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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Arguably the most important intellectual alive" (New York Times)

"Chomsky ranks with Marx, Shakespeare and the Bible as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities" (Guardian)

"Noam Chomsky is a major scholarly resource. Not to have read him is to court genuine ignorance" (The Nation)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the pre-eminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sell-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's talks on the past, present and future of the politics of power.

In a series of enlightening and wide-ranging discussions - published here for the first time - Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during the Vietnam War to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America's imperialistic foreign policy and social inequalities at home, Chomsky also discerns the necessary steps to take toward social change. With an eye to political activism and the media's role in popular struggle, as well as US foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power is definitive Chomsky.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 432 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage; Édition : New Ed (2 octobre 2003)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0099466066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099466062
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,4 x 3,3 x 23,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 26.653 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Jean-Francois from Paris le 11 novembre 2014
Format: Broché
A collection of illuminating comments peppered all across this seminal selection of interviews. An essential reading focused on and around someone able to quote History almost verbatim, or seems to. Highly recommended for everyone querying on how superpowers operates in this world and so much else.
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Amazon.com: 128 commentaires
161 internautes sur 164 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Easily the best overview of Chomsky's political thought 10 avril 2002
Par Marcus Karr - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I just bought this book and I am immensely pleased with it. I own other Chomsky books -- Manufacturing Consent, Fateful Triangle, and the short interview-based books from Common Courage Press, among others -- and I have to say that this is far and away my favorite of the lot. The more scholarly books, like Manufacturing Consent and The Fateful Triangle, are thick with documentation but rather dry -- this doesn't bother me personally, but it's difficult to introduce them to someone else. On the other hand, the more accessible works, What Uncle Sam Really Wants, for example, come off to the layperson as the radical ravings of a lunatic, and unless the reader already has similar sympathies or suspicions, they are far from persuasive. This is exacerbated by the fact that in these Chomsky offers little in the way of proof, and this is why I shy away from recommending these volumes to Chomsky newcomers; as Chomsky himself would say, he sounds like he's coming from Mars.
Understanding Power is a very welcome addition to the canon in large part because it addresses the aforementioned problems. For one, the questions he responds to aren't the softballs David Barsamian usually pitches him -- his interlocutors occasionally ask the very questions a skeptical or simply curious reader might be thinking to himself -- and his responses reflect this: they're less "crazy" and alien, and more thoughtful, informative, and generally convincing. A second reason Understanding Power deserves heaps of praise is the footnotes. ... The footnotes are incredible, absolutely incredible, and it's easy to see why they aren't included in the book. ... The notes themselves are both broad and deep: everything from the specific NSC documents to the actual popularity of Reagan's policies is referenced, and sources are often extracted from at length (this is unusual for the non-academic works). I was always curious where Chomsky got his figures on American religious fanaticism and now I finally know. Thumbs up to the editors.
... Here is what I gather: Chomsky is often invited to Canada, he feels, because Canadians like to hear America get dumped on. Chomsky got tired of this so, yes, deliberately began a particular interview in a confrontational manner, detailing Pearson's complicity in US war crimes in Indochina (namely, arms sales), who was meanwhile posing as an impartial mediator. The book itself doesn't go into the details, but the footnotes refer to four or five books on the subject. The point of this story was not to present an indictment of Canada or Pearson but to show that, as the other reviewer accurately puts it, "the Canadian media is just as unwilling to hear contrary points of view about Canada as the American media is to hear contrary points of view about the US." Chomsky goes on to note that Canadian universities refuse to pay his plane fare if he criticizes Canadian policies during his lectures. ...-- Chomsky does in fact say "Canada was always denouncing the United States during the Vietnam War for its criminal actions." At any rate, this point, and the one about the apparent good manners of Canadian citizens, is merely incidental.
To conclude: this book belongs on your shelf and I recommend it without reservations to absolutely anyone. The originality and breadth of thought contained herein outmatch any other political Chomsky book on the market (the Chomsky Reader included), let alone those by other authors on similar subjects. This is the perfect volume for an introduction to Chomsky's political thought and a worthwhile addition to the library of even those who think they've already read everything Chomsky has to say.
97 internautes sur 107 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Most comprehensive book yet on Chomsky's political thought 26 janvier 2002
Par Mark R - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Many people are eager for a true alternative to the usual gang of talking heads (or shouting heads), pundits, etc, for commentary and analysis of political and social life. Noam Chomsky continues to offer such an alternative. However, people often find Chomsky's several dozen books on international affairs difficult to read; books of interviews with Chomsky tend to be much more popular than his own writings. The reason is simple: in the informal setting of an interview or the (often lengthy) question and answer periods that follow his talks Chomsky retains his remarkable ability to bring many topics together into a coherent response. He does this by drawing upon the same wealth of source material cited in his books, but the answers given in the casual setting flesh out Chomsky's keen sense of humor, his dedication to social justice and make for easier and even more interesting reading.
Carlos Otero realized this, about 15 years ago, and published "Language and Politics," an excellent book flawed only by the lack of an index or footnotes. Mitchell and Schoeffel, with "Understanding Power," have improved on Otero's book by providing an index and the much-requested and -needed footnotes. Everything in "Understanding Power" is well documented. So well documented that the notes are longer than the book itself! To handle this the editors have set up a web site especially for this book, where notes may be down-loaded (or read on-line) in either HTML or PDF format.
This book, almost all of which is in print for the first time, is at once a very accessible introduction to Chomsky's political thought as well as an excellent addition to the library of the most serious Chomsky critic or enthusiast.
230 internautes sur 264 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No better demonstration of how editing can make or break you 30 avril 2002
Par David Wineberg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Required reading.
It is pretty much a given that Chomsky's ideas are compelling, whether you agee or not. The extraordinary value-add in this book is the editing job. It is obvious and gigantic. The authors have organized Chomsky's talks into logically flowing, highly documented, and parallel-structured snippets of one to three pages each - and there are a couple of hundred of them. Most of them open with an audience question, and a quick retort by Chomsky. This is followed by a key word: Look, Actually, or See, after which Chomsky goes into huge depth and detail, never straying from the focus. Again, the editing is what makes it all compelling, useful, and evenly paced. The amount of work that went into tearing apart years of talks, conversations and lectures, and then organizing them in complementary sections, making them fit a format that allows the reader to breeze through (well relatively breeze through) the densely packed insights of Noam Chomsky deserves some sort of award.
The footnotes are the most useful and detailed I have ever seen. They are a monumental standalone work in and of themselves. I only wish THEY were indexed like the book is - after all, there are 449 pages of them, compared to 401 pages in the book.
While Chomsky comes off as extraordinarily insightful, there are weaknesses - holes you could really exploit if you ever had the privilege of arguing with him. His knowledge of financial markets and foreign currency exchange, hedge funds and such is not only superficial, but sometimes just plain wrong. Sometimes he generalizes immense conclusions from a few superficial and specifically chosen facts that ignore the complexity of the situation. This kind of inductive reasoning befits the ranting fundamentalists (of all stripes) he belittles, and is surprising from someone as "fair" as Noam Chomsky. He also completely misunderstands the power of celebrity and familiarity, missing and even denying his own leverage. In other words, he is human after all!
Perhaps then, there is actually less here than meets the eye? I don't think so. I think this book is so well edited, it actually allows the reader to surgically inspect the workings of this fine mind, to put things in frames of reference and perspective, and even to claim the occasional victory over Noam Chomsky in the safety of one's own home and without a half hour rebuttal.
If you're up for the wild ride to places in your own back yard, Undertanding Power is very highly recommended.
25 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Presentation of Chomsky's Ideas 6 février 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
There are a great number of Chomsky's works in print, but this carefully edited book of lectures and discussions is both an excellent introduction and an insightful contribution to the Chomsky corpus. Mitchell and Schoeffel must have worked on this collection for many years, finding and editing exemplary exchanges and discussions, and then providing a set of footnotes ... the depth of which surpasses that found in any of Chomsky's previous political works. That this may be the first time in the history of modern publishing that a book and a web site have been used to such extraordinary effect only adds to the achievement.
49 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A very aptly titled book 16 janvier 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is aptly titled. It is, indeed, indispensable as a guide to Noam Chomsky's prolific work as an activist writer/speaker, spanning four decades and innumerable topics. Chomsky is often at his best in talks, Q & A sessions and impromptu answers to interviewers. This is how one should like to be introduced to Chomsky's vast political work. But previous books of interviews, however laudable for their readability, are equally damnable for the absence of references. Where did Chomsky read that comment by such-and-such an official? How do I know he's not making it up? Such questions occur rightly to most people upon their first encounter with someone presenting a view of the social world as unorthodox as Chomsky's. And the interview format provides no answers. The editors of this volume have found an ingenious solution. They have produced a Chomsky reader that is quite unlike a reader -- it consists mostly of transcribed exchanges with audiences at teach-ins and seminar-type discussions -- yet offers notes and references as extensive as -- indeed, more extensive than -- any of the books Chomsky himself has written.
Chomsky has spoken of the need for "primers in intellectual self-defense". This book, I think, could serve that purpose very well.
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