.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Reflection on contemporary challenges.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Total Waste

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Never knowing of its existence.

Has Power Systems turned you off from other books in this genre?

I hope there are no other books in this genre.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian ?

A mute.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Power Systems?

All of them.

Any additional comments?

The download made my i-Pod throw up.

0 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Flopadoo
  • 06-18-13

Very good - interesting Chomsky monologues

I really enjoyed this audio book. It's quite a relaxed format and covers a wide range of topics. Sometimes the questions from Barsamian are a bit fawning, but generally it is to the point and is very interesting. There's even a section on Chomsky's work on language, which isn't a subject I knew much about so it was interesting to hear him speak about it.

I'd really recommend this audio book if you are interested in Chomsky's views.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • craw
  • 03-25-17

The greatest intellectual of our time.

Noam Chomsky is perhaps the most influential speaker and activist of our time. He speaks the truth about how the world truly works.

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  • Quinton
  • 12-09-16

brilliant analysis and clearly explained

every body should listen to this audio book to become informed about US imperial actions which ultimately impact the whole globe for the worse, threatening world peace and the environment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful