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What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World (American Empire Project) Paperback – October 2, 2007
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“Chomsky criticizes those journalists and public intellectuals who, in reporting and commenting on events, do not question the assumptions under which the country acts and have framed the debate so that only the details are fodder for discussion. Chomsky's points are challenging.” ―Library Journal
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.
David Barsamian, director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio, is the winner of the Lannan Foundation's 2006 Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. Barsamian lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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Chomsky's arguments are well reasoned. It is NOT propaganda or conspiracy theories, but critical thinking in the most pure sense. His knowledge of current events and history is deep. And while presented as a series of question-answer interviews, there are references provided to fact-check everything he says.
Chomsky talks about elections in America, and how we're electing people based on image and you never hear about issues. I think the most profound point he makes is that, overwhelmingly, polls of American people show that politics do not follow what their own popular opinion is saying. Did you know we're establishing permanent military bases in Iraq? I certainly didn't, and don't think it bodes well for us getting out of there any time soon.
Other gems? The United States instigates revolutions (e.g. the Pinochet coup in Chile on 9/11/1973). We give financial aid to support tyrants in countries with horrible human rights violations (Columbia, Saudi Arabia). Today we're so afraid of Iran developing the bomb, when we gave them our nuclear engineers from MIT (for a price, of course!)
Chomsky discusses the recent U.S.-Israel unprovoked attacks against Lebanon. There's many mentions of the United Nations, and how we completely ignore their laws. He cuts through the underlying assumption in popular media that we can do as we please. For instance, U.S. newspapers' absurd claims that Iran is "interfering in Iraq," when Iran is doing something as benign as opening a bank (pp 101).
These U.S. aggressions are definitely fueling terrorism (a big point made in the The 9/11 Commission Report, but an idea that is given no media coverage). Do we have any justification for attacking Iraq? They unequivocally did NOT have "Weapons of Mass Destruction," and had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks (please again refer to the 9/11 Commission Report).
If you consider yourself an educated citizen, this book may change your mind.
was known as a structual liguist. He had a great deal to offer at the time in teaching us about the meaning of words. Decades later he was mainly the radical critic of how we posed as a participatory democracy
promoting peace and prosperity worldwide. After several books and documentaries I thought I had enough of an idea of what he was saying
about the messy situation we've been suffering since the Bush phenomenom.
But "What We Say Goes" gives new insight and focus especially in the
chapters on Lebanon and Latin America
A must read for anyone interested in international or US politics, especially Americans!