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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Susie on 04-01-13
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
By Alan on 07-09-13
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