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Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire Paperback

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Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire + Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower + America's Deadliest Export: Democracy - The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567513069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567513066
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Blum's latest book is "Freeing the World To Death: Essays on the American Empire." He lives in Washington, DC.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By another reader on January 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
... but that's OK; I don't think he intended this to be another book on the scale of Killing Hope. Killing Hope is all about the US military & CIA interventions since WWII; Rogue State is about all the (highly) illegal & immoral stuff the US has been deeply involved in (torture, looting/kidnapping, etc). Freeing the World to Death, however doesn't seem to have as much of a focus, it's more like miscellaneous Bill Blum stuff. (I guess that's to be expected given the subtitle). The introduction has one of my favourite quotations:

"We can say the United States runs the world like the Taliban ran Afghanistan. Cuba is dealth with like a woman caught outside not wearing her burkha. Horrific sanctions are imposed on Iraq in the manner of banning music, dancing and kite-flying in Kabul. Jean-Bertrand Aristide is banished from Haiti like religious police whipping a man whose beard is not the right length."

The rest of the introduction explains that what the Bush admin does in the world has been done to death by virtually every president for a long time (100yrs+), but it's only now that people want to do something about it. After that the book is split into four parts: one containing the Anti-Empire Reports from the author's website, [...] the second is about US interventions, the third is about the Cold War & the last is about US domestic policy. I would say the highlights from the US interventions part is the transcript of a speech he gave on why terrorists keep picking on the United States (it's not because they "hate freedom") and the author's presentation & commentary on a debate on US foreign policy at Trinity College, Dublin. Part III (the Cold War) starts with commentary on anti-Communism with samples of American anti-Communst propaganda (which sound hilarious now).
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on November 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant collection of essays, extraordinarily acute, containing some fascinating information. Blum is the author of two of the very best books on US foreign policy - Rogue state: a guide to the world's only superpower (Common Courage, 3rd edition, October 2005) and Killing hope: US military and civil interventions since World War II (Zed Press, 2003).

This book includes a selection from his Anti-Empire Reports, available at [...] studies of some US interventions; an overview of the Cold War, showing how Cold Warriors have consistently used Goebbels' biggest and most-repeated lie about communist aggression and violence; and studies of the unemployment and poverty inflicted on American workers, exposing the myth, peddled by Gordon Brown among others, of the USA's booming economy.

Blum exposes the US state's current political violence against Cuba, Venezuela, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Charles Clarke should perhaps readdress to George Bush and wormtongue Blair his remarks about how political violence is so unnecessary nowadays.

Contrary to Blair, the war on Iraq has not made us safer. Blum cites the US State Department as witness: "Tensions remaining from the recent events in Iraq may increase the potential threat to US citizens and interests abroad, including by terrorist groups." (Voice of America News, 21 April 2003.)

Blum quotes a leading member of Al Qa'ida who threatened that they will bomb people in Britain "until the people of the country themselves recognise that this is going to go on until they get the leadership changed." Oh, no, sorry, that was Britain's Admiral Sir Michael Boyce threatening to keep bombing people in Afghanistan.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Frederik Flagstad on February 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
William Blum offers a selected view on America and her foreign policy though very thorough research. While this book paints a rather negative and red picture of the US, it does remain as a very factual source. The book is written with much sarcasm and despite the heavy opinionated writing it is humorous and the facts are entertainingly presented. Yet it is important to understand that the issues at hand and discussed in this literature rarely is looked upon as amusing and while presented so, they are very serious. This book may not me compared to that of Michael Moore who to many appears as childish and biased. Take this book with an open mind and try to understand the mechanisms that make this great nation run. When you read the quote below, you will know if you would like it or not.

"If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize to all the widows and orphans, the tortured and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce, in all sincerity, to every corner of the world, that America's global interventions have come to an end, and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the USA but now -- oddly enough -- a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. There would be more than enough money. One year's military budget of 330 billion dollars is equal to more than $18,000 an hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."

- William Blum
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