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How the World Works

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  790 ratings  ·  77 reviews
According to The New York Times, Noam Chomsky is “arguably the most important intellectual alive.” But he isn’t easy to read . . . or at least he wasn’t until these books came along. Made up of intensively edited speeches and interviews, they offer something not found anywhere else: pure Chomsky, with every dazzling idea and penetrating insight intact, delivered in clear, ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Soft Skull Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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What I like about Chomsky is how he seems to not really care much if he's going to piss-off a few people, even if he's right or wrong. And to have the courage and knowledge to back it up in a fairly polite manner, I think is quite remarkable.

Everything in this book is from a US point of view since obviously; Chomsky is a Jew-US citizen and US's huge influence in the world, and because of that, it pretty much starts with why everyone hates them:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.
António Sousa
For those who are still not aware of the constant presence and influence of the US in global warfare this is a huge eye opener. It is impressive the detail description and opinion presented by Chomsky in this big set of interviews. A leftist/anarchist point of view, critical to capitalism and current social status and modern human condition. A good first read for those interest in concepts such as, class warfare, global economy, third world countries wars and the roots of racism.
This is not a bo
A very educating piece of work, an interesting look at the not-so-behind-the-scenes global politics/profits we see today. Although the examples are a little dated, Chomsky's arguments will be valid for quite some time.
Hestia Istiviani
Ditengah rentetan tuntutan untuk segera menyelesaikan skripsi, rasanya lelah juga hanya berkutat pada buku-buku teks pendukung. Nama Chomsky sebenarnya sudah tidak terlalu asing ditelingaku, namun baru kali ini aku memberanikan diri untuk membacanya.

Gaya Bahasa, Kosa Kata, dan Penyampaian
Buku ini adalah kumpulan tulisan Chomsky dari 4 buku sebelumnya. Aku, yang sama sekali tidak pernah tahu bagaimana tulisan Chomsky merasa bahwa cara penyampaiannya tidak bisa sembarangan dinikmati orang. Menurut
Billie Pritchett
Noam Chomsky's How the World Works (HWW) has an awfully high-falutin' title, but it seems to be quite accurate in describing the content. HWW is actually a collection of four abridged books, some of which are interviews with Chomsky, others of which are books that had been written by Chomsky. If there's one basic theme for the book, it is this truism: that governments and large businesses operate in their own interests and not in the interests of the people they are supposed to serve.

I say this
This book has considerable merit, but also some serious flaws. It is basically interviews with Noam Chomsky, who brings his vast knowledge to comment on subjects like how the U.S. government really works, imperialism, democracy, and economics. But there are no footnotes, so you can't check sources, you just have to take Chomsky's word for everything. It paints a grim picture of the modern corporate security state. By stringing together a number of short examples on particular topics, like how th ...more
Erkin Unlu
Chomsky'nin dili agir olsa da, Amerika'nin dunyada kimlere neden dusmanlik guttugunu onlarca ornekle aciklamasi acisindan cok faydali. Ayrica Lenin ve Soyvetler'e elestirel yaklasimi da dikkate deger. Aslinda bildiginiz (veya tahmin ettiginiz) bir cok olguyu kafanizda yerine oturtmanizi saglayan guzel bir nehir soylesiler butunu. Sorulari soran adam da bilgili ve sol akimdan bir kisi.
Chomsky has a tendency to write in long, convoluted sentences, so the purpose of this book is to make him more accessible by offering transcripts of interviews. It works. The stuff on corporations being totalitarian tyrannies should hit home for everyone who works in one.
A favourite quote: "The press isn’t in the business of letting people know how power works. It would be crazy to expect that....They’re part of the power system—why should they expose it?”
Nikos Tsentemeidis
Shattering book! Too much information about the world and USA. Chomsky has a lot of knowledge and an unbelievable clarity of mins.
Rahul  Adusumilli
God bless Chomsky.

I have greater appreciation for Frontline's John Cherian and Vijay Prashad now. When they report on an American led war, for instance, their narrative is at complete odds with the one portrayed by the western media and their group of human right organizations. BBC, CNN, NY Times, Slate, Mashable, Jon Stewart all report within that narrative created/permitted by the State Department. I have always liked Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart but not when they're reporting on events out
5 stars not for style, because it is a series of recorded interviews and as such can get a bit choppy, but for content. Corporations control government. And if you doubt this he can prove it to you a thousand different ways. That, and a U.S. government controlled by major corporations routinely undermines not communist states, not socialist states, but states with legitimate democracies. Why? Because as he demonstrates in the book a country with a legitimate democracy is a danger to corporations ...more
Ben Lever
Noam Chomsky’s omnibus How The World Works is made up of four of his earlier books - What Uncle Sam Really Wants; The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy; and The Common Good. These four are made up of edited transcripts of radio interviews Chomsky did through the 80s and 90s, and the format works quite well - the questions are useful starting points, and Chomsky mostly just uses them as a springboard from which to make points, so they tend not to intrude too much.

Niklas Pivic
If you think this book may be too old to read, think again. From the foreword, by Arthur Naiman:

Although the talks and interviews compiled in this book originally took place in the 1990s (and some even in the late 1980s), I think you’ll find Chomsky’s take on things more insightful than virtually anything you hear on the airwaves or read in the papers today. His analyses are so deep and farsighted that they only seem to get more timely—and startling—with age. Read a few pages and see if you don’
Feb 26, 2012 Eimad rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: activists and powerless people
Shelves: politik, general
wow.very hard to read but worth it.full of idea and truth about Neoconservative,New World Order and else.time to think out of quote Noam Chomsky Pick your cause and go volunteer for a group that's working on it - Noam Chomsky.this is a collection of essay like(it is interview actually) and short books combined together.although some of his books written in 1970 the idea sound more and more updated.after all now is past Arab Spring.a must read for powerless(us).do not let the ruler(read:bu ...more
To be honest, I think it is too premature for me to write a review for a book I haven't finished. Chomsky is unarguably one of the most renowned thinkers up until today, and to be honest, this book was not an easy read. I did challenge myself to finish the book in a day, and failed miserably. But in retrospect I was glad I did not rush it and now I have planned to absorb what is written in this book slowly, but sure.

Secara garis besar, di buku ini Chomsky membahas banyak hal, mulai dari demokras
First of all, 'How the world works' is actually not a single book but a collection of the four previously released Chomsky books 'What Uncle Sam really wants', 'The prosperous few and the restless many', 'Secrets, lies and democracy' and 'The common good'. Since I haven't read any of the individual books before, my rating goes for this specific collection of them.

Unfortunately, just combining all four seemed to have reduced its impact (at least for me). I was utterly fascinated by the first book

Some of the rural workers in Brazil have an interesting slogan. They say their immediate task is “expanding the floor of the cage.” They understand that they’re trapped inside a cage, but realize that protecting it when it’s under attack from even worse predators on the outside, and extending the limits of what the cage
will allow, are both essential preliminaries to dismantling it. If they attack the cage directly when they’re so vulnerable, they’ll get murdered. That’s something anyone ought to
C. Scott
I love Chomsky's bluntness... reading this is like visiting some wise old monk and getting lots of surprisingly simple answers to a lot of big questions. Many aren't ready to hear what this man has to say, but I think there is a lot of truth in Chomsky's worldview.
I love Chomsky. Mind you it's pretty horrible what he says, but at least he gives you pointers on what to do if you can be bothered and have enough influential friends to help out!
A good collection of 3 of Chomsky's bigger books from the 90s. Obviously a little dated by now, but a decent introduction to someone who isn't familiar with all of his work.
I wasn't able to finish this book because I had to return it to the library but I'm a big fan of Noam Chomsky and this book doesn't disappoint. The interview format makes Chomsky's deep thoughts easy to read. If more people in the American government would listen to him, we'd be able to solve a lot of the problems we've been experiencing. Chomsky doesn't spare anyone on the Democrat or Republican side, pointing at the major reasons behind US policies at home and abroad (follow the money). He's a ...more
Medet Can  Akkuş
kitap ile ilgili aklımda kalan pek çok ilginç şey var ancak kitabı bitirmemin ardından aklıma bunların içinden en çok, sistem eleştirisi yaparken ideolojiyi kullanmadan da bunun gayet iyi başarılabileceğinden söz etmesi geliyor ve bu kısım kitabın içinde minicik bir yer kaplıyor

kitap ile ilgili öğretici bulduğum bir diğer şey ise alan sokal örneğini öğrenmiş olmamdı. Bu örnek kültürün ve bilimin nasıl yozlaştırıldığına dair güzel bir örnek sunuyordu.!msg...
Maria Rita Biagini
Ricordo che ero molto giovane quando mi sono comprata uno dei miei primi libri. Era un saggio sulla storia di El Salvador, un paese latinoamericano di cui avevo sentito in televisione senza averci capito nulla. Speravo che leggendo avrei capito. Se non ricordo male, invece mi si ingarbugliarono ancora di più le idee, ma soprattutto rimasi colpita dalla violenza di cui si scriveva, di certi gruppi armati contro la popolazione inerme. Il libro di Chomsky mi aiuta a ricordare, a capire e a comprend ...more
Fenix Rose
Good. Though the format especailly after the first section is of question and answer composed of interviews Chomsky had given in teh 1990s.
Reading it I understood a bit better how things are now, how we got here, why things are so bad,
and why they arent getting better.
We need a total shift, cultural/economic/political and that will not happen as we dont see the big picture but pick at little things within it. Like a doctor treating symptoms but never the underlying cause of an illness. You may h
A provocative read. It had me angry, depressed and more importantly passionate about the world we live in today. I feel that it was an important book for me as I had never picked up anything like it to read.

It was easy to read, which almost made the material tougher to digest emotionally. However, after reading it I am motivated to actively do something about the causes mentioned here. I thoroughly recommend everyone to read this, even though it is outdated (by 10 years or so).
This is a sort of introductory book to Chomsky. The book contains four previous books of Chomsky's edited to be readable to someone that might be a lay person or that is new to Chomsky's political discourse. It's rad this book exists and I would recommend it especially to young people interested in radical politics and want to read something they can understand.
Joe Starosielec
Probably the most important and depressing book I've ever read. Very informative and mood-altering (in a good way!). If you are interested in U.S. history, economics, or foreign policy, this book is for you. It is probably the easiest of all of Chomsky's books to read, as it is taken from a spoken-word interview.
Muhammad Ridha Ar-Rasyid
I feel amazed. This book opened my eyes wide and wider. Chomsky did a great job with this book, and it couldn't finished well if David Barsamian didn't ask critical question - almost "every-single-thing" - about how the world really works.

Chomsky explained that with such a great insight, with economical science, reigions, political science, and the government itself. It isn't just about the US, but the third world as main object.

Then, I must give a standing applause to him and David for this boo
I picked certain subjects to read. Very informative and eye opening thoughts. But, not organized overall and you do need a basic knowledge of the political situation before you can understand what's being said. I just couldn't finish it.
Much of my life I have heard Noam Chomsky's name, usually associated with a non-mainstream world views. I was glad to find this readable presentation of his ideas. This is a collection of four books originally published in the 90's. The books are edited versions of speeches and interviews of Chomsky from that time period. This collection includes a very few more recent notes. Though the examples are from 15-20 year old history, his diagnoses of the world power structure and issues that we face a ...more
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Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. H
More about Noam Chomsky...
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order

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“If you abandon the political arena, somebody is going to be there. Corporations aren't going to go home and join the PTA. They are going to run things.” 3 likes
“Take democracy. According to the common-sense meaning, a society is democratic to the extent that people can participate in a meaningful way in managing their affairs. But the doctrinal meaning of democracy is different—it refers to a system in which decisions are made by sectors of the business community and related elites. The public are to be only “spectators of action,” not “participants,” as leading democratic theorists (in this case, Walter Lippmann) have explained. They are permitted to ratify the decisions of their betters and to lend their support to one or another of them, but not to interfere with matters—like public policy—that are none of their business.” 2 likes
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