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Hopes and Prospects Paperback – June 1, 2010
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Starred Review. This selection of Chomsky's essays and lectures comes divided into geographical areas, but the issues are global in scope and import. In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism. His latest updates elaborate upon his signature themes—the double standards applied by the centers of U.S. power, including the mainstream media and intellectual culture, and the pervasive disconnect between American policies and public opinion in what Chomsky dubs a dysfunctional democracy. But this book flags another major interest of Chomsky's, signaled in the title: global avenues of resistance, in particular the democratic and independent course being forged across Latin America (where several of these lectures were originally delivered). There are significant redundancies and polemical flourishes, but the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us. (Mar.)
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The book is broken up into two sections: the first focuses on Latin America and the second North America. He covers key topics such as: the connection between neoliberalism and development and democracy; the Obama phenomenon; the new U.S. administration's policy on the Israel/Palestine conflict; the democracy movements in Latin America; the current state of the nuclear threat; and other topics of crucial importance.
As usual, in Hopes and Prospects Chomsky brings forth an onslaught of historical examples and empirical data to establish his basic arguments. For me, this book has served as a gold-mine of sorts. I find myself often digging through his references and finding informed voices and sources that address a wide-range of political, economic, and social topics.