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Publisher's Summary

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated sequel to his international best seller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state", and therefore a danger to its own people and the world.

"Failed states", Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit', having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of nuclear risks; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and Americas' self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy.

Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices recklessly place the world on the brink of nuclear and environmental disaster. Systematically dismantling America's pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused, and urgent, critique to date.

©2006 Harry Chomsky, as Trustee of Chomsky Grandchildren Nominee Trust (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

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  • Todd
  • Glen Rock, PA, USA
  • 11-28-08

Incredible and Unforgettable

This is one of those books you will never forget, and a book you will recommend just to have someone to discuss it with. I love history and this definitely qualifies as recent history. Most of us mistakenly rely on the 6 o'clock news for world events. But this book will surprise you in how much goes unreported by the news media, events unreported because they didn't serve the "correct" political agenda but never-the-less will be recorded in history. There was a revealing line in an old Michael Douglas movie called Falling Down, where after he is cornered from fighting "injustice" with his idea of justified terrorism, he surprisingly asks, "I'm the bad guy?" No American is raised to believe we are the bad guys. But US foreign policy in the 20th century is filled with secret agendas, events that clearly make us historically just that, the bad guys. A friend recommended I also get the hard copy of this book because Chomsky provides many footnotes of reference, documented facts, facts that history can't turn a blind eye to. This is not a conspiracy theory book. It's a history book. One you hopefully won't, and can't forget. Let's hope it makes a difference.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Heavy Reading

This is not for the light-hearted or for those who don't want to hear about how our country really works. Very eye-opening and scary too. Mr. Chomsky's book is based on verifiable information, government documents, and historical records. It will make your heart ache for the world and hopefully make you want to work towards bringing our country back into a democracy. If you are a one-issue voter you should listen to this book, but you aren't going to like it.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 06-21-06

Big Picture

Using on the record information, Chomsky provides a "Big Picture" view of western foreign policy, illustrating how and why it works the way it does, while making the case that the US is itself a failed state. It's not anti-bush, or anti-us, instead it examines the culture of western government and walks you through how we got to where we are today. Narration is a little dry, but is well worth it. It opened my eyes.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Chomsky is certainly one of the greatest minds of our time. This is a riveting and important book, and is a wake up call about the rogue actions of the Bush administration and the American corporate right. Read this if you are concerned about the future of our world.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Uses a Shotgun not a Rifle

There's a lot of information in this book. It comes at you fast and furious. The logic of the book though is more of a shotgun approach then something direct and to the point. There are hundreds of examples about things our "Failed State" has done but it leaves you to draw your own conclusions. The book points fingers at our system which has been built by many presidents and has developed over hundreds of years. It's not a happy book but it does leave you with some hope that at least the Failed State has been recognized.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • chicago, IL, USA
  • 01-17-09

Noam never dissappoints

Yet again Noam Chomsky delivers a book filled with antagonism and a certain kind of logic. It's definitely worth a listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 02-20-10

America's Book

Every American should and must read this!!! Chomsky is an incredible writer and this book will certainly enlighten the masses!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • JAMAICA, NY, United States
  • 12-28-11

Great book and a great reader

First, I disagree that the reader did not live up to expectations. So far he is one of my favorites. Alan Sklar has a warm resonant voice that soothes the listener.

Noam Chomsky is my all time favorite historian and political analyst. This is undoubtedly one of his best books, if not his best. This book has a bit for everyone, from the Iraq war to the Environment to Economics and beyond.

Chomsky fills the gap between the actual historical record and the normally stated record in public discourse and the mass media. Using a variety of sources, including released internal US documents, scholarship, human rights reports and public opinion polls, he documents the sheer hypocrisy of the US and also Great Britain in their stated policies and the actual real world policy both domestically and internationally.

I highly recommend this book to anyone concerned in the role of the US in the world. You will not be disappointed. I hope to see more books like this on Audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jason
  • muncie, IN, United States
  • 08-26-10

I want Noam!

I love Noam Chomsky, but found this reading to be very dull. From now on, I will only listen to Noam narrated audio, or hear his wonderfully spoken words in my head as I read them for myself. This is a 5 star book, but this book narrated by Alan Sklar is a 2.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Same Old Chomsky

If you've read any of Chomsky's stuff he makes good points, follows them up with lots of evidence and then beats that dead horse for another 10 chapters. This is more of the same. The last book of his I read was Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Full Spectrum Dominance. I picked this up thinking it might be something new and interesting, but was disappointed, it is an updated version of what he always says. It's not bad and I don't disagree with him, it's just not very enlightening to hear the same old shtick.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rory
  • 07-29-17

horrendously ignored

Chomsky paints a critical, evidence based picture of the fantasy democracy in the USA - one the the world's most dangerous failed states.