9-11: Was There an Alternative?
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9-11: Was There an Alternative?

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  2,195 ratings  ·  120 reviews
In 9-11, published in November 2001 and arguably the single most influential post 9-11 book, internationally renowned thinker Noam Chomsky bridged the information gap around the World Trade Center attacks, cutting through the tangle of political opportunism, expedient patriotism, and general conformity that choked off American discourse in the months immediately following....more
Paperback, 10th Anniversary Edition, 170 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published September 12th 1987)
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I'm impressed that Chomsky, in the immediate wake of 9-11, recognized the many counter-currents in society that advocated a more diplomatic approach to dealing with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. More importantly, he immediately distinguished between the peaceful nature of Islam and the terrorists who attacked us in its name.
I once had the privilege of listening to Alan Story speak about non-violence. Alan, a South African minister, was conscripted into the South African army to help enforce the apar...more
Mike Cognato
Ugh. Mad rantings with footnotes (which usually refer back to nothing more than prior Chomsky rantings). The only service Chomsky's political writing has ever provided is to make it easier to recognize uninformed or easily misled twits by allowing them to self-identify whenever they cite him in an argument. He puts the worst possible gloss on any action by the U.S. ever and the best possible spin on assorted tyrants and terrorists in a tedious and predictable way and willfully ignores any inform...more
"و فى اليوم الذى سبق احتفاله بيوم "القانون" , أعلن ريجان أن الولايات المتحدة لن تولى اهتماما بما يدور فى المحكمة الدولية , التى واصلت إدانتها لسياسة إدارته بسبب استخدامها غير المشروع للقوة, و انتهاكها للمعاهدات الدولية."

هى الولايات المتحدة المتجبرة دائما و التى و إن طبق عليها قانونها الخاص المعرف للإرهاب الدولى ستأتى فى أول قوائم الدول الراعية و الممارسة له.
يتضمن الكتاب نص مقابلات صحفية لنعوم تشومسكى المعروف بصراحته تجاه النظام الأمريكى و ممارساته الوقحة فى عرف الجميع و التى يرتكبها تحت مسمى الت...more
Matt  Dorsey
Compilation of heavily edited transcripts from interviews with Chomsky in the weeks following 9/11. By it's very nature, much of it is redundant, making for an occasionally tedious read. Chomsky takes a primarily historical perspective in his discussion of global affairs and U.S. foreign policy, which isn't always useful, but is frequently interesting. The book serves as a good counterpoint to the nationalistic propaganda the U.S. media was churning out at the time these interviews took place. T...more
Read No Room For Further Burials. Be depressed and bored and confused at the same time. Then read this Chomsky. You will understand what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq look like from the perspective of the powerless, impoverished people who make up the vast majority of those nations.
W. Bradford Littlejohn
Jan 20, 2010 W. Bradford Littlejohn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to W. Bradford by: Anyone who thinks the US was an innocent victim of 9/11
Shelves: scary-stuff
This book does an excellent and concise job of exploding the myth that the US was an innocent victim in 9/11, and that its response (the "War on Terror") was righteous and necessary, and it does so without resorting to so-called "conspiracy theories." Now, personally, I think that those "conspiracy theories" are a crucial part of the damning case against the US, but many people aren't willing to go there just now, and this book is the book for them.

Chomsky reveals that, far from being "anti-ter...more
These interviews collectively smack of an apologia for terrorism committed by non-US bodies, for Chomsky seems to invariably find a preceding cause for assaults directed toward America. He seems to pay scant regard to intentions, focusing instead on a consequentialist view of American-Middle east conflicts. Granted the Americans must have erred in foreign endeavours, yet the author's eerie ability, or inclination rather, to find an explanation, or excuse even, for anti-Western sentiment seems di...more
A bit scattered, sure, which can be attributed to the oddity of publishing a series of interviews which have been heavily expanded after-the-fact. However, lots of good information here distilled in a short book. Unlike what some detractors have said in other reviews, Chomsky is not a ranter. He has some stories he uses as examples more than once, but these are in no way rants. Anyone who has heard him speak or watched his speeches on videos or listened to radio interviews knows this. He's calm,...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Chomsky's analysis of September 11, 2001 wasn't very compelling, as it lacked any semblance of rigor. I felt like I was left out in the cold somewhere between the Mongolian-Chinese-Russian border. There are plenty of other books out there on the subject that are much better. I'd advise you pass this one up and look elsewhere. Don't waste your time or money.
Un documento que, evidentemente, tendría que haber leído hace muchos años. Nos da una visión diferente, y a veces incluso cruda y agresiva, de la situación mundial y la posición de Estados Unidos y sus aliados, todo a propósito de los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001. Chomsky es un crítico muy severo del imperialismo, del dominio hegemónico, de la injusticia en las prácticas internacionales, y lo más interesante es que critica desde su postura como estadounidense. Ofrece datos, c...more
i am always paranoid bring this type of book over the boarder.
This book might be too much for those hell bent on blaming Muslims, or Islam. Chomsky enlarges the context of the 9/11 atrocious events beyond "theology" to include the larger geopolitical and historical developments in the region. And again, Chomsky proves to be ahead of his time. Throughout the book he repeatedly calls for a rational and historically-inclusive reasoning of the causes, and constantly postulates pragmatic rather than precarious reactions.

Unfortunately the book suffers from lack...more
Wie man in den Wald hineinruft ...

... so schallt es zurück", das ist die zentrale These dieses Büchleins von Noam Chomsky. Er hält sich nicht mit all den Verschwörungstheorien rund um den Anschlag des 11. Septembers 2001 auf, sondern erzählt über das Handeln der USA in den letzten Jahrzehnten. Er berichtet von den Terroranschlägen die durch den CIA in Zentralamerika und im Nahen Osten begangen wurden. Inhaltlich ist das Buch leicht verständlich und sauber recherchiert. Es kommen keine Zweifel an...more
David Sarkies
This small book is a transcript of a radio interview with Chomsky shortly after the September 11 attacks. I remember being in Sydney late 2001 when a friend of mine saw this book and said 'I'm not surprised Chomsky has already written a book about September 11th'. At the time I had never heard of Chomsky, however that ignorance has since changed.
I'm not surprised that Chomsky released a book quickly as well, because the event was such a psychological shock to the United States that its citizen...more
Joseph Suh
Although I disagree with most of what is compiled in this pamphlet, I give this book 3 stars because it gives one a perspective on the positions the far Left takes in conversations about American / Western foreign policy. That is not to say that there are differences on the Left about this sort of thing (e.g. Noam Chomsky [against practically all American / Western intervention] vs. Juan Cole [in favor of some interventions, like the one in Libya]), I find that it gives a rough outline to the ou...more
This is my second book review, my first was on Buried Onions by Gary Soto. Now obviously by the name and author of this book, this book is WAY different than Buried Onions, they are two different genres, in two different areas in the U.S. This book(911) was a pleasure to read I found my self really interested in the book. I like the way the book was set up with one question and one answer. And all of the questions were really good ones, there were questions that a politician or someone who studi...more
Donal Fhearraigh
I just re-read this coming up to the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The interview style book which seems to be the mainstay of Chomsky's publications now. They lend themselves to easy reading but can lack depth and suffer from over repetition.

This book, a collection of articles and interviews shortly after the 9-11 attack highlight a number of points:
- State terrorism as the main source of terrorism in the world (as opposed to it being the "tactic of the weak"). The examples used and oft repeated are...more
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Juan Manuel  Charry Urueña
Se trata de un análisis de uno de los más dramáticos hechos contemporáneos. La edición Kindle es muy defectuosa. Algunas de las cosas que dice el libro: Es la primera vez desde la guerra de 1812 que el territorio nacional se ha visto atacado. Estados Unidos no gobierna el proyecto corporativo de globalización. El término apropiado sería crimen. Guerra contra el terrorismo es simple propaganda. Estados Unidos es una de las culturas fundamentalistas mas extremas del mundo. Las reglas "neoliberales...more
Christopher Rex
Chomsky is a total wimp w/ this book, which is basically reflective of his overall lameness in regards to any analysis of the 9-11 attacks. He never challenges any of the "official" story of 9-11, despite mountains of evidence that should compell him to do so. His entire 9-11 analysis (which is largely limited to this very short, narrow-scoped book) constantly trumpets the official line. He acknowledges the "truth" movement regarding 9-11 (though, not in this book), but quickly dismisses them wi...more
Noam Chomsky often sounds like a voice in the wilderness, especially in the weeks precisely following 9-11, so we should be grateful for an early voice of comparative reason.

Nonetheless, Dr. Chomsky comes across as alternatively over and under-prepared, not that anyone really could have been prepared for 9-11 and its aftermath.

My problem is, whether he is answering interviewer questions immediately following the event, or writing a summary article 8 months later, his answers are delivered like a...more
الكتاب يفتح نافذة على جانب مخفي من الثقافة اﻷمريكية ، جانب يتميز بالنقد الذاتي و التحليل لكثير من اﻷمور التي قد تخفى عن الكثيرين ،سواء أكانوا مع أو ضد العقلية اﻷمريكية.
الكاتب في اعتقادي يتميز في قضية النقد الذاتي بشكل كبير، فالكتاب يحمل عنوان تشريح الإرهاب، الكاتب لم يذهب بعيدا و قام بتشريح ظاهرة الإرهاب مبتدئا بالإرهاب الذي تمارسه بلده اﻷم ،و هو ما سماه بإرهاب الدولة ،حيث تردد كثيرا في طيات الكتاب الحديث عن الكثير من الأعمال التي قامت بها الولايات المتحدة مما يصنف في خانة الإرهاب العالمي ، متسا...more
This collection of interviews of Noam Chomsky in the weeks after 9/11/01 brings me back to that time and that two years following. This was when the mainstream American media turned gutless and you had to go to the BBC and truthout.org to get anything resembling a full picture of what was going on in the world. Chomsky was very much behind this idea and should be commended for being a contrary voice when so many were toeing a line that was called patriotism but verged on blind obedience.

His per...more
No esperaba muchop de este libro por el simple hecho que solo son recolecciones de varias entrevistas.
Se publicó un mes después del atentado y eso se nota en que las teorías todavía no estan bien desarolladas y les queda ese tiempo de madurez que nos ha llevado a lo que sabemos ahora, más de una decada después.

Algunas ideas son muy interesantes, pero está muy lejos de ser un libro imprescindible
Nov 09, 2008 Tiina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are interested in American politics and history, and/or human rights and moral.
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit dated, by now. I'd like to read Chomsky's thoughts now, years later, when new information has been revealed. He probably still feels the same way about the main points though.

The book has been compiled of several interviews by different reporters around the world. Hence there is no cohesive story or timeline or anything like that. Chomsky comments on things as they come up. Because of the format, there is also quite a bit of repetition. Chomsky uses a lot of facts (that should be common k...more
A collection of interviews with Chomsky after the attacks on 9/11. The over-ridding message is that Chomsky would like to see the U.S. take the approach of compiling evidence of criminality and presenting such findings to the World Court. Unfortunately, the US is the only nation (with the exception of Israel) to vote against such machinations and has decided to take the vigilante approach, thus producing martyrs and a new generation of “terrorists.” Another illuminating point: Chomsky observes t...more
It's hard to argue with someone as well read and complete as Chomsky. So rarely do I find myself arguing with him, even when I disagree.
As usual this book presents some of Chomsky's very detailed analysis on US actions around the globe and his opinions on the outcomes of those actions. It seems a very clear line for Chomsky, between US actions over the past 20 years and the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
A lot of the material in this book has been printed before in other Chomsky books. This one is s...more
Matt Roberts
Chomsky's sharp analysis of the immediate worldwide reactions to the events on September 11. In "9/11," Chomsky shows his true intellectual and analytical purview of the likely responses by the Bush administration. Reading this book 13 years after the event, it's amazing to see how correct Chomsky was in his predictions just days after these events.
If you've read anything else by Chomsky, you know exactly what you're getting -- the argument of a brilliant man who knows history better than god but has incendiary views. Chomsky does a good job explaining the context surrounding the hatred. Those who disagree with him will say he is an apologist for terror.

This book goes through US foreign policy in the last several decades highlighting many examples to support the argument that "when they do it to us we call it terrorism; when we do it to th...more
Mallee Stanley
Although Chomsky has a lot of interesting and important points to share, his writing style tends to lead me nowhere as opposed to journalist, John Pilger, whose straight forward, clear style makes sense immediately.
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Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. H...more
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“We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders.” 42 likes
“These facts have been completely removed from history. One has to practically scream them from the rooftops.” 2 likes
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