The Withdrawal

Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power

Two of our most celebrated intellectuals grapple with the uncertain aftermath of the American collapse in Afghanistan

“There is a mafia quality to the way the United States has exercised its power, something that goes back to the days of the genocide against the Native American peoples who tried to negotiate with the settlers but faced instead the Hotchkiss gun.” —from the introduction

Not since the last American troops left Vietnam have we faced such a sudden vacuum in our foreign policy—not only of authority, but also of explanations of what happened, and what the future holds.

Few analysts are better poised to address this moment than Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad, intellectuals and critics whose work spans generations and continents. Called “the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet” by the New York Times Book Review, Noam Chomsky is the guiding light of dissidents around the world. In The Withdrawal, Chomsky joins with noted scholar Vijay Prashad—who “helps to uncover the shining worlds hidden under official history and dominant media” (Eduardo Galeano)—to get at the roots of this unprecedented time of peril and change.

Chomsky and Prashad interrogate key inflection points in America’s downward spiral: from the disastrous Iraq War to the failed Libyan intervention to the descent into chaos in Afghanistan.

As the final moments of American power in Afghanistan fade from view, this crucial book argues that we must not take our eyes off the wreckage—and that we need, above all, an unsentimental view of the new world we must build together.


“A fierce and well-informed condemnation of U.S. imperialism.”
Publishers Weekly
“A collection of insightful geopolitical analysis.”
Kirkus Reviews

News and Reviews

Publishers Weekly.

Read a review of The Withdrawal by Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad in Publishers Weekly.

Books by these authors

The Darker Nations
A People's History of the Third World

Vijay Prashad

Uncle Swami
South Asians in America Today

Vijay Prashad

Goodreads Reviews