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On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  399 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
In On Western Terrorism Noam Chomsky, world renowned dissident intellectual, discusses Western power and propaganda with filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek. The discussion weaves together a historical narrative with the two men's personal experiences which led them to a life of activism.

The discussion includes personal memories, such as the New York newss
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 12th 2013 by Pluto Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Claudia Nugent
Apr 08, 2014 Claudia Nugent rated it really liked it
I'm becoming increasingly aware of my own ignorance and internalised prejudices. Lately, I've begun the long process of analysing these feelings and considering where they've come from so that I can gradually erase them. I'm learning that much of these biases (though obviously not all) can be attributed to an overexposure to Western propaganda and media.

Western and capitalist ideals pervade everything I think I know. I'm learning that cultures and events are relentlessly misrepresented in my sup
Kristine Gift
Sep 28, 2013 Kristine Gift rated it did not like it
Shelves: winter-13-14
I was really expecting more from this book. The conversation-transcript style doesn't do much for the content; their spoken words were obviously edited, so why couldn't they also add in some footnotes? Some post-conversation citations? I felt like Chomsky and Vltchek were talking a lot but saying little. And the pretentious tone of "We're the only ones who know how shitty things are" really bothered me, especially considering that the target audience of this book are probably people who are awar ...more
André Vltchek opens his book with a very sad figure: more then 50 million people died around the world as a consequence of Western colonialism and neocolonialism. This terrible reality has been, somehow, "accepted" in the Western world; Noam Chomsky borrows the expression of “unpeople” by George Orwell : the world is divided by people like us and “unpeople”- everyone else who do not matter and we are not concerned to what happens to them.

Most of the book is developed over the issue of misinforma
Matt Roberts
Nov 28, 2014 Matt Roberts rated it it was amazing
Chomsky's latest book is certainly one of his most critical of US imperialism. A must-read, "On Western Terrorism" is short, matter-of-fact, and crucial. Fans of Chomsky will not be disappointed.
May 10, 2017 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zajímavý pohled na kontroverzní politiku tzv. "západu" očima dvou brilantních levicově smýšlících lingvistů. Neříkám, že si hned budu v pokoji vyvěšovat plakáty s Mao Ce-tungem a před spaním odříkavat Marxův manifest, ale nad událostmi světové politiky jsem si nyní vytvořil snad o něco větší nadhled.
Některé zločiny (především) Spojených států mají totiž často děsivější dopad, než hrůznosti socialističtějších států, které nám jsou předkládány jako neprominutelné.

Noam Chomsky je fakt legenda.
Ishendra Kashyap
Feb 03, 2015 Ishendra Kashyap rated it did not like it
When I first started reading this book, I was shocked. The book claims that western terrorism has killed more than 50 million people and it quotes several historical examples which I was unaware of. I have always believed that the world is grey rather than black or white, but is the world , dominated by capitalism and liberalism ,so biased as to actually omit all these information. But when I reached pages describing India, I was relieved . The book describes India as a failed state, and as a sa ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Louis rated it really liked it
A hugely informative book that lives up to the blurbs description of a good introduction to Chomsky's political thought. Although it glances over a variety of topics this book clearly examines the apparatus the U.S. in particular uses to exercise terrorism (legal blockades, the bombing of an Al-Jazzera station in Kabul). I feel their is a degree of naivety on Chomsky's part however when he talks of British multiculturalism and Vltchek appears slightly one sided when making judgments based more o ...more
Martin Hassman
Mar 03, 2017 Martin Hassman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kniha se dobře čte. Překvapilo mě, jak často zmiňuje Československo a Havla. Z psychoanalytického pohledu je to rozhodně zajímavý pokus zahlédnout náš kulturní Stín. Co se týče faktů, je to výrazně slabší a po přečtení opravdu nevím, co si myslet. Je těžké začít se náhle dívat např. na NATO jako na "zlou" organizaci a vidět vlády evropských zemí v ošklivém světle, které kniha ukazuje. Jako fakt, jo??? Nejsou v ní obsaženy žádné zdroje, takže je na čtenáři, aby si sám zjstil, do jaké míry jsou ná ...more
Aug 30, 2016 Jumana rated it it was amazing
I've always admired authors who make readers aware of what's going on around them in real life not fantasy or something of this sort. I dare say that this book not only emphasized & put what I already know in order but also introduced me to facts I haven't payed attention to whatsoever. Every youth in every part of the world should read it, you know why? 'Cause they will eventually find that a peace of them was once terrorized by someway or the other—or even it now is. We should be aware of ...more
Nicholas Prokup
Jan 12, 2014 Nicholas Prokup rated it really liked it
This book is a conversation between Chomsky and Vitchek. For me, the style of the book is primarily a con, though it does make for easy reading (as far as the language goes. The content is not easy/pleasant to digest.)

Because this book is a conversation between two people with a lot of shared knowledge, it is not particularly useful for those who have absolutely knowledge of the issues and conflicts that they are discussing. Statements are made and facts understood between Chomsky and Vitchek, a
Ecoute Sauvage
Sep 15, 2013 Ecoute Sauvage rated it it was amazing
Just the facts.

And the facts are devastating, especially in view of our (Western) past actions. The latest developments in the Middle East are still unfolding and will be usefully illuminated by this masterpiece.

Absolutely essential reading for anyone brave enough to look beyond political propaganda. New chapters are being written every day - and the evidence is overwhelmingly supporting items which the book, published before the information was publicly released, merely lists as hypotheses, for
Oct 13, 2013 Huseyin rated it liked it
Not so much a book, more a well-formatted transcript.

Some interesting facts to consider and reflect upon; however, the nature of the book means it is never terribly cohesive and subsequently offers a timeline of specific historical events discussed throughout.

Lasse Skou Lindstad
Nov 25, 2014 Lasse Skou Lindstad rated it it was ok
Short and fairly superficial. Chomsky has far better books out there than this interview transcript.
Feb 26, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Outstanding conversations and format, never heard of andre vitcek before but now i'm gonna check out the rest of his work

All over Iraq, actually; in several places the radiation is supposed to be fatal. It went up to some unbelievable levels. People are remarkably credible of official propaganda in the West. As someone who was raised in Eastern Europe, I know that there was absolutely no trust amongst the population towards the official government’s story, so in a way, the awareness of the peopl
Luís Garcia
Excelente resumo do estado de alienação das sociedades ocidentais sobre o hiper-terror imposto pelo Ocidente pelo mundo fora, horror que nesse tal ocidente é visto pateticamente como "ajudas humanitárias", "intervenções humanitárias", "guerras contra o terrorismo" e outras balelas paternalistas do género para ovelhas ocidentais culturalmente narcisistas consumirem.

(lido em Ribamar, Portugal)
May 18, 2017 Esra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: world affairs
Just the truth, even if I find some of his comments like Latin America is getting better a bit too optimistic. Also I had the sensation that he is trying to curb his critique towards the US a bit too much. Otherwise finally reading on black on white what is what!
Mar 14, 2017 Cole rated it really liked it
An interesting way to look at recent history from a non-Western-centric point of view. I wish they had provided some sources for some of their more anecdotal claims (for the inevitable arguments that will arise with some folk), but otherwise it provides a great overview of the ills that naturally arise from American imperialism.
Nada Mansour
Mar 09, 2017 Nada Mansour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un livre d'entretiens avec Noam chomsky #Must_read
Ivana Bunjan
Jul 07, 2015 Ivana Bunjan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Puno stvari koje sam znala, još više stvari koje sam saznala i ostala u šoku. S razlogom na začelju piše da je ovo odlična knjiga za uvod u razmišljanje Noama Chomskog. Nikad se nisam susrela s djelom i radom Chomskog, a Vltchek mi je bio u potpunosti nepoznat (možda s razlogom?).

Knjiga je napisana u formi dijaloga, jako je pitka, ne koristi se užasno kompliciran, snobovski, intelektualan rječnik, a prošli su sve aktualne teme (iz 2012. godine je) od kolonizacije drugih država, ljudi i ne-ljudi,
Aug 08, 2013 Vince rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I got this as a Goodreads giveaway.

Clocking in at just 173 pages this conversation between Vltchek and Chomsky still manages to cover quite a bit of ground. Neither beats about the bush in describing the history of Western imperialism's brutal legacy. The US gets the lion's share of commentary being the current hegemon, but the European colonial nations get there due as well. The first three chapters give the general historical outline including a good discussion of how the media has been compli
Maitiu Corbett
Sep 08, 2013 Maitiu Corbett rated it it was ok
This book had so many remarkable ideas to offer but the format let it down badly. As an only occasional reader of political commentary, I found it hard going.

Firstly, there is the men themselves. There is no doubt that Chomsky and Vitchek are intellectuals in the prime of their career, but because their views are so similar, the book has barely any depth of debate. At times the two are so emphatically in agreement that often the only thing they disagree on is the magnitude of different events an
Jan 11, 2016 Francesca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica, rd2016
uhm, non mi ha lasciato nulla, e nemmeno mi ha detto qualcosa che già non sapessi. Trattasi di una serie di conversazioni tra Noam Chomsky e Andre Vltchek relative ai crimini commessi dall'occidente, in particolare da Usa e Europa, nel resto del mondo. Mi ha un po' deluso, i due autori conversano tra di loro con l'aria di chi "la sa lunga", di chi sa qualcosa che noi poveri lettori ignoranti non solo non sappiamo, ma nemmeno potremmo capire, quindi pare del tutto inutile spiegarcelo, tanto è evi ...more
Apr 19, 2017 Omnibus rated it liked it
Like a few of Chomsky's interview-based books, the editing is rather poor, and it's hard to take away a more-than-superficial understanding of the topic. Hegemony or Survival is a far better survey of Western foreign policy.
Randall Wallace
Sep 23, 2013 Randall Wallace rated it it was amazing
The job of advertising is to undermine the market and the goal of elections is to undermine democracy. The PR departments of the candidates never want you making informed choices and you are given only the illusion of choice; so democracy and the voters lose. The US and Britain are not opposed to Radical Islam but in fact have supported it openly for decades: think Saudi Arabia or the creation of the radical madrassas in Afghanistan. The threat to the novice’s eye appears to be radical Islam but ...more
Gianni Costanzi
Nov 18, 2015 Gianni Costanzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ho preso questo libro dopo aver letto due testi, "Ultima fermata Gaza. Dove ci porta la guerra di Israele contro i palestinesi" e "Palestina e Israele: che fare?" scritti di Noam Chomsky e Ilan Pappé, dove si affronta l'annoso problema del conflitto Israelo-Palestinese, scavando nelle radici di quel conflitto. In questo volume invece si volge lo sguardo ad un orizzonte più ampio, spesso trascurato o addirittura sconosciuto ai più. Noi europei siamo abituati a guardare ai massacri compiuti dai di ...more
Jan 30, 2017 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
This is a nice introductory book for anyone with an interest on what "Western Terrorism" really means. People hear this topic all the time without knowing the proper context. Chomsky and Vltchek makes the meaning of the word abundantly clear through this book.

Written in a conversation format, this book contains various interesting anecdotes from the travels and readings of both Chomsky and Vltchek as they discuss the topic at hand. In fact, the book could be argued as more of a transcript of Ch
Apr 07, 2016 Zain rated it liked it
An eye-opening transcript of a conversation exposing the extent of past and ongoing Western imperialism.

While I appreciate Andre Vltchek's attempt in divulging the role of Western powers in destabilizing countries that dare to adopt democracy (as this goes against Western interests), I wish more facts had been presented; some of Vltchek's comments seem based on pure conjecture. It was a bit difficult to follow some of the conversation as the two kept flitting from one conflict or dictator to th
Jessica Davenport
Aug 15, 2013 Jessica Davenport rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads contest, and I'm very pleased that I did. This probably wouldn't have made it onto my bookshelf otherwise, but it turned into a very engaging read. Not much of a book, but more of a transcript of a conversation between two social activists "On Western Terrorism" focuses on discussing the negative effects of western colonialism and propaganda on the rest of the world.
Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek discuss their personal experiences and knowledge of wo
Oct 07, 2014 Isidore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
This is the third of the Chomsky-in-conversation books which I've read, and it's my pick of the lot.

I'm inclined to give Vltchek a lot of the credit for this. He's clearly an experienced and thoughtful political observer in his own right, and, while unfailingly courteous, he sometimes offers information and insights which counter Chomsky's ideas. More than once I felt Vltchek was the more persuasive of the two. Chomsky, in turn, is plainly interested in what his interviewer has to say. His outpu
Nov 03, 2013 Stan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
First of all, I should mention that I received a copy of this book from first reads here on goodreads. That being said, I believe this to be a book that is worth your time. The back of the book says it is a, "perfect introduction to Chomsky's political thinking," and I believe that is an accurate assessment. It is accessible and has a good flow to it. Some of the things I found interesting about the book was why you don't see Chomsky on television news programs more (hint, it has to do with the ...more
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The kindle edition? 1 7 Sep 25, 2013 03:36PM  
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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
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