The Instinct for Cooperation: A Graphic Novel Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Regular price $ 14.00

by Jeffrey Wilson and Eliseu Gouveia

Seven Stories Press

6/5/2018, paperback

SKU: 9781609808167


In the tradition of Joe Sacco's graphic journalism comes the first interview-based graphic novel treatment of Noam Chomsky's political ideas and activism.

An astonishing graphic novel that brings Chomsky's political analysis to bear on real people's stories on the frontlines of America's struggle for economic justice and human dignity. The Instinct for Cooperation innovatively balances those real-life stories of struggle with conversations the author has had with Chomsky on how best to understand them. Although the themes are wide-ranging, this book is ultimately about the importance and need for spaces of resistance in countering state and other institutional forms of violence. For example, when discussing the removal of books by police and sanitation workers from Zuccotti Park in November of 2011, Chomsky paused to say "Arizona knows all about that," referring to the 2010 ban of Mexican American Studies in Tucson schools under Arizona House Bill 2281, which deemed classes that taught "ethnic solidarity" to be illegal. Rather than footnote the reference, Wilson tells that story. Like Joe Sacco's animated political journalism, this book offers a unique perspective on current issues, while providing a major contribution to the understanding of Chomsky's political theories.


" The Instinct for Cooperation expands the burgeoning graphic-novel format into new territory, adding dimensionality to an interview with intellectual progressive icon Noam Chomsky. Jeff Wilson's interview is wide-ranging and interesting; Eliseu Gouveia's comic art serves as a Mystery Science Theater 3000 for Chomsky's responses, allowing for illustrations and digressions that wouldn't be possible in a 'normal' prose book on the same topic. Even if you think you know all about Chomsky, this is well worth checking out." --Ted Rall, cartoonist, author of Snowden, Trump and Bernie.

"In this kaleidoscopic experimental comic book, writer Jeff Wilson uses a conversation with Noam Chomsky as a jumping off point to explore everything from the Spanish Civil War to Medicare to Occupy Wall Street. The result is life affirming and sophisticated. Again and again Jeff returns to the basic goodness of human beings and the possibilities for our liberation. Seeing the work of a bright new comics writer like Jeff makes me optimistic about the future of comics and society in general." --Seth Tobocman, founding editor of World War 3 Illustrated, author of You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive, War in the Neighborhood, and Len

"Laser-sharp graphics and critical analysis, and radical love. Wilson and Gouveia give us a conversation with Chomsky that everyone can be part of." --Kate Evans, author of Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg, and Threads: From the Refugee Crisis

"By placing readers into an intimate conversation with one of this country's most important thinkers, as well as members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Wilson and Gouveia provide a vital entry point for those seeking to wrestle with these ideas, sure to inspire further explorations of their own." --Nick Sousanis, author of Unflattening, assistant professor at San Francisco State University


Jeffrey Wilson is a graphic novel author and Ph.D. Candidate in Geography at the University of Arizona. His work focuses on the social determinants of health, specifically the effect of foreclosures on health in Detroit, Michigan. He received a Master's in Anthropology from Columbia University where his work explored the ways ethnography could be written in graphic novel form. He has published one of the first graphic novel interviews to appear in a peer-reviewed journal. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Eliseu Gouveia is a Portuguese author and illustrator whose work range from Moonstone Books' The Phantom and Vengeance of The Mummy to covers of Brian Pulido's Lady Death to Marvel Comics sketchcards and many comic titles by independent publishers.