Lucid, rigorous and thoroughly documented, Hegemony or Survival is Chomsky's most urgent and sweeping work in years. Certain to spark widespread debate, it is a definitive statement from one of the world's most influential political thinkers.
©2003 Noam Chomsky; (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, A Division Of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty, and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive." (The New York Times)
"In this highly readable...critique of American foreign policy from the late 1950s to the present...Chomsky brings together many themes he has mined in the past, making this cogent and provocative book an important addition to an ongoing public discussion about U.S. policy." (Publishers Weekly)
Even though the general concepts are worthwhile, there is a paranoiac tone to this read (maybe the voice of the reader doesn't help) which casts a shadow of doubt on the book. Also is makes it sound like there has been a overall plan by Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton, which seems a bit far fetched. It probably gives the government too much credit.
Thought there have been economical forces behind many of the decisions. However, this is nothing new and the US has been trying to increase its hegemony since it coming out of isolation after WWII. Specially in Latin America which it considers its back yard.
Really liked all the quotes of George Kennan, though brilliant and glad to learn that he is still alive, doubt that those quotes were intended to be used as in this book. Regardless of Kennan's brilliance, he came to notice after his theory of containment, and has been known as a Soviet expert. Also claims that there wasn't an accord not to invade Cuba, thought Kissinger reports otherwise. One would probably get more out of reading Kennan and Kissinger than this book, since even though not as current give more insight and understanding of what goes on in the government. Maybe in 30 years or so we might get something equivalent on this era.
I have this in hardcopy. I just downloaded it: it's almost too much too take in. Not that the author does not provide clear and thorough references--I almost wish he didn't so I could just blow most of it off! The scope of what he reveals as to what our "current" administration (some of them also worked for Nixon) is doing and how long the process has been active boggles my mind. I am not a genius. Thank God for geniuses. I will listen repeatedly until I shoehorn the SCOPE of this into my head.
This might shock some: I have been registered Republican since I could vote. In my small northern town, we stood up for small business-persons. We kept local & state pols honest. That was then.
This whole bit with Enron, Halle-Burton, etc. carving up Iraq and Haiti is NOT Republican! It is NOT Democratic! I live in Florida: if not for Jeb[!] Bush we would still have SURPLUS (did you enjoy your $300 tax refunds?!)
Oh yeah, as of 3/11/2004 Osama is BACK while Georgie was off stomping some made-up threat who just happened to irritate Poppy ten years back. Our way of life is in serious jeopardy FROM WITHIN!
Nuff Preaching. Just Get It!
The reader isn't exactly inspired, but he gets the job done. Chomsky's facts are correct, but his mostly incisive analysis is riddled with uncharitable readings and at times downright non sequiturs. An example is using FBI Director Moeller's testimony about the 9/11 hijackers 8 months after 9/11 to show we did not know who perpetrated the attacks in the weeks after. These caused me to doubt other discussions on events I'm less informed about. That said, everything I checked on Wikipedia corroborated Chomsky's facts, but usually not his boorish moralizations. I'd heard Chomsky was a well-respected writer on these topics, so I expected more from him.
Noam Chomsky is one of my favorite authors/philosophers, but the reader butchered this book; apparently, trying to read an eight hour book in ten minutes, he is testing his speed-reading skills to the point one can't even follow, much less comprehend the message.
I din't make it to the ending - terrible reading.
The audible reader
You're much better off reading this on your own
Chomsky is one of the greatest minds of our time. But his writing is very stream-of-consciousness. You have to pay attention, but if you do, you'll be rewarded with great insight.
This particular book was a damning criticism of US hegemony. Though he never takes sides outright, it is obvious from the tone that Chomsky sees the United States' strongarm techniques with regard to world dominance in a not-so-positive light.
Opened my eyes.
How and why the United States dominates the world.
Noam Chomsky at his best. An essential work for anyone who is interested in how things really work.
Everyone should listen to this book- twice. There is too much information to digest in one reading. Unfortunately, however, Chomsky often ends up preaching to the converted as his research shows a side of America that die hard 'patriots' label as 'anti-American.' Any open minded person however will likely find his research and ideas eye-opening. Some of his books are hard to understand for the first-time Chomsky reader but this one seems to have been written with especially those in mind.
I recommend this book to all concerned Americans. The main thesis of the book is that the United States (and the world), not for the first time in history, is facing a choice between the short-term goals of global domination, power, and hegemony in general, or the long-term fight for survival of the human species.
He outlines this by reviewing the history of US intervention in the world, mostly available from his older books, and adding new information: he details the post-9-11 change in American policy, like the new Imperial Grand Strategy, the build-up to the Iraq War, commentary on the Afghanistan bombing, as well as new light shed on the Cuban Missile Crisis. His writing is supported by his research, very rich in detail, sometimes requiring one to rewind the paragraph and listen multiple times to achieve clarity. His morality is quite simple when discussing the subject, namely the truism of universality, "judging ourselves by the same standards we apply to others." The conclusions are quite different than those you will hear in the mainstream--the US is the leading terrorist state, the media are subservient to centers of power, and the goals of state-corporate power are making the world worse, not safer, for our survival.
As stated before, recommended to all concerned Americans for analysis of what should be done in the future for a better world.
I've read several short things published by the author online and, as a respected professor at M.I.T., found them thoughtful and interesting. But not this rant. Comments of others, here, online and in the press have all been equally disturbing to me.
I'm not "liberal," "libertarian," or "conversative" and strongly dislike political labels. Dr. Chomsky clearly does not share my view.
Whether it be the economy, environment, education, or other concerns there seems to be no middle ground any more. Historically this is not true of America. We've always differed, but have historically found a way to resolve differencers, with "liberal" and "conservative" cycles here and there, but no really dramatic swings in either direction.
But the times they are a changing.
Now we have Dr. Chomsky, Russ Limbaugh and the like and everyone chooses his "true believer," dutifully lines up behind them, always blocking out the "bad" news TV channels or websites, minds closed and in lock step.
I've tried to listen to this book twice from the beginning and never gotten beyond the first fifteen minutes. I've also tried to start out in the middle somewhere with the same result. This book disturbs me like true believers like Russ Limbaugh. We must label and belittle our "enemies" in order to shine the light to the correct path.
I've tried to listen and understand whiy I see so many references to this book. It's been a very frustrating experience all around. I read (not listen to) several dozen books each year and often find them bland and boring, but rarely am I ever as frustrated as I've been with this book.
Beware those who engender only love or hate. This book is supposed to propose ideas which end the cycle of religious wars, racial strife, wars based on economics, and all the other foolish acts of humanity throughout history. Instead it finds a way to engender a new kind of polarization. Richard Nixon had an "enemies list. So does Dr. Chomsky.
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