Hegemony or Survival (Celebrations)
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Hegemony or Survival (Celebrations)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  5,559 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Scholarly polemicist Noam Chomsky's latest book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance argues that America's strategy for the future is nothing less than the maintenance of American hegemony through the use or threat of military force--a strategy that threatens to leave the world a more dangerous and divided place. He goes on to claim that the only othe...more
Published September 30th 2007 by Penguin (London) (first published 2003)
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I am positively drawn to the words of Chomsky for the following reasons: he is unflinchingly honest, he writes with a dispassionate demeaner that appears to be completely disinterested, he is never episodic, and the implications of what he writes are startling and desperately important.
Chomsky writes very matter-of-factly, using occasional sarcasm, but never retreating to overblown rhetoric. His quote-heavy prose is straightforward and undeniable. This man is an encyclopedia of historical knowle...more
Brook Miscoski
Jun 09, 2013 Brook Miscoski rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want an intro or surface level viewpoint on US dominance issues
I think that the issue of hegemony vs valid self interest is a complex issue, and depending on your political biases, Chomsky may be a good place to start. Hegemony or Survival, like most of Chomsky's books on foriegn policy issues, gives a good window into what he has written on those issues. As a mildly idealistic pragmatist, I appreciate the critique of hegemony but did not feel that the analysis and factual assertions were adeaquate to enhance my understanding. I felt let down by a writer wh...more
A quick read, and has a tone exactly like watching Chomsky speak. The assertions which seem to him incontestable, the thick and layered cynicism, the stoic application of morals no matter the context or scale. The title refers to Chomsky's belief that the world has two options: American global hegemony, or the survival of the human race. If the human race is to survive, America must cease it's quest, almost completed, for global dominance. However, he does not develop the reasons for this to be...more
What to conclude about U.S. foreign policy from Chomsky's fierce, eye-opening critique?

Simply put, the policy is to dominate and control the world politically and economically by wielding an unmatched and ever-expanding military power to crush whomever it deems a threat whenever it wants.

Hence, the title: "hegemony" refers to the current trajectory of U.S. foreign policy (accelerated by Bush II primarily by way of his doctrine of preemptive war in the aftermath of 9/11) while "survival" refers t...more
Scott Lupo
My first Noam Chomsky book although I have read articles and excerpts from him. This is a great book that details U.S. foreign relations policies up to 2004. Subject matter wise he is THE expert. Not only has he done his homework through diligent research he also puts these complex, multi-layered, and nuanced problems into the light. If you live in a world where you think the U.S. is perfect and altruistic in its dealings with the rest of the world you may not want to read this book as it will p...more
Jean Tessier
Diatribe against American imperial policies.

Early on, Chomsky warns his reader not to confuse state power with a country and its people. One can be critical of state policy while praising the country and its culture. Interestingly enough, one reviewer on Amazon.com has fallen into that trap and assumes that since Chomsky is critical of the current administration, he must hate America too.

Chomsky documents how the Monroe Doctrine has shaped American policy, both foreign and domestic for the past...more
Noam Chomsky provides yet another sweeping political indictment of the United States, and this time he places the human species entire as potential victims of far-right elite power. This volume is extraordinarily broad and far-reaching. Chomsky discusses the Bush doctrine, Iraq, the Middle East, Globalization, the Cold War, and Nuclear proliferation to name justa few. His scholarship is praiseworthy, although he continues to overstretch himself. On the issue of the FRY, Chomsky continues to make...more
Foreign Policy from a Disdent View: This book is simply fantastic in my opinion. As critique of U.S. foreign policy for the past 50 year, the writing is exceptional for its clarity and depth. Chomsky methodically picks apart the multiple aspects of foreign relations: economic, military, cultural, and places them within the grand context of America's strategic aims for maintains its role as leader of the world. Dismissing what is said on governments behalf and focusing on the much more accurate i...more
A must read! Noam Chomsky has presented us with a well documented account of the actions of the American political entity which strongly supports his claim that in accordance with American global strategy, hegemony is the ultimate goal!

Articulate, concise, and very much readable, it covers a depth which conveys clearly the concern of the author, and the concern we should all have regarding the actions of the most powerful nation in modernity: America.

At times the author seems to excessively demo...more
Few contemporary intellectuals divide opinion quite like Chomsky. To his defenders, he sets out an irrefutable case that US history is dominated by an underlying imperialistic aim that is self-serving, hypocritical and essentially malign. To his detractors, his argument often boils down to "US capitalism is responsible for the world's problems, violent resistance to its proliferation is inevitable, therefore that too is the fault of capitalism."

In truth, I've yet to be wholly convinced by Choms...more
"Not to have read him is to genuinely court ignorance" -Nation

This quote, on the back cover, just about sums it up. With each passing page you become more aware that you know next to nothing about events in the world today, and more specifically how much the US is involved. In fact, it is unlikely that you will initially believe how many pies the US has its fingers in. The portrayal of events feels extremely conspiratorialist, but the evidence is all expounded upon at great length.

The book assum...more
In case you're not familiar, this is the book that Hugo Chavez cited at the UN, the day he was railing against the US and calling Dubya the devil and whatever else. A group here in town was doing kind of an impromptu book-group reading of it, so I thought I'd join in. I knew that few of them had read Chomsky before, and being liberals I wondered what they'd think. Personally, I'm a little ways left of liberal, but I'm not the world's biggest Chomsky fan. Before this one I had read some short stu...more
As usual, Chomsky is right on the money when it comes to understanding the inner workings of the American Empire and the real goals that are pursued by the American foreign policy. Chomsky details the hypocrisy of the rhetoric of the American government vs its actions when it comes to most of the world including such staunch allies as Great Britain, Turkey and Israel. He also goes on to detail the terror by proxy in which the US engages to keep the rest of the world in check.

Where Chomsky fails...more

An incredibly interesting initial argument that gets so battered over the head and dissected utilizing the same damn historical case studies over and over that I could barely finish this book. Chomsky's logic is absolutely sound and the history backs him up. But this book would read infinitely better as a conference paper or as ONE chapter versus the rambling, jumpy, and sometimes amateur analysis it offers instead. Chomsky also seems to suffer here from a real bad case of organization; section...more
John somers
An insightful look at Americas foreign policy for the las 50 years. Support for some of the most evil rulers of the 20th century turning a blind eye to murder, racism and repression so long as it served the interests of big business and branding the actions of those who refuse to obey terrorism while the equally repugnant actions of America and her clients such as Israel and Columbia go unreported. Particulary loved the quote wherethe Reagan administration referred to the ANC as one of the world...more
Talks all about the first war on terror in the 80's, and the destruction it caused, the failed attempts by the opressed to get america out of their country and to stop killing everyone, America's stranglehold on the UN. He spells out how America is so full of shit by the application of double standards, both philosophically and in the UN, where the rules don't apply to it. It's a pretty sad state of affairs really, when a person or entity is so full of shit as to pronounce vigorously one thing a...more
As an Arab who saw, heard, or watched the things Noam mentioned in his book regarding America's policy in the middie east, I must say that he's of the few Americans who are aware of what's going on around them.

I like Noam, I studied a lot of his books when I was at college. I also had some difficulties understanding his high level language.

The last thing I noticed was that, I think Noam is being too harsh on America in this book. America has done a lot of horrible things, but it also did a lot o...more
Amanda L
Chomsky, use your words. To be fair, I wasn't actually able to finish it (yet) but do intend to as it is a thesis demanding attention; however, I did get far enough to shake my judgmental fist. How can entire paragraphs--- let alone pages-- of text be comprised entirely of a string of isolated quotes by other sources with no context? It was like compilation essay(s) by an inexperienced schmuck of an undergrad lacking any semblance of an original thought in his head or influence--- not a renowned...more
David Cupples
(I should add that Chomsky goes into important issues of "humanitarian intervention," in the military sense, in particular with regard to Kosovo.)

Published post-9/11, 2003, this is as all Chomsky's work indispensable to understanding what's going on in the world and power's role in effecting it. To readers not well acquainted with Chomsky's writings, this and all his work are likely to seem unbelievable, terribly far-fetched, just too crazy to be true. After all, we grew up to know - not just be...more
Thomas T
An interesting book that is deeply critical of American foreign policy and denounces such as an Imperial Agenda that could spell an existential risk to the survival of the Human Race,

While I found the book informative and in many ways shocking there was always a part of my mind asking why does someone as obviously intelligent as Mr. Chomsky find any of it so surprising or somehow exceptional?

The United States is currently the most powerful nation in the World and while many of its practices are...more
Rich in information. Never have I read a book that begged to have all the sources read. Chomsky's breadth of historical knowledge is vast, but many of these topics warrant their own books. In many ways, it seems like the opposing argument is just ignored....will add more later
Aaron Meyer
This is a really good book. If you want to get in to some of the history behind all the "wars" on terror, you can do yourself a favor and pick this up. Going back to Vietnam and forward to the beginnings of the Afghanistan war you are giving startling insight into all the real evils that are happening. Do you wonder why so many people outside the United States hate them or at least the policies and policy makers? This book makes it quite clear why it is so. The United States war against the worl...more
Read this book, or live in America at your own peril. To paraphrase one reviewer, to not read Chomsky is to court ignorance.
As has been my experience with reading Chomsky, this is dense without being overwhelming. And I learned more details about the nature of the American foreign policy that is not fit for our news media to publish or air. In a book that is filled with referenced argument and evidence of the role of America in supporting brutal dictatorships, the most powerful one is when Chomsky cites from a declassified document about the role that American weapons in space will play in keeping the poor in place....more
Billie Pritchett
Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival thesis is that if the American government continues to pursue the goal of maintaining its position as the world's sole superpower, then the human race will be at risk of ending in something catastrophic, perhaps nuclear war. Several of the claims Chomsky makes are quite obvious but they are not necessarily what some people would like to admit. To provide support for his claim, he cites several sources, often where high officials in American government state th...more
William Durkee
This book should be required reading for Americans today. If our ideals are "truth, justice, and the American way", then America is failing miserably outside of our own borders. In much of the world: the US lies, protects the guilty, and dicourages democracy. This book raises a number of questions about US foreign policy. First, how do we condemn terror against the US, when we have been the greatest oppressor worldwide. Second, what happened to the principle of universality? Recent American doct...more
David Sarkies
I had not heard of Noam Chomsky before the events of September 11 2001, but after that time, and with the further actions of the Bush Administration, he suddenly rose to prominance, at least in my life. My ideas have changed since I first heard of Chomsky, however that does not mean that I hold him and his philosophy in any less regard. While I may not agree that Chomsky is the greatest intellectual of our time, his writings are very influential.
Chomsky first came to prominence with his work i...more
This was my first time reading Chomsky, and he lived up to the hype with this book. I'm sure it helps that my politics line up with his fairly well. Reading the book wasn't mindblowing in the sense that it enlightened me to the fact that the United States is and has been thoroughly corrupt, oppressive, hypocritical, and power-hungry - I already pretty much knew that. What did blow me away was the depth of this rottenness and the amount of US evildoing that I never really knew about, especially i...more
chomsky's writing style seems scattershot and unfocussed. a barrage of facts drawn from sometimes centuries of loosely connected incidents and political references makes it a frequently less-than-engaging read and difficult to concentrate on alot of the time. then, around halfway into the book he starts to narrow his attention to particular events which he more fully investigates and the readability of the book goes up immensely. no criticism of the content here, which is scrupulous as always, b...more
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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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“In September 2002 the Bush administration announced its National Security Strategy, which declared the right to resort to force to eliminate any perceived challenge to US global hegemony, which is to be permanent. The new grand strategy aroused deep concern worldwide, even within the foreign policy elite at home. Also in September, a propaganda campaign was launched to depict Saddam Hussein as an imminent threat to the United States and to insinuate that he was responsible for the 9 – 11 atrocities and was planning others.” 0 likes
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