Understanding Power

Understanding Power

The Indispensable Chomsky

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
An introduction to Noam Chomsky's views on the politics of power discusses third-party politics in the United States, the suppression of dissent, U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and the role of the media.

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

In a series of enlightening and wide-ranging discussions, all published here for the first time, Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during Vietnam to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America’s imperialistic foreign policy and the decline of domestic social services, 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 U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power offers a sweeping critique of the world around us and is definitive Chomsky.

Characterized by Chomsky’s accessible and informative style, this is the ideal book for those new to his work as well as for those who have been listening for years.

Publisher: New York : New Press, c2002
ISBN: 9781565847033
Characteristics: xiii, 416 p. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Mitchell, Peter R.
Schoeffel, John


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 06, 2015

Understanding Power is a great primer for Chomsky's political thought.

A previous reviewer suggests that Chomsky "never names names, just uses generalities." One wonders if he read the book at all, because, quite to the contrary, Chomsky is sometimes specific to a fault, consistently drawing on historical source documents --both government and media. Citations abound in this book.

Indeed, there are SO many citations--449 pages worth, for a 401 page book--that the publishers chose to put them on a website, rather than in the book itself.

Unfortunately, the website has since went down. You can, however, find all the citations at archive.org

Aug 20, 2014

Chomsky claims: /// Kennedy substantially increased the level of violence in Latin America \\\ HUH???? JFK renewed the promise of FDR, that he would not dispatch the US military in support of the multinationals. It was JFK who halted foreign aid to no less than 7 dictators who refused to move towards democracy. It was JFK who warned the Dutch off of Indonesia and worked out a compromise between [Rockefeller-owned] Stanvac and CalTex with the Indonesian government - - it was Eisenhower and his CIA who dispatched mercenaries to kill thousands of Indonesians, just as it was Lyndon Johnson and his CIA who led the coup in the overthrow of Sukarno, with over one-half million Indonesians killed! Chomsky lies and lies and lies about the Kennedy administration and one wonders what paymaster is Chomsky lying for? And Operation Brother Sam occurred under Johnson, the military and foreign aid in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Brazil! Suggest anyone who doubts me read: Donald Gibson's book, Battling Wall Street: the Kennedy presidency /// Andrew Cohen's book, Two Days in June, and all the executive orders and legislation signed by JFK.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at SPL.

Try searching for Understanding Power to see if SPL owns related versions of the work.

To Top