- Series: American Empire Project
- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (November 4, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805074007
- ISBN-13: 978-0805074000
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 304 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project) Hardcover – November 4, 2003
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Noam Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics. In this richly detailed criticism of American foreign policy, he seeks to redefine many of the terms commonly used in the ongoing American war on terrorism. Surveying U.S. actions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey, the Far East and elsewhere over the past half a century along with the modern American war in Iraq, Chomsky indicates that America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization. George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq drew worldwide criticism, in part because it seemed to present a new philosophy of pre-emptive war and an appearance of global empire building. But according to Chomsky, such has been the operating philosophy of American foreign policy for decades. Opponents of the Bush administration's tactics consistently point out how the American government supported Saddam Hussein for many years prior to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait (pictures of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand are easy to come by) as a means of pointing out how the United States is happy to fund despots when it's in American interests. But Chomsky, armed with extensive historical notation, takes this notion further, arguing how the repression of other nations' citizenry is, in fact, the very reason Americans support certain foreign leaders. The charges made throughout the book are severe, as are the dire consequences he posits if current trends are not reversed, and Chomsky is no more likely to make friends or gain supporters from the mainstream now than he's ever been. But Hegemony or Survival is relatively dispassionate. Instead of relying on camp or shock value or personal attacks as some of his contemporaries have done, Chomsky drives his well-supported points steadily forward in an earnest and highly readable style. --John Moe
From Publishers Weekly
In this highly readable, heavily footnoted critique of American foreign policy from the late 1950s to the present, Chomsky (whose 9-11 was a bestseller last year) argues that current U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are not a specific response to September 11, but simply the continuation of a consistent half-century of foreign policy-an "imperial grand strategy"-in which the United States has attempted to "maintain its hegemony through the threat or use of military force." Such an analysis is bound to be met with skepticism or antagonism in post-September 11 America, but Chomsky builds his arguments carefully, substantiates claims with appropriate documentation and answers expected counterclaims. Chomsky is also deeply critical of inconsistency in making the charge of "terrorism." Using the official U.S. legal code definition of terrorism, he argues that it is an exact description of U.S. foreign policy (especially regarding Cuba, Central America, Vietnam and much of the Middle East), although the term is rarely used in this way in the U.S. media, he notes, even when the World Court in 1986 condemned Washington for "unlawful use of force" ("international terrorism, in lay terms" Chomsky argues) in Nicaragua. Claiming that the U.S. is a rogue nation in its foreign policies and its "contempt for international law," Chomsky brings together many themes he has mined in the past, making this cogent and provocative book an important addition to an ongoing public discussion about U.S. policy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Combined with Chomsky's other work, particularly "Manufacturing Consent" that speaks of how the government secures our willingness in this enterprise using the media as its propaganda tool deceptively brilliantly, you can quickly learn how we are not who we think we are, be more aware of attempts to manipulate your opinion and avoid such traps, and be an agent of change, among many important lessons. I strongly recommend these books if you seek any of this, and especially if you are at a loss as to why we do what we do, how we do it, and seek to rise above the traps many have fallen victim to.
Even if you vehemently disagree with Chomsky, not to read him is, as The Nation reviews, "to court genuine ignorance." For he is, as the New York Times points out, "arguably the most important intellectual alive."
A clearly written, and sobering analysis of what our [potentially limited] future may be if we [or our "leaders"] do not understand or accept scientific and political realities, with all life on earth being held - literally - in the balance. Should be required reading for anyone running for office - from School Board to President. A rational, insightful and brilliant text: no surprise for a Chomsky book.
It will be too bad for us when he is no longer around to urge us to think more clearly.
The country with absolute power is the USA, and it is corrupt, but not as corrupt as say Brazil, where I currently reside.
Still, the USA has about 700 military bases around the world, more than it has embassies. Why does the USA need 700 military bases?
Because it wants to control the world, that is why.
And the rest of the masses only want to shop at Walmart. To hell with how much they pay yellow people.
For this, I only give Mr. Chomsky three stars, because he fails to understand that most people simply do not give a s##t.
Actually, Mr. Chomsky understands, I am sure. He is much too smart not to understand. But I think, after living in Brazil, I am coming to realize that the USA is NOT such a bad place.