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Hegemony or Survival : America's Quest for…
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Hegemony or Survival : America's Quest for Global Dominance (2003)

by Noam Chomsky

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Noam Chomsky, a well-known left-wing academic, writes here about globalization’s political impact as a main point of the U.S. foreign policy. Political economics is very sensitive subject, but Chomsky in this book attacks as he argues that U.S. foreign policy has been imperialist and heavy handed since World War I. He speaks of that in the invasion of Iraq, and elsewhere, the U.S. disregarded the U.N. as well as public opinion at home and abroad. Chomsky makes important points, but I feel he would have a larger and politically more diverse audience if he developed a more detailed andd less harsh sounding writing style, provided more background on some events he covers, particularly America’s political and military interventions. He is provocative, harsh and very negative about the U.S. even calling us a “terrorist state.” For me despite beliefs very different from my own this book helped me to gain more and a better insight into our country’s politics ( )
  Elliot1822 | May 2, 2013 |
i do love chomsky but i have to admit that i got through this because of pure determination and wanted to finish it for finishing its' sake. it was very good- i just don't want to pretend that i breezed through. it took a lot of me reminding myself that i had a goal of completing it. ha ha! but i swear, it was worth it. ( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
http://pixxiefishbooks.blogspot.com/2008/04/hegemony-or-survival-americas-quest-...
One of the more rational, clear-headed thinkers out there. Chomsky's book is well-thought out and, in my opinion, fairly uncontroversial - just because you might not agree with him doesn't make him wrong - everything he says is backed up with real evidence, and he's pretty good about showing the evidence in the other direction, too. A must-read.

Noam Chomsky was one of those authors who would show up from time to time on my undergraduate mass communications degree reading lists. Though a linguist and philosophy professor at MIT, he has written many works that also lie firmly in political science and media studies. At the time, however, I remember dreading the Chomsky readings. However, I have grown to truly appreciate much of his work, mostly because I have learned more since then and am now more ready to understand and engage with his work.*

In this book, Chomsky outlines the tactic of 'full spectrum dominance' pursued by the American government in its international relations since at least the end of WWII. From the Bay of Pigs, through Nicaragua, Cuba, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and, most recently (at least at the time the book was written, in 2003), Iraq, the U.S. has followed policies and practices geared toward global control, a new kind of colonialism. At the same time, it has fairly consistently worked to undermine certain principles of international law, and refused to recognize many instruments of international justice, such as the World Court and the International Criminal Tribunal.

I'm going to leave the review at that, closing off with a blurb from author Arundhati Roy on the book, because she says it better than I could:

'If, for reasons of chance, or circumstance, (or sloth), you have to pick just one book on the subject of the American Empire, pick this one. It's the Full Monty. It's Chomsky at his best. Hegemony or Survival is necessary reading.'

For more on this topic, see the American Empire Project.

* Sometimes I feel that university is wasted on 17-21 year old students. Better we all go at 32, no? ( )
1 vote pixxiefish | Apr 26, 2009 |
This was very enlightening. I truly appreciate the writings of Chomsky. ( )
  SFlores | Jan 23, 2009 |
while Chomsky tends to ramble about all that he is knowledgeable about, I found that this book really had a wealth of thought provoking ideas, but were sometimes lost in the words. I get a little bored reading it at times, but it's well worth the read. ( )
  luvdancr | Dec 1, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
His work is dense and filled with non sequiturs (here he seeks to use the Cuban missile crisis to explain the Iraq war, which is a little like using the first Moon landing to explain the dotcom boom). He claims to confront the comfortable with uncomfortable facts they don't want to face. Yet his audience is primarily a comfortable Western audience.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Nick Cohen (Dec 14, 2003)
 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805076883, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:32 -0400)

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An analysis of America's pursuit of domination predicts negative consequences if the Bush administration is enabled to pursue a goal of global supremacy.

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