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on 3 May 2012
"Occupy" is a selection of speeches (as well as one interview) made by veteran radical Noam Chomsky at Occupy events in the U.S. late last year.

The speeches are a mixture of Chomsky putting events into context, an extremely brief history of the Neoliberal era (the "Thirty Years of Class War" referred to in the title of this review), a eulogy for the late Howard Zinn (of A People's History of the United States fame) and some reluctant but sensible advice on avoiding common pitfalls and difficulties while organising and carrying forward the Occupy movement. A guide on what to do if your arrested at an occupy event in the U.S. (compiled by the National Lawyers Guild) has been helpfully included, and makes interesting reading even for those to whom it is not directly relevant.

This is a fine short (probably not much more than 10,000 words in total) collection, though readers may wish to skip it for (or subsequently move on to) some of his more recent and substantial works such as Hopes and Prospects, or return to his earlier classics such as Deterring Democracy,Year 501: The Conquest Continues or Manufacturing Consent. An interesting book for readers wishing to learn more about Occupy as well as the protests across Europe and the uprisings in the Arab World (which Chomsky touches upon) could do far worse than reading Paul Masons Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions.
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on 12 November 2012
I saw this book in Waterstones in Truro and sat down to read through. One hour later I had finished the book and ordered it for my kindle to re-read in greater depth. Norm Chomsky has one of those rare talents of grabbing your attention. His use of the English language and how he writes to express his thoughts, explaining and making clear our current times is both enlightening and revealing. The Occupy movement is one from our contemporary times and I am sure, in the dead of night, Alan Moore is enjoying the appropriation of the Guy Fawkes masks from his V for Vendetta story. A refreshing perspective on our austerity age and a wake up call to us all - no longer do we need to acquiesce to those who think of us as the silent majority, the great unwashed or even as plebs. This book is a must read as an unofficial sequel to Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine', acting as a new mediation between those who ran the factories and how 'we the people' begin to take back our power and responsibility, following in the footsteps of other countries, as revealed by Naomi, wishing and fulfilling emancipation from bureaucrats and shareholders, whose only goal is the worship their god 'profit'.
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on 24 July 2012
Excellent short collection of speeches / interviews. However due to the nature of it. It does repeat itself a little.
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on 26 March 2013
A small collection of speeches and interviews with the activist Noam Chomsky about the movement Occupy Wall Street.

The criticism more or less looks like the one presented by Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Bauman and Slavoj Zizek but Chomsky is obviously more a part of the counter reaction, the 99 % – Occupy Wall Street. The movement sees it as its goal to attract the attention to the inequality, to reduce the political influence of companies, to provide a more fair division of the resources and to create more and better jobs.

During more interviews Chomsky describes the political issues of the movement as well as the political landscape of neoliberalism.

The last part of the book contains legal advice for those members of the movement that might get caught by the police.

The book is providing the reader with relevant information about the inequality that apparently has emerged from insufficiencies in our democracies. However, there is no clue about how to proceed after fighting. Will Occupy Wall Street be able to influence future legislation?
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on 3 June 2014
This is a collection of question and answer sessions given at various campuses in the US between 2010 and 2012. There is quite a bit of repartition and it is not very deep and deals exclusively with the American Occupy movement. It is always good to read transcripts of Chomsky, as we will not have him for much longer I fear. There is a section devoted to the memory of Howard Zinn who like Chomsky was a heavy weight intellectual and activist of his time, who can fill their shoes?

I am surprised at Chomsky’s very optimistic view of the Occupy movement as it seems to have melted away. Government agencies are much better at infiltrating and co-opting mass movements domestically and using them as a front for regime change such as in Venezuela and Ukraine. This coupled with the confusion felt by most people as to the response to various crises that we face on top of the uncertainties of our everyday lives make me wonder how we ever can bring about positive change.

Chomsky reiterates the simple old school approach of social organisation, collecting up all the little actions by ordinary people in their activism of everyday life as being the only way to bring about meaningful change. I like his example of how to treat politicians; not as people to listen to and vote for but rather to demand them to listen to us and do what we bid.
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on 29 December 2015
An excellent book to have an insight on the dynamics of the most recent social movements - such as the 99%, the anti-globalisation movements and others. The author is clearly sympathetic to these movements but his analysis is - IMHO - as fairly objective as possible.
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on 28 March 2014
I love the Guy Fawkes masks at Occupy events and although Noam is no Roman Catholic he shares a hatred of the WASP world and how it arrogantly defies communism, the Papacy and Europe. The future will be different, immigration as made that inevitable, but will it be better? Noam thinks so - Louis XIV failed, Napoleon failed, Kaiser Bill failed, Hitler failed - but the next time id going to be different.
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on 2 May 2014
This should not be sold as a 'book', the content is simply a series of interviews with Noam Chomsky. The questions aren't too bad but his answers aren't great. They are not insightful and they don't analyse the Occupy movement in any meaningful way. When asked about the importance of Gramsci's ideas, Chomsky says something's along the lines of - 'I like him, I don't think he says anything new but read him for yourself'. This was a waste of my money and of my time (as it's very short, I am more annoyed by the money).
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on 12 May 2014
It is just a small collection of speeches. When I bought the book I did not look at the number of pages. Normally Chomsky has a lot more to say. Nothing wrong with the contents, I only expected much more value for my money.
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on 8 November 2013
Why, what, when and the future . As always a cutting analysis of the interaction of the haves and have nots.
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