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World Orders Old and New Paperback – April 15, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (April 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231101570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231101578
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

To Chomsky, the Cold War was just a passing phase in the West's 500-year global domination of poorer nations, providing the U.S. with easy formulas to justify criminal interventionist actions abroad and entrenchment of privilege and state power at home. Marshaling meticulous scholarship, this leading critic of American foreign policy cogently argues that Washington's support-open and covert-for repressive regimes in Colombia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Angola and elsewhere has undermined attempts to create meaningful democracy, thus exacerbating poverty and misery. Chomsky, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguistics professor, describes NAFTA as a protectionist pact, mislabeled "free trade," which is likely to drive millions of Mexicans out of work while enriching U.S. agribusiness. He sets the Israeli-Arab conflict in the broad context of America's postwar domination of the Middle East along lines established by British imperialism, with family dictatorships taking orders from Washington and protected by "regional enforcers," preferably non-Arab (Turkey, Israel, Iran under the shah, Pakistan). His devastating critique of the "new world order" foresees a growing abyss between rich and poor-both internationally and at home.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


For nearly thirty years now, Noam Chomsky has parsed the main proposition of American power-what they do is aggression, what we do upholds freedom-with encyclopedic attention to detail and an unflagging sense of outrage. World Orders Old and New... may be his best book; it's certainly his most concise and far-ranging.

(Utne Reader)

With his customary mastery of the historical record and his command of enormous amounts of source material, Chomsky here debunks the notion that the 'new world order' of Bush and Clinton is different in any essentials from the old world order.... Impressive.

(The Progressive)

Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty, and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive.

(New York Times Book Review)

More About the Author

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. A member of the American Academy of Science, he has published widely in both linguistics and current affairs. His books include At War with Asia, Towards a New Cold War, Fateful Triangle: The U. S., Israel and the Palestinians, Necessary Illusions, Hegemony or Survival, Deterring Democracy, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
The above could summarize Chomsky's book.The end of the Cold War should have brought big changes in foreign policy, but didn't because the Cold War was a front for superpower agression(mostly the U.S.'s),not so much a Soviet threat. Chomsky is armed(as usual) to the teeth with evidence and a cutting sarcasm, which together sear in his point. By giving a fresh interpretation of U.S. foreign policy based on evidence from a true variety of sources, he manages to shed some light on real policy, and to debunk governmental/elitist propaganda. His estimation of the goals of U.S. foreign policy is:get as much(influence,business opportunities for corporations)without losing too much(military casualties, public concern/attention,dollars,etc). This book is for people who base their views on evidence and NOT on what whatever someone tells them.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Drew Hunkins on July 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Aside from virtually predicting the Colombian and Middle East conflicts the United States currently finds itself embroiled, Chomsky's World Orders Old and New offers a vast array of scholarly documentation to prove his overriding and stunningly accurate thesis: American foreign policy is embarked upon for the benefit of the transnational corporations and wealthy Wall Street investors. The State Department, Pentagon, CIA and corporate owned media are their tools and propaganda apparatus to dominate the world's land, labor and resources.

The naivete of Chomsky's critics simply astounds one. It's as if they do not want to believe or acknowledge the pink elephant that's in the room. For some it seems they simply refuse to disbelieve the ridiculous fairy tales they were taught in middle school and by rightwing radio about the well intentioned United States government and its interventions abroad.

World Orders Old and New is a fantastic work that's filled with obscure references to sensational sources along with references from mainstream sources that are often buried beneath the stories about Clinton's sex life and O.J.'s homicidal rampage. Moreover, Chomsky fills the book with quotes from our leaders that are hard to believe but impossible to ignore. Chomsky digs deep and unearths the quotes from old State Department flacks, which will leave you awed in there audacity.

In World Orders Old and New, Chomsky also touches upon the economic trends that have befallen 70% of the American domestic workforce. Primarily the fact that the Fortune 500 and unfair labor laws (dramatically favoring management) have assaulted American workers, drastically reducing their power to effectively organize strong unions. He accurately points out that wages for the typical U.S.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
When Chomsky came to speak in Oxford recently, several hundred people were turned away because the Sheldonian Theatre where he spoke was packed full to capacity. I have still not yet seen him in person, but fortunately he has published a wide variety of books.
Of the handful of Chomsky books that I have read, this is the one I've recommended most to other people. It contains a fascinating retelling of the history of American foreign relations since the second world war. Even for those who disagree, it is vital to come to grips with the arguments it presents.
It would be an especially helpful antidote for those who think that all truth springs from the economics textbook (you know who you are!)
Chomsky emphasises historical and political facts that we are likely to find uncomfortable. Some of things he has said have made me think, "He can't be right, can he?" But then despite my diligent searching of anti-Chomsky web pages (and, indeed, this reviews section!) I have yet to find any convincing rebuttals of his arguments. Most of the time, his detractors seem to focus on merely attacking him and misrepresenting his views, which is a good sign that there is probably a lot of truth in what he (Chomsky) is saying.
Yes, there is something of a conspiracy theorist on the surface of Chomsky. But underneath there is a surprising amount of evidence and logical argumentation. I think part of the genius of Chomsky's view of the world is that it DOESN'T actually take some far-fetched underground conspiracy, but merely the normal operation of the capitalist world system to bring about the situation we have found ourselves in.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By LOODY on July 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Chomsky is a true scholar, as is evident in the way he supports his ideas and conclusions with his analyses of reports and news literature from all over the world. It takes a ruthless analytical mind to present ideas as mind-opening and--for most people outside the USA--as vindicating as his. Here Chomksy dissects the significance of prominent post-Cold War events such as the bombardment of Iraq, and casts a sharp eye on the march of economic internationalization in the 90s (GATT, NAFTA, WTO), as well as on the Palestinian predicament and how Israel continues to violate basic human rights in the Occupied Territories. Chomsky cogently argues that there is an over-arching theme in the hostile world of global politics, or about American foreign policy rather. The book can get dense for the simple reason that he presents so many reports and findings confirming the biased and elitist nature of the New York Times and other American media. The volume of the evidence he presents can make you slightly indifferent after the depression or fury it invokes, forcing you to put the book down every now and then. Nevertheless, if you are looking for concrete evidence, the three chapters and the notes are replete with them. His work is valuable because it also exposes you to media and op-eds in other countries. For example, it is shocking to read what Rabin, Peres, and other notable Israelis have had to say to Israeli newspapers and television about the Oslo Agreement, and the Palestinians in general. Because he avoids talking in a mystifying and technical way about global politics and economics, Chomskys simply cuts to the chase in his criticism of the political elites. On a lighter note, his analysis of the writings of prominent journalists and academics can put a grin on your face. I especially relish his treatment of Thomas Friedman.
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