• The Unabomber Manifesto

  • Brilliant Madman's Essay on Technology, Society, and the Future of Humanity
  • By: Ted Kaczynski
  • Narrated by: Jim D. Johnston
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On September 19th, 1995, the New York Times printed an essay by a known terrorist in a desperate attempt to stop his string of civilian bombings. 

The newspaper’s editors dismissed “The Unabomber” as a lunatic, but his essay soon began to capture the attention of the world’s wisest political minds. As The Atlantic wrote: “[The essay] was greeted...by many thoughtful people as a work of genius.” 

"Reprehensible for murdering and maiming people...but precisely correct in many of his ideas.” (Keith Albow, author and psychiatrist) 

“If it is the work of a madman, then the writings of many political philosophers - Jean Jacques Rousseau, Tom Paine, Karl Marx - are scarcely more sane." (James Q. Wilson, professor of political science, UCLA)

“[He] was right about one thing: technology has its own agenda.” (Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of WIRED)

As the decades have passed since the essay was published, the truth behind the author’s warnings have become harder to ignore. 

Predicting society’s present addiction to technology, our challenges with data privacy, and the dramatic increase in drug overdoses and depression that have accompanied a technology-induced lack of purpose, The Unabomber’s vision of the future has become our reality. 

Of course, his means were disgusting and condemnable. But his message is more important than ever. 

If we want to thrive in an age where automation and artificial intelligence and rapidly making humans obsolete, it is our responsibility to understand and prepare for the technological machine we are up against.

©2019 Ted Kaczynski (P)2021 Ted Kaczynski

What listeners say about The Unabomber Manifesto

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This book is brilliant

I don't often get into books of this nature, but wow. I will be listening again on the plane ride home. Would highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrifying and brilliant

I've always heard about this book but never knew what it was about, only about his horrible terrorist actions. After listening, he's obviously brilliant and it seems like the future he predicted is coming true. Not sure where that leaves us, but it's interesting to think about...

2 people found this helpful

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Always an interesting read

While I didn’t find the writing style particularly brilliant, the content was rather intriguing, especially considering that it really isn’t about his unlawful acts at all.

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Not so brilliant

Has a few interesting points, especially about the problems of modernity, technology and genetic modification but he overly idealizes primitive life. Most the book is just a series of claims without backup and an angry rant against what he sees as the Left even though he has trouble defining exactly what that is. I was hoping for more eloquence, better thought points and the like, but it was all just claims.

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I strongly disagree with the author's POV.

While I strongly disagree with Mr. Kaczynski's views on technology (he's a technology pessimist, I'm a technology optimist), I can understand his view point.

I would very much like to debate Mr. Kaczynski on many of his topics discussed in this book. As someone that sees the majority of technology being used to benefit mankind and none of his doomsday predictions came true as of yet, I would very much like to say that the advancement of technology has only bettered mankind as a whole than condemned us.

Even with his views on the world being overpopulated, they are inherently flawed. At our current rate humanity is facing a fertility problem. The worse off a society is the greater they tend to procreate. America is on a steady trend downward for repopulation. There's a good chance our country won't recover once the death rate exceeds the birth rate.

Furthermore, it is a strong opinion of mine that Mr. Kaczynski has not done much research on other countries concerning the economy. There's a positive correlation that shows that, the more technology is present the greater the chance of mankind's survival. However, Mr. Kaczynski has a eugenic mindset and believes the world should be even further depopulated. Therefore he doesn't inherently care about mankind as a whole. He's simply a narcissist at heart.

Great reading of the author's views on technology. Again, STRONGLY disagree on many points.

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Interesting

This is an interesting look into the mind of a madman, who happens to be a brilliant former Professor. Thought-provoking to say the least and I have to say it, but I think some of his points are valid, while others are extreme and a little off-the-walls.

All in all, if you’re into true crime, or maybe just something different and thought-provoking, you may enjoy this.

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Time waster

Not sure why this 6th grade level book was ever publushed. A waste of time. The author lacks actual substance and original content. Unless you enjoy rambling then this is for you. A pot of beans cooking on a well lit fire has more original content than this.

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Brilliant if not misguided

A brilliant tour of the mind of a mad man. His actions were deplorable, but he still accurately described many of the issues within our modern society.

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Well delivered, though the man had blind spots

Very interesting. It's amazing how he has perfectly predicted modern life. It seems the only reason he did the bombings was to get more people to read his manifesto. I agree with his points about leftism and conservatives, though I believe he has an obvious blind spot when it comes to technology. He has never lived in a world without technology, and it would be impossible to return to a life without it. He fails to indicate which technologies he deems surrogate activities, and which he would live with. Even the most primitive technology was still technology and it still served the purpose of making survival easier for people. He seems nostalgic about a time that does not exsist. In one example he uses a motorcycle that creates conflict among neighbors because of noise on one side and restriction of use on the other. He claims that had the bike never existed that conflict would never arise. However, humans who exsist together will always find something to have conflict about. It is not technology that creates conflict, it is selfish non-communicative people. His solution is for us all to live off the land and as far apart as we can. But the only way that we can reach his utopia is if we all return to having no knowledge whatsoever as if we were Adam and Eve, prior to their eating of the forbidden fruit. It's not possible, so thinking about it is a waste of time. Learning to love one another with a godly love is truely the only way to reach a utopia.

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Sad old man

For such a brilliant man, he couldn't see he had already lost. Can't say I'd suggest anyone waste time on this.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-22

Everyone should read this!

I think this is a book that should be read by everyone to at least challenge their perspective and make them ask questions. The narrator's "S" whistle is a little annoying. But otherwise an amazing read!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-22

Eye-opening and perfectly self-aware.

Narrator is well voiced and has a good knack for emphasis on the right points.

The content is eerily truthful, almost completely correct, and increasingly important to understand as we move on in society today.

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  • Valentin
  • 11-16-21

Good insight

You know you're getting old when you realize that Ted Kaczynski was right; although the place it came from is despicable and awfully polarized, he makes several solid points on many topics.

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  • Tiffany
  • 04-29-21

Excellent

Thank you for this! A fantastic audio book on a great story. Very easily enjoyed!