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Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II Paperback – July, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A valuable reference for anyone interested in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy." -- Choice, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"A very valuable book. The research and organization are extremely impressive." -- A.J. Langguth, author and former New York Times bureau chief, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"Each chapter I read make me more and more angry." -- Helen Caldicott, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"Far and away the best book on the topic." -- Noam Chomsky, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"I enjoyed it immensely." -- Gore Vidal, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"The single most useful summary of CIA history." -- John Stockwell, former CIA officer and author, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

About the Author

William Blum left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to what the United States was doing in Vietnam.

Mr. Blum has been a freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. His stay in Chile in 1972-73, writing about the Allende government's "socialist experiment" and its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing around the world.

In the mid-1970s he worked in London with former CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds.

He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he makes use of the Library of Congress and the National Archives to strike fear into the hearts of U.S. government imperialists.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press (July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567510523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567510522
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
William Blum has written a book whose subject should be of interest to all Americans who believe in freedom.
Well-informed readers may already be familiar with the basic idea. In brief, the U.S. Government during the latter half of the twentieth century waged numerous secret little wars, of one kind or another, against foreign governments and groups of which it did not approve. The avowed purpose was usually to contain a perceived communist menace. In actuality, what might be called communist means were employed to achieve this end. These means involved spying, wiretapping, propaganda at home and abroad; the rigging of or interfering with elections; the granting of monetary and military aid to dictatorships and violent opposition groups; the training of same in methods of subversion, torture and terror. All this and more was done without Congressional approval or oversight. The American people were lied to by government officials to keep it that way. A complaisant media helped it happen. To some extent, it is still happening today.
The above is fairly common knowledge. However, though it breaks little new ground, Mr. Blum's book's sheer comprehensiveness makes it an invaluable resource, which is my first reason for recommending it. In 383 packed pages of narrative appended with 56 pages of source citations, Mr. Blum presents the essential facts--and horrors--of more than 55 U.S. military/CIA foreign interventions since WWII. For readers ignorant of these goings-on, the total impact will be mind-blowing. For those, such as myself, already somewhat acquainted with them, the effect is still staggering. Noam Chomsky, quoted on the back cover, calls it "Far and away the best book on the topic." I see no reason to dispute him.
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Format: Paperback
All my life, when someone happened to criticize the American military interventions abroad, I heard my American friends justify them as "humanitarian missions" designed to help out the oppressed and promote the noble causes of democracy and human rights. I knew this to be grossly untrue, but lacked the specific arguments to counter these claims. Not anymore. Blum's book is singular in the sense that it's the first book I've seen that brought together all the historical evidence of American injustice abroad from WWII till the mid-nineties into one volume. I would also like to emphasize that, unlike many other authors on both sides of the barricades, Blum almost never indulges in idle accusatory speculation. Every fact stated in the book is backed by rock-hard documentation, and every conjecture is a legitimate extrapolation from these facts. Now some readers have criticized the book for "not exposing the crimes of the Soviet Union and China", but they forget that this is a book on the US, not the Soviet bloc; in truth, Blum is in no way condoning Moscow's actions around the world either. Moreover, if one compares the number of books exposing Russia and China with the number of books exposing the US, it would be fair even if a thousand books like this were written. And shame on those who say that the American foreign policy abroad has changed for the better in the nineties.
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Format: Paperback
In this book, former CIA employee William Blum, more or less analyzes the efforts of the CIA and U.S. government to maintain the status quo in the third world after World Two. He notes in his introductions, that the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917 was regard hysterically by Western elites who immediatley invaded Russia, usuccessfully trying to overthrow the Bolsheviks, while their organs of opinion, exposed in the 1921 Walter Lipmann-Charles Merz study, such as the New York Times reported all sorts of wild stories about Bolesheviks eating Children and making all women property of the state, and reported every unsubstantiated rumor every day that the Bolsheviks were about to be defeated. The Boleshevik revolution, as anathema as it was to genuine populism to say the least, was the first major example of an alternative to the capitalist/colonial world system and was feared by Western elites for that reason.
After World War two, the United States emerged as the supreme power of the world and its only rival was the Soviet Union, which had gobbled up East Europe whose markets had traditionally been dominated by the Western powers. In Italy, Greece, Indochina and elsewhere Communists had gained great popular support, independent of any aid from the Soviet Union, for their opposition to fascism and the old colonial order or status quo. In Italy, the United States almost single handedly engineered the defeat of the very popular Communists in the 1948 election and in Greece they set up a terror and torture regime composed of many Nazi collaborators, and set up a similar regime in South Vietnam to destroy the 1954 Geneva accords.
Throughout this book, there are dozens of instances of CIA and U.S.
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Format: Paperback
This is an unbelievably-well-documented expose of American Foregin Policy over the last 50 years. Although his style leaves much to be wanting, Blum's book is filled to the brim with facts that are never discussed by traditional political analysts. Rarely does one catch a glimpse of the underbelly of America Foreign Policy, and that is exactly what Blum here provides. Some reviewers have said that he is a biased Leftist spouting agitprop, or that he is pushing an ideological agenda, but frankly I just didn't see this. If pedaling truth is an ideological activity, then I suppose they are right. The fact is, Blum is a master of weeding through and exposing the lies and propaganda of American policy makers. This is not "disinformation" (as one reviewer put it) but pure, documented facts - and lots of them. Blum comes off as an author who has committed himself to finding and providing the public straight, unvarnished truth - a very difficult project when one considers the extent of government, military and media obfuscation. Although Blum's tone can be distainful and even downright angry at times, it is nonetheless justified. As you will see in the book, the United States government has done some terrible things - things that would drive any genuine patriot to righteous indignation. Blum's findings might be difficult for the average American to swallow, but then the truth is like that sometimes. Open your mouth and open your mind. This book is food for rational thought. A timely, much needed expose of an imperialist military that has completely slipped away from public control.
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