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Publisher's Summary

For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing, as in the Cuban missile crisis, to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward the final frontiers of imperial control, toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and a livable Earth. Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Adrian
  • DF, N/A, Mexico
  • 12-07-04

Worth reading, though taken with a grain of salt

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.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Ruskin , FL, USA
  • 03-13-04

You Cannot Ignore This

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!

9 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Critical and Eye Opening

This book will influence your perspective about the how and why of military build up and the real underlying motivation and pitfalls of unchecked world power.

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  • Story

Chomsky's Genius

A well laid-out historical overview of America's terrorist policies that have been carried out in the name of security and national defense while masking the nation's elites greed for global dominance.

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  • Story

Eye Opener

Outstanding book. Should be mandatory reading. If 50% of his logic and conclusions are true, every citizen needs to reflect closely on our nationalism and its consequences for ourselves and others. Pro patria.

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  • Story

Acceptable Reading of a Book Written for An Uncritical Audience

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.

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  • Performance
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A Contest In Speed-reading?

What disappointed you about Hegemony or Survival?

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.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I din't make it to the ending - terrible reading.

How could the performance have been better?

SLOW DOWN!

What character would you cut from Hegemony or Survival?

The audible reader

Any additional comments?

You're much better off reading this on your own

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not light reading

Would you listen to Hegemony or Survival again? Why?

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.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>Opened my eyes.

Has Hegemony or Survival turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

If you could give Hegemony or Survival a new subtitle, what would it be?

How and why the United States dominates the world.

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  • Story
  • peter
  • salem, or, United States
  • 03-19-12

Loved it

What made the experience of listening to Hegemony or Survival the most enjoyable?

Noam Chomsky at his best. An essential work for anyone who is interested in how things really work.

  • Overall
  • S
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 03-30-05

Needs 2 listens

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.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful