This spring sees the publication of Requiem for the American Dream, the latest book from greatly admired philosopher, activist and linguist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky needs no introduction; any book with his name on the cover is much coveted, and we can expect this title, published by Seven Stories Press, to be no different. Based on over four years’ worth of interviews between Chomsky and the editors, this is the first book under his name to be devoted to a single topic: income inequality.
In Requiem, Chomsky casts a cold, clear eye on the economic facts of life by listing the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today. Each clear-cut principle is explored in an individual chapter, which includes extracts from some of the key works that have influenced Chomsky and which bolster his arguments. The result is a bold and uncompromising text that lays out his perspective on America’s economic reality and its impact on the country’s political and moral standing.
Although focused specifically on the US, UK readers will find Requiem increasingly relevant; many of the principles can be applied to our own economic climate. Indeed, readers may already recognise the title of the book thanks to an award-winning documentary of the same name that’s currently streaming on Netflix. Filmmakers Jared Scott, Kelly Nyks and Peter Hutchinson spent countless hours with Chomsky between 2011 and 2016 to put together what Chomsky now considers to be his final, long-form documentary interviews. After the film was complete, they returned to the many hours of tape to create this book, which includes three times more text than, and acts as the perfect companion to, the film.
Income inequality is one of today’s most pressing human concerns, and with the recent US election and the UK referendum, the topic has been brought even further to the forefront of public discourse. Not only is Requiem for the American Dream incredibly timely, it also offers readers Chomsky’s irrefutable logic on the subject. We can therefore expect the book to be of extremely high interest – not just to general readers but to students, historians, political scientists, economists, and of course, Chomsky’s myriad fans. As Publishers Weekly writes, Requiem “seems fresher than almost any title on the subject in recent memory.” There will no doubt be more press and discussion from UK media when the book is published in the UK on 27 April.
Requiem for the American Dream will be published by Seven Stories Press on 27 April 2017 (£14.99, p/b, 192pp, 9781609807368)