- Series: American Empire Project
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805082840
- ISBN-13: 978-0805082845
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 136 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (American Empire Project) 1st Edition
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“Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet.” ―The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions and What We Say Goes. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.
Top customer reviews
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I give the author credit as he cites his points exhaustively, however the vast majority of his citations are quotes from political pun-dents that support his points, as opposed to citing sources of fact. There is a huge difference between quoting my neighbor stating "that program is a waste of time" and quoting the congressional budget office stating "That program cost $16 billion and produced two jobs." VERY roughly 70-80% of Noam's citations are quotes and the remaining citations are fact. A few times he makes key assertions (ie Agent XYZ, a known terrorist, was running guns in ABC, for the US) without a supporting citation. Many times he quotes facts supporting misdeeds, and they are painful to read.
My opinion differs significantly from the author in the role of the US. I think the role of ANY government (US, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China) is to assure the safety and prosperity of its people. While it would be nice, it is not the role of any of the governments to promote the equality of the world-- by definition governments operate in their own self interest first, and other's second.
I also disagree with another of the author's somewhat unstated assumption. Frequently, I interpret the author's thesis to be "If the US had not done X bad thing, the world would be a beautiful place because China and Russia are fundamentally "good". My view would be "The US did X bad thing in its own self interest prior to China or Russia taking advantage to do Y in their own self interest."
Noam Chomsky uses an extrodanary array of evidence, both from leftist, right wing and impartial sources. He constantly cites the renouned Israeli historian Benny Morris and a wide range of opinion polls: While Noam dosen't necassary make the assertion he certainly implies that America is a borderline facist dictatorship. While this may not be entirely true, he presents a wide range of public opinion polls and uses extrodanry amounts of evidence to sustain his argument.
He compares the U.S to a failed state- much like Somalia is. This is probably my major greviance with the book. I believe a far better title and analogy to use would have been Outlaw States. My other greviance is that at times Chomsky heads into ranting sessions. However overall you will strugle to find such an insightful book.
Chomskys' criticism of the US is both waranted and necassary. It is justified in his pursuir for truth and expected. 4/5