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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

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  • Overall
  • Ray
  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
  • 11-13-04

Another well-researched book

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Hegemony of Survival

Great book. A must read for all!

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

hedgemony or Survival

This is an infuriatingly great read. If you feel a duty to know the largely untold story of US political history and have any devotion to "the golden rule", this is a must read. America is the 64,000 lbs gorilla. Does this give us, the voting citizens, a high obligation to check the natural propensity of big business, polititians and weapons makers to justify terrorism in the name of "our national interest"? fasinating stuff. Enjoy.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jerry``
  • Sydney, N/A, Australia
  • 03-18-04


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.

30 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not What I Expected

I decided to read this book in an attempt to discover founded arguments from a liberal point of view. What I found was a barrage of emotional arguments utilizing strong accusatory language without basis for his reasoning. After listening to the author attack several events without providing sufficient basis, I grew to a general distrust of his commentary. I have concluded that the book is designed to foster alarm in U.S. policies instead of true investigative journalism. Noam Chomsky truly disappoints in this work.

18 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maiana
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • 03-30-08

Very Dry...

I was really hoping this book would be good but I don't know if it was the subject matter or the narrator but every time I turned it on in the car my mind would start to wander. This was not the best download.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • West Palm Beach, FL, USA
  • 10-07-05

An old whining Socialist

If you hate the USA you are just going to love this dribble! The author is the father of the "Hate America" crowd.

Poor content and not well read.

6 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Extremely disappointed

I read this book to find out how the Europeans view the actions of our government, particularly the opponents of the Bush Doctrine. I extremely disappointed by this book. Instead of aj organized focused presentation of facts, I found inflammatory rhetoric without sufficient presented support. Sadly, I learned nothing by reading this book.

5 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Saying No to Noam

Noam Chomsky is probably a brilliant intellectual, brilliant enough to draw amazingly ludicrous conclusions about the world today and America's role in the world. Chomsky has spent his entire life in the academic world and has a rather distorted view of the real world. Perhaps Neville Chamberlain was one of Noam's heroes. Don't waste your time on this one. Hegemony??? Give me a break.

14 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

surviving this book

This is probably the worst book I have ever read. Perhaps Mr. Chomsky has some good points to make but they are wrapped in such hype that it is hard to take at its face value. If this is more fuel for the radical left, he's probably hit his mark. But, if he's trying to influence the mainstream, he's not succeeded. I am only sorry that I spent money for this book, a portion of which will end up in his hands (enabling him to write more books!).

1 of 8 people found this review helpful