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What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  856 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
An indispensable set of interviews on foreign and domestic issues with the bestselling author of Hegemony or Survival, "America's most useful citizen." (The Boston Globe)

In this new collection of conversations, conducted in 2006 and 2007, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: Iran's challenge to the United States, the deterioration of the Israel-Pal
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Metropolitan Books (first published 2007)
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My first "on hiatus" review of 2012, which means it ain't a real review by my usual standards; more of a placeholder. Noam Chomsky's geopolitical books (as opposed to the purely linguistic-related ones) tend to be of two types: those he writes himself, which tend to be verbose and dry and crammed with stats, and those which more or less "sound bite" him in collaboration with interviewer David Barsamian. I have to be fess up and admit I still haven't read any "pure" Chomsky, so far only encounter ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Jay rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
The best thing about reading a Noam Chomsky book is that it recalibrates me. His work is never partisan, it simply is reality. And while you might find objection to just about every thought he says, after reading his words, you’ll realize that you are indeed wrong about the subject. This book is different than his previous work, as it has no central argument. Rather, it’s a collection of far ranging thoughts penned during interviews with David Barsamian. I really enjoyed how this work was done, ...more
Mar 08, 2008 William rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Noam apparently sees everything very clear but all in black or white. Especially in the Israel/Palestine issue there is some paradoxes I never understand. How come people like Chomsky who are left-winged pro-free speech and democracy, anti-death penalty, always root for hardcore palestinians like Hamas who are anti-democratic and wish to wipe out Israel? How come right-winged fundamental Christians always cheer for jews who they use to persecute, in a historical sense practically invented anti-s ...more
Ahmad Ardy
Feb 14, 2015 Ahmad Ardy rated it it was amazing
chomsky bergandingan dgn jurnalis david barsamian as usual. buku kali ini banyak menyentuh tentang US invasion of Iraq bermula tahun 2003 dan masih berlangsung sehingga saat buku ini diterbitkan (2007).

chomsky menyentuh tentang kepenting geo-politik Israel dalam menjaga kepentingan US di timur tengah. david barsamian bijak melontarkan persoalan. hasilnya, kebanyakan tanda tanya sekitar dinamika hubungan US-Israel dalam konteks pergolakan di Timur tengah terjawab.

juga chomsky menyentuh tentang c
Scott F
Jun 23, 2009 Scott F rated it it was amazing
Chomsky opened me to the idea of a "framework for thinkable thoughts". That there can be an imagined spectrum that is really only a very narrow interpretation of events. In this book he really blew me away with his take on our Foreign Policy
I was surprised to see Chomsky's name on this book as I was searching for a book at 1/2 Price bookstore to introduce me to foreign policy (US). The last time I heard of Chomsky was in reference to his ideas about linguistics...
This book makes me know i don't know about our foreign policy, past and present. It's an old book, but I don't know anything so it's giving me some perspective. Chomsky has decided opinions, seems very critical to government decisions/choices, but he backs his statements w
Jun 09, 2013 Poonam rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! He so clearly elucidates the nexus between industry and government, agendas of various governments, of course more in the context of US world dominance.

Excerpt from the book:

On India: "You turn govt. funding into support for software engineering and take it away from rural development - support for farmers, irrigation, rural credit. So, you drive farmers to export production...
And the prices fluctuate radically. So one year you may make a lot of money and the next year you may make n
Wolfgang Bailey
Jul 11, 2015 Wolfgang Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thus far very well argued. Chomsky is very good at arguing a point, or refraining from doing so, as evidenced in the tedious exchange of emails between himself and Sam Harris in which the latter was trying to provoke him with all his might but only managed to come across looking desperate and feeble (I am also a fan of Harris despite disagreeing with his position of US military intervention in Iraq, so I was baffled and disappointed that he thought the embarrassing exchange was worthy of publish ...more
John Gurney
Sep 28, 2014 John Gurney rated it it was ok
I approached Noam Chomsky's What We Say Goes with an open mind, looking for his out-of-mainstream, far Left take on US foreign policy. Chomsky is a a very bright guy and one who is intellectually consistent in his opposition to war; to his credit, unlike many, he is no apologist for Democratic president Obama's new wars and expanded scope of security monitoring. Chomsky has been a proponent of anarchism and 'libertarian socialism'.

This book suffers from being a collection of interviews with Davi
Mohammed Saad
Nov 01, 2013 Mohammed Saad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
حديث عن 1-تورط الامريكى فى حرب لبنان
2-عن العلاقات الامريكية الايرانية
3-عن الدور الامريكى فى انقلاب 73 بتشيلى والذى تسبب فى سلسلة من الانقلابات والقمع والارهاب انظمة امريكا اللاتينية
4-عن فنزويلا وتشافيز ومحاولات تشويه صورته لدى الشعب
5-عن حرب فيتنام ورفضه للمقارنة بينها وبين حرب العراق
6-عن اللوبى الصهيونى ورفضه لفكرة تأثيره الكبير على السياسة الامريكية
7-عن جوانتانامو والاحتلال الامريكى للجزيرة الكوبية.
Cathy Gulkin
Jul 24, 2011 Cathy Gulkin rated it it was amazing
He's brilliant as always--I listened to this as an audiobook and he speaks in such a wonderfully rational tone. It's also good to hear how things have improved since the 1960's in terms of public discourse. I can never get enough Noam.
Aug 11, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
That reminds me of the story of the emperor Alexander and his encounter with a pirate.

I don’t know if it happened, but according to the account from Saint Augustine, a pirate was brought to Alexander, who asked him, How dare you molest the seas with your piracy? The pirate answered, How dare you molest the world? I have a small ship, so they call me a pirate. You have a great navy, so they call you an emperor. But you’re molesting the whole world. I’m doing almost nothing by comparison. That’s t
Aug 25, 2008 Brian rated it liked it
Total Stars = 3

Entertainment-0 Stars
Education- +1 Star
Readability- +1 star
Innovation- +1 Stars
Inspiration- +0 Stars

Noam hits on a lot of issues and lays out problems with American policies. It's kind of depressing really. I think the most interesting thing in the book was where he talks about how we were setting up Iran with all kinds of nuclear technology when our puppet the Shah was there, but now that that Iran isn't under our thumb we say they only want a reactor for weapons.

Noam shows
Randall Wallace
May 10, 2013 Randall Wallace rated it it was amazing
Great facts inside include: In the Middle East, US and Israel have a long history of substantially helping to create islamic fundamentalist terrorism by destroying secular nationalism. Propaganda has to have an element of credibility in order that when attacked the the attacker is merely accused of denying what is true. You must protect to right to lie to support power.The slow steady erosion of repeated lies is "your duty of service to power". Look at the majority of declassified documents and ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it
What We Say Goes presents Chomsky's latest thoughts and concerns about Iran, the unreported backdrop to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the growing power of the populist left in Latin America.

As with many of Chomsky's recent publications, the overarching themes are unchanged and remain focused on state power, propaganda, and social change.

What We Say Goes was culled from a series of Chomsky interviews with David Barsamian.
Mackenzie Hussman
Feb 09, 2014 Mackenzie Hussman rated it really liked it
I just so happened to stumble upon this book that was left behind in a flat I was moving into. I'm glad I started reading it because many of my own personal ideas are reflected within the pages. At times I felt that Noam Chomsky was siting his own work too much, but the extensive references in the back of the book make me feel that every word and subject was carefully chosen to portray an overall message. That message being that the American people need social change and education.
Dec 30, 2013 Gordon rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I can't read the last two chapters because I'm afraid he'll personally assault me for failing the cause over the past forty years. That's all that's left in this book. It's incredibly bitter and somewhat unrealistic because we have to be bullies if we want to keep consuming on the level we are consuming. But, he always is right. He's smart and we need to remember exactly how much we've betrayed South and Central America. For people that don't understand how committed we've been to destroying dem ...more
É F.K. Ó Conghaile
When I asked my high-school advisor where I should start with Chomsky's ever-expanding works, he told me to start here. It was a great suggestion. Here we have a broad coverage of the history and background in the greatest threat to world peace: The United States of America. He analyzes areas of the world the US has spread, and how that power has been changing as the world has. He also analyzes a vital factor in the continued existence of the US Empire: Propaganda.

All in all a very good reading
W. Littlejohn
Aug 16, 2011 W. Littlejohn rated it really liked it
Shelves: scary-stuff
This was a fun and challenging read. Like everything by Chomsky, it's definitely one-sided; however, it's the side that no one else wants you to hear, and which desperately needs to be heard, if we're to start conducting our international affairs with any semblance of justice, honesty, and decency. So, you may not want to accept everything Chomsky tells you in here as the full true story, but you should at least use it as a basis for questioning the official story that you've always heard. Choms ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Simone rated it liked it
A bit dated, but well informed and an interesting point of view, away from the mainstream mindset of right-wing politics. However, I do think it is a bit farfetched and detached from reality, especially when considering some developing countries and their very intricate poilitics, which may be difficult for an outsider, such as Chomsky, to grasp.
بثينة العيسى
Oct 09, 2011 بثينة العيسى rated it really liked it

Reading this book is a must. It exposes the corruption in the, so called, new world order imposed by force by the US and Israel. It also gives you a pretty good idea of what it is happening the world; Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Israel, North America and so forth. It also highlights some (fascinating) issues about the validity and effectiveness of world organizations, like the IMF and world bank. Most importantly, it tells you that the world is divided into 2 categories; US and Israel in on
Feb 02, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it
"The secrets are not for [national] security, they're mostly for the security of the state against its own people. You don't want the public to know what you're up to. The major enemy of most states is their own population."
Dan  Logue
May 12, 2011 Dan Logue rated it it was amazing
I always feel that going back to Chomsky every so often is important to refocus my perspective on US foreign and domestic policy and the role of our media in shaping public opinion. It's easy to get wrapped up in the minutia of our comfortable lives and forget about the struggles that people face all over globe, many of which are directly or indirectly created by our own government's policies. Our ongoing complicity is inexcusable, yet almost feels inevitable to a certain extent (Noam would not ...more
May 30, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Chomsky is a delight to read: he is clear and plainspoken, and he challenges conventional thinking including the thinking of those of us on the Left.
Shane Wallis
It is a fairly simplistic exploration of US foreign policy. Issues such as US backed Israeli aggression into Lebanon and Palestine, the US invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan and US/ Latin American relations are explored to name a few. The book, quite clearly aimed at a wider audience, is written in a clear and simple manner. Although despite being only 190 pages long, it still manages to feel somewhat repitious. Furthermore due to the nature of the book, Chomsky never really develops any of his ...more
Feb 07, 2008 Sam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam by: Todd Rossell
Shelves: current-events
America's foreign policy is and always has been a catastrophe regardless of what party has been in office. From our ignorant alliance with Israel to turning a blind eye to human suffering unless it somehow leverages our interests.
Chomsky speaks a lot about historical amnesia and our reluctance to learn important lessons from past blunders. I think we need to explore the reasons why America is looked at unfavorably in most parts of the world. I think the answers will lead us to improving in our
Feb 19, 2010 Bill added it
Chomsky goes on and on and on with a million quotes from things he has presumably read or researced over the past 40 years, and pulls it off the top of his head to answer every question about the current state of the world...Really interesting perspective on things that always begin as forgone conclusions but after hearing a compilation of official sources and strategies sound more like a horrific heartless terror state...But suprisingly fun because he is so over the whole idea of injustice that ...more
Dec 12, 2007 Matt rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Truth Seekers
There is no question that Noam Chomsky is one of the worlds great thinkers...critics and followers alike have agreed on this fact. In what we say goes we the collective reader get a cliff notes version of many of Chomsky's very complex and researched thoughts on media/world power. This makes for a very easy and quick read, but does little to add to Mr Chomsky's library of original thoughts. Kind of like a remix album for social science.
Aug 27, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Classic Chomsky. I liked this just as much as "Understanding Power" but as that was my "official" introduction to Chomsky, it retains five stars while this only gets four. The difference lies wholly within me, it is every bit as good. I use Chomsky and Hitchens as my mental primer, they get me in the right mindset to think about any subject.
Feb 17, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Chomsky is, as always, incisive and knowledgeable in his approach to US foreign policy.

Favorite thoughts so far: Look in the mirror, America. "They" don't hate us because we're free and they're not. They hate us because of history.

And the history part is something that books like this can really educate me about.
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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 about Noam Chomsky...

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