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9-11: Was There an Alternative? (Open Media Books) Paperback – August 30, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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• "9-11 was practically the only counter-narrative out there at a time when questions tended to be drowned out by a chorus, led by the entire United States Congress, of ‘God Bless America.’ . . . it is possible that, if the United States goes the way of nineteenth-century Britain, Chomsky's interpretation will be the standard among historians a hundred years from now." --New Yorker
• "A badly needed corrective to news coverage of the present-day ‘war on terrorism.’"
--Norman Solomon, San Francisco Chronicle Review
• "Every word of 9-11 is more relevant than ever." --Amnesty International Journal (Ireland)
• "Chomsky laments that the U.S. government largely dismissed these human rights problems in its quest to “secure our interests.” The invasion of Afghanistan was far from the first time NATO overran unstable civilian populations in the search for terrorists (Chomsky offers several examples in the book) and, as we now know, it was not the last."
--Foreign Policy in Focus

About the Author

Born in Philadelphia in 1928, NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political writings, activism, and for for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky gained recognition in academic circles for his theory of transformational grammar, which drew attention to the syntactic universality of all human languages. But it is as a critic of unending war, corporate control and neoliberalism that Chomsky has become one of the country’s most well known public intellectuals. The 1969 publication of American Power and the New Mandarins marked the beginning of Chomsky’s rigorous public criticism of American hegemony and its lieges. Since then, with his tireless scholarship and an unflagging sense of moral responsibility, he has become one of the most influential writers in the world. Chomsky is the author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (with Edward S. Herman), Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, and over one hundred other books. To this day Noam Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent.
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Product Details

  • Series: Open Media Books
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Upd Exp An edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609803434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609803438
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book is basically a reprint of Chomsky's "9-11" with a chapter added at the beginning written after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Contrary to the ravings of far right demagogues like David Horowitz or a buffoon like Christopher Hitchens, Chomsky does not argue that the US deserved to get attacked on 9-11 or that Osama Bin Laden was a freedom fighter. He quite appropriately labeled 9-11 a horrendous act and a springboard for the infliction of more misery against the Palestinians and other peoples that OBL claimed to fight for.

Chomsky notes that the United States played a vital role in the creation of the jihadi network. In the 1980's in Afghanistan, the US and other countries joined with the Islamist dictatorships of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to organize, train and arm the most fanatic Islamic extremists--many of them not native to Afghanistan--in order to fight the Soviets. As Chomsky observes, the first visible demonstration of blowback from this policy occurred when jihadis assassinated President Sadat of Egypt in 1981. Since the end of the Soviet occupation, the jihadi veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan have spread out across the world and committed grizzly atrocities. After the Communist regime fell in Afghanistan in 1992, Chomsky observes, quoting a Human Rights Watch official, Afghanistan descended into the worst period in its history. The fundamentalist warlords backed by the US in the 80's took to pillaging, raping and murdering with such intensity in the period 1992-96 that many Afghans welcomed the Taliban's takeover. These fundamentalist warlords, of course, are now back in power in Afghanistan.

Chomsky notes that Bin Laden and other jihadis have explained their motives clearly.
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Format: Paperback
In this trenchant analysis of 9-11's immediate aftermath, Noam Chomsky brings to bear encyclopedic knowledge of recent American history and cutting political insight, in criticizing the US government's immediate response to 9-11, which was, he argues, largely facilitated by news and media outlets which, in their apparent patriotic fervor, failed in their duty to subject the Bush administration's ostensible justifications for its response to 9-11 to even the most cursory analysis. The result, he argues, will be (and as we have seen, was indeed) a moral catastrophe for both the US and its victims abroad.
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This is an excellent book that shows why the left and generally worldwide view is that it is the policies and actions of the American government and the CIA that is responsible for what took place on 9-11.The book consists of questions posed to Chomsky and his replies Also given are the names and dates of the interviews.There is at the back of the book a list for Recommended Reading by Chomsky and others.
To each question,Chomsky tells why America and its policies,economics,military action, and most of all its imperialism around the world has caused the terrorism and hatred that is continually increases.Although Chomsky is totally on the left ,he consistently blames the US whether the democrats or the Republicans are in power.
He simply answers the questions in this book but since he doesn't give any solutions you may find some in his other books.
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Still very timely. I wish I had read it after 9/11 - it would have better informed my opinions. Chomsky raises uncomfortable and disturbing questions as they relate to all countries, including our own: When is someone a tyrant and when are they a freedom fighter? When is a nation a terrorist state and when is it promoting freedom and democracy? The answer is not so clear. The new intro written after the capture of bin Laden was very informative. Sometimes the interview format of the rest of the book prevented a fuller clarification of important history and issues; however, the questions raised served as good motivation for me to read and learn more. The message of the book is thought-provoking and controversial: the way to achieve lasting peace is through the law and judicial systems of the world, not the military systems.
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“But it is important not to be intimidated by hysterical ranting and lies and to keep as closely as one can to the course of truth and honesty and concern for the human consequence of what one does, or fails to do.” – Noam Chomsky
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This book is of interview given by Chomsky after 9/11 about various aspects. He had a great opportunity after 9/11 to make an impact on the discourse and he did. Since Chomsky is a very fast researcher and writer, he was really able to get an alternative narrative out as soon as possible. He discusses the discourse of 9/11 and its impact on the world and the US. It is a short worthwhile book to pick up. If you like Chomsky, pick it up, rather straight forward.
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I am a Chomskian. I love him and all his work - whether on theoretical linguistics or on politics. I now have twenty different books of his and I still can't have enough of them. Long live Noam Chomsky. I wish him a very long and healthy life. May God bless you.
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Good information concerning a view that is difficult to find in the main media. I presently write for some in the media and would like to read more from Chomsky and others like him through their communication.

Not likely to happen!!
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