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American power and the new mandarins :…
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American power and the new mandarins : historical and political essays (1969)

by Noam Chomsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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American Power and the New Mandarins is Noam Chomsky's first published work dealing with politics, dating from 1969. While this book is dated, since it deals with the Vietnam war, I enjoyed the book immensely. I believe many of Chomsky's insights have stood the test of time and could equally apply to modern day events (in particular the media's and intellectual class's almost never wavering support for war and governmental policies).

American Power and the New Mandarins lays out Chomsky's objections to the Vietnam war and he presents his case for why the US must withdraw immediately. The main focus of the book is the tendency of intellectuals to justify and defend immoral governmental policies, when they should be the best group available to help the public sort out fact from fiction because of their academic background. Chomsky cites several such academics and proceeds to deconstruct their arguments for the morality and necessity of the US to continue its operations in Vietnam. Its startling how poorly reasoned many of these well-trained academics and reporters are when it comes to governmental policies, but Chomsky in his famous witty style and with his penetrating insight and knowledge that his readers have come to enjoy, illuminates the fatal flaws in their arguments.

While dated, this book has stood the test of time and I believe many of its insights and observations could equally apply to this day and age. ( )
  PrimeTruth | Oct 26, 2013 |
Chomsky had a real edge in those early days. You could feel his rage, and his frustration. I miss that; it wasn't long before Chomsky's political writings became formulaic. Still full of insight, and packed with jabs ---too many jabs---at the hypocrites that who supported American foreign policy. But Chomsky's weakest suit has always been his inability to see the world from a perspective different than his own. Still, this book was, and is, very moving, and will have the power to touch people for a long time. ( )
1 vote JohnAGoldsmith | Oct 12, 2007 |
This is the first book by Noam Chomsky that I ever read; this was way back in 1982. And I fell in love with the mind behind the book - Chomsky's moral strength, his compassion, and an intellect whose considerable power is devoted to exposing injustice.

To quote Amazon.com:
"American Power and the New Mandarins is Noam Chomsky's first political book, widely considered to be among the most cogent and powerful statements against the American war in Vietnam. Long out of print, this collection of early, seminal essays helped to establish Chomsky as a leading critic of United States foreign policy. These pages mount a scathing critique of the contradictions of the war, and an indictment of the mainstream, liberal intellectuals - the 'new mandarins' - who furnished what Chomsky argued was the necessary ideological cover for the horrors visited on the Vietnamese people."

Sadly, the lessons of this book are all too applicable today. It's good, at least, to see a new edition. ( )
1 vote chamekke | Sep 16, 2005 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Noam Chomskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gudmundsen, Per KristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156584775X, Paperback)

Back in print, the seminal work by "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times).

American Power and the New Mandarins is Noam Chomsky's first political book, widely considered to be among the most cogent and powerful statements against the American war in Vietnam. Long out of print, this collection of early, seminal essays helped to establish Chomsky as a leading critic of United States foreign policy. These pages mount a scathing critique of the contradictions of the war, and an indictment of the mainstream, liberal intellectuals—the "new mandarins"—who furnished what Chomsky argued was the necessary ideological cover for the horrors visited on the Vietnamese people.

As America's foreign entanglements deepen by the month, Chomsky's lucid analysis is a sobering reminder of the perils of imperial diplomacy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:34 -0400)

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