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Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
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Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,893 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
The world's foremost critic of U.S. foreign policy exposes the hollow promises of democracy in American actions abroad—and at home

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene against "failed states" around the globe. In this much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United S
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ebook, 320 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Metropolitan Books (first published February 10th 2007)
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Trevor
Jun 10, 2008 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Chomsky always disturbs me. I’m left feeling washed out and despondent. He presents the problems of the world so vividly that it is impossible not to be confronted by the enormity of the issues that confront us. He re-values and re-evaluates received wisdom, the sorts of views we get from watching news programs or reading current affairs articles, to such an extent that one is left wondering if everything we are ever told is basically just another lie. Because that is it – one comes away ...more
Buck
Oct 09, 2010 Buck rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s a line in Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary that comes back to me whenever I get trapped in a conversation with a political nutbar. Writing about some Soviet apparatchik that he’d butted heads with, Serge says, “I followed his argument with the blank uneasiness which one might feel in the presence of a logical lunatic.”

Noam Chomsky fills me with blank uneasiness. Now, the man’s no lunatic—let’s get that straight. He’s a gifted scientist and, in some ways, an admirable citizen. Bu
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Tariq Alferis
.نعوم تشومسكي ، أستاذ النقد السياسي والتحليل السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية، في كتاب الدولة الفاشلة يستمر تشومسكي في الحديث عن الهيمنة أو البقاء، قوة أمريكا الإمبريالية، في نشر السلام والديمقراطية بطريقة ساخرة، أطروحته هنا عن الولايات المتحدة بصفة عامة، ويتحدث في بعض الفصول عن معايير "الدول الفاشلة"، يحدد تشومسكي الدول الفاشلة أولئك الذين لايستطيعون أو لايرغبون في حماية مواطنيها من العنف ويعتبرون أنفسهم فوق القانون، كتاب مُهم لكي تفهم "إذاكُنت تفهم" أن أمريكا لن تنشر الديمقراطية في بلدك، ولن تقوم بح ...more
kenneth
Jun 03, 2014 kenneth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Noam Chomsky is one of the greatest scientists and men of letters in the world today; however his virulent critique of U.S. foreign and domestic policy ensure that his work is derided and undermined by the corporate media. Failed States is an engaging, relatively simple (for Chomsky), and lucid account of how the American government is acting as a negative force in the world today. Chomsky gives insight into how the government manipulates facts and polls to create public opinion. In America, the ...more
Marwa Atia
يتحدث الكاتب عن السياسة الأمريكية في كيفية استخدام وسائل الاعلام من أجل خدمة مصالحه السياسية و خداع الجمهور واستغلاله دون أن يلحظ الجمهور أنه قد تم استغلاله بالفعل .
عن المفاهيم المتعارف عليها و كيف يتم تغليفها و تبطينها لكي تظهر على أنها صحيحة و صادقة و ما هي في الحقيقة الا "كاذبة و خادمة الحكومة " .
عن القطيع "الجماهير" الذي يتم سوقها من خلال استغلال تعاطف هذه الجماهير لكي تقبل ما تريد الحكومة القيام به .
تناول الكتاب عدة مواضيع :
1- الانجازات الهائلة للبروباجندا : مفاهيم الديمقراطية .
2- ديمقراطي
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Donovan
Aug 01, 2007 Donovan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
One of the many dozens of books professor Chomsky has produced over several decades, in this book - as always - he points out how hypocritical the behavior of the US government is. It says one thing while doing another, 'democracy promotion' for example. While allegedly trying to install a democracy in Iraq, democracy is desperately needed at home. Chomsky makes this hypocrisy seem so obvious that it would be almost comical if it weren't so tragic.

Unfortunately Chomsky does seem to repeat himsel
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Amari
Feb 14, 2009 Amari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part: simply a random string of inflammatory, sarcastic statements. Not particularly well-crafted. However, it grew on me. Extremely informative, and compelling, even if (especially since?) it nags the thoughtful reader to check many things in other sources. A mind-boggling compendium of information, obnoxiously slanted. Part of me thinks that it's overdone if it causes me (of all people) to wonder if Chomsky is off his rocker with regard to more than a few things. In other words, that ...more
David Sarkies
Apr 18, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chomsky lovers
Recommended to David by: A friend from university
Shelves: politics
Twisting the idea of the failed state
22 July 2011

I have read a few books by Noam Chomsky, and despite him being a very accessible writer, and a profound intellectual, his books tend to all be on the same theme and seem to cover the same ground. In a way, I like to get an idea of Chomsky's views on recent events, and while his later books may give some insight, unfortunately you tend to have to go over a lot of old ground to get to the new ideas. Further, his take on the new events tend to simpl
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blakeR
Though dry, this is a good and fairly updated overview of most of Chomsky's political positions. He continues to be vital, which is my favorite word for him. I would recommend starting with his interviews or conversations, however, as they're more accessible and engaging. The most accessible and comprehensive intro to Chomsky, out of the four books I've read, is the very lives-up-to-its-name Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky.

What was most valuable about this book is that it gives Ch
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Anshu Raj Singh
Feb 20, 2014 Anshu Raj Singh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Propaganda is to democracy
what violence is to autocracy.

Failed States starts with an extraordinary appeal issued to the people of the world, by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in July,1955. According to them the choice facing the world is "stark and dreadful and inescapable: shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war".

Chomsky says that the world has not only not renounced war, but the world's hegemonic power accords itself the right to wage war at will, under a
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Ewan
Aug 31, 2009 Ewan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an intense book. Masses of evidence condensed down into as close to the truth as we're ever going to get - and it's a depressing truth.

I found the whole book stimulating to read, but it was the 6th chapter, "Democracy Promotion at Home" (which strayed from the main focus of the book - American foreign policy), that I found most interesting.

In it, Chomsky basically predicts the current financial meltdown in the US and the reasons for it. He then leads on from this into the healthcare debat
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Tariq Mahmood
When history is crafted in the service of power, evidence and rationality are irrelevant.

Hazrat Chomsky is very popular with Pakistani literati and for good reason, as he presents the other aspects of the momentous world events which together makes the story somewhat complete.
Consider the very obvious and rational argument, the top nation of the world, número uno country of the world, the mighty USA, misbehaving, openly flaunting, imperiously rejecting all international laws it expects rogue and
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Eric Gulliver
If there were any one thing that Noam Chomsky should be revered for, it would have to be his indelible use of evidence. In his latest authored work entitled Failed States, Chomsky meticulously sifts through use of the rhetoric of principles and compares to its actual practice, presenting a chilling exposition of, “The (American) Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.”1 Throughout the book, Chomsky focuses his attention on the deterioration of domestic democracy in the United States and ela ...more
Carmen Lamm
May 16, 2008 Carmen Lamm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chomsky boggles my mind. I love him and hate him for making my brain ache, but it's like a good workout afterwards, and the adrenaline starts to run throughout your brain connecting neurons. This book in particular really points out without reasonable doubt, how and why the US is a failed state.

This book helps you understand the intricate steps that the US takes to really fuck things over for ourselves and other countries. Chomsky uncovers the deception and unravels the steps in which the US ta
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Fiachna
Sep 19, 2008 Fiachna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a mind their not afraid to use
Noam Chomsky, reviled by the red-neck right is certainly a breath of fresh air to the political debate. Though to be honest, he's hardly fresh, having been around for so long.
He research's methodically and puts forth such a cohesive and logical debate that only the most narrow minded and rabid of patriots could fail to be swayed by his arguments.
He does what a true "Patriot" should do and examines the practices of those in power rather than blindly following and accepting unquestioningly.
He poin
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illias
May 05, 2015 illias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
New life goal unlocked: Read Everything professor Chomsky has written
Chris Brimmer
Diatribe by a pompus windbag in love with his own intellect. Condesending to the reader, Chomsky wants you to know that he is wiser and smarter than you are and in an annoying suck tooth way is usually right. His points always seem overblown, hyper-stated and always imply evil intent of those he accuses breathlessly. Yet the most maddening thing about this book is that its right all the way down the line, proving once again that just because you're an asshole doesn't mean you're wrong.
Ahmad Hossam
Dec 22, 2015 Ahmad Hossam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, favourites
لا تحلموا بعالم سعيد
فخلف كل قيصر يموت
قيصر جديد

ذلك الشعور الطاغي بالإحباط والقهر الذي ينتابك بعد الفراغ من أحد كتب تشومسكي، المعرفة التي كشفت لك عن وجه العالم القبيح، والشعور باللاجدوى، لاجدوى الثورات ولاجدوى الكفاح لأجل الكرامة الإنسانية في وجود دولة مثل الولايات المتحدة. إنها الدولة الأكثر شرًا وطغيانًا في تاريخ البشرية بلا أي استثناء (ولو كان هتلر!)، يكفيك معرفة أن غوبلز قد اقتبس نظام دعايته الجبار من الإعلانات الأمريكية، وأن هتلر لم يفعل شيئًا سوى تطوير آليات الإبادة والتعقيم التي سبق أن استع
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Jessica Heyer
The author of Failed States, Noam Chomsky, is a well-known author of political books and has been known to make controversial points backed with a slew of facts. This is also the case in Failed States, where he makes the argument that the U.S. has been making undemocratic, borderline treasonous actions in the name of national security. His timeline of these events ranges from the Cold War to modern day electronic spying, and the book is filled with references to events and people. Much of his a ...more
Daniel
Jun 27, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's noam chomsky bitch. get ready for hundreds of pages of articles being reviewed and countless journals being cited. Examines rhetoric versus policy and truisms as always. A lot of time spent on the Balkin wars which is nice since they are usually called the good humanitarian wars by statists dove interventionists. A lot of good memos reviewed, my personal favorite being the Blair files. Nicaragua, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq are probably the most discussed. The simulation scenarios of states ...more
miaaa
Jan 26, 2010 miaaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to miaaa by: Graeme Stephen
for once Graeme got a right book for me hehe

and Lams is right, reading this book might make me depressed because as Chomsky stated in the Afterword,

'One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: "They present solutions, but I don't like them." In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for th
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Owen
Scholarly but readable work which will keep you on your toes as the author (or should I say the inimitable Chomsky) expects the reader to follow closely and pay attention, a reasonable expectation given the amount of work he has put in. Essentially, it is an examination of why the United States of America qualifies as a failed state, and the lengthy argument, well supported by notes and an index, may perhaps best be summarized by referring to Chomsky's own summary in the Afterword:

«One commonly
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Manuel
Jun 06, 2010 Manuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comeza o libro cun leve pingalleo de feitos constatados que disturban ó lector, uns por coñecidos, outros por vagamente referenciados. Chomsky continúa aquí enfiando feitos ata desatar unha tormenta perfecta sobre a idea concebida, fabricada mediáticamente, do que en occidente entendemos por democracia e que enarbola un país que o autor fai constar a todas luces como pouco democrático, caótico e cunha población de costas ó seus gobernantes.

É realmente fascinante comprobar como Chomsky documenta
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Frank
Jan 22, 2016 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
In Failed States, Chomsky examines the notion of failed or rogue states and argues convincingly that the U.S. fits the definition of such a state.

Defining such states as those "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", Chomsky provides significant evidence in support of his argument, including the U.S.'s lawless military aggression, self-exemption from internationa
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rislachius
Jul 30, 2013 rislachius rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read Failed States for a school project on the ailments of the US democratic system. I was expecting a reasoned, level-headed argument. That's not what I read.

Most of the book is on controversial US foreign policy. I'm not well informed on recent history, and Chomsky's argument, that the US has for decades essentially skirted international law for its own benefit, wasn't presented in a way that for me was at all helpful.

His tone throughout is frustrated and at times (perhaps) arrogan
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بلال طه
أمريكا ذات نفسها طلعت دولة فاشلة ، من الخاتمة اللي في الاخر كل دول العالم الثالث بتتجمع مع بعض في تكتلات إقتصادية ثم سياسية في أمريكا اللاتينية ، الصين مع دول الجوار ، هم وعو حجم المشكلة الامريكية .
اللهم إلا العالم العربي اللي هو إيش بالذي حصل ما هيجمعو .
...
أنا كنت في فترة من الفترات بحترم أمريكا أنا بتقمع شعوب العالم لمصلحة شعبها وكنت بقول يا ريت نكون كده حتى بدل ما إحنا مقموعين بره و جوه مصر .
اللي إكتشفته أن أمريكا بتقمع العالم لمصلحة الرأسمالين و أصحاب الشركات الكبار و الشعب نفسه بيعاني من نس
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Scott Lupo
Dec 19, 2011 Scott Lupo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While Chomsky's book "Hegemony or Survival" was a fact filled, academic view on US foreign policy, "Failed States" takes those facts with the author's wit and sarcasm to whole new levels. Every American should read this book. I mean it. We have strong-armed and forced the countries of the world to bend to our capitalistic needs far too often to not have some consequences. US foreign policy is extremely troubling and unsustainable at current levels. Additionally, we have created enemies throughou ...more
Gordon
Nov 12, 2012 Gordon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
This book is important to understand if we are to see why we continue to invade countries and feel that we are exceptional. That our present president should be concerned that Romney agreed with most of his positions on foreign policy is obvious. His reasons for doing what he is doing is the neo-liberal playbook that only Chomsky has the intelligence and honesty to reveal. If you are in a hurry, read the beginning and final chapters of this book. Americans have to stop wondering why the world ha ...more
muhammad lafi
Aug 31, 2009 muhammad lafi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يسميها الفاشلة
بماذا؟
بالقدرة على تطبيق الديمقراطية، واعضاء الحرية
انها ولايات القمع حول العالم التي تسير مربوطة بالسلك الى اسيادها في واشنطن
تشمسكي يسرد لنا الكثير من الامثلة عن تلك الدول المتلخصة اساسا في الولايات المتحدة
أحداث تم التعتيم عليها تاريخيا
واكاذيب في غواتيمالا نيكاراجوا فيتنام العراق فلسطين .ولنحصي كل مكان وصلته الحضارة الامريكية
لاغم تحفظي على جوانب كثيرة الا انه كتاب مهم ومهم جدا
Andrew John Pixton
Feb 02, 2015 Andrew John Pixton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, activism
Chomsky is a brilliant man and while I agreed with most of what he said, it did feel like he simplified the opposing viewpoints in some places. It was very one-sided, but that's only fair and expected though I felt like he could've done more more justice to other views. Regardless, this is spot on work. This nation-state has a lot of problems and is failing in many ways the average populace doesn't recognize. The benefits of being the hegemon is being able to step on others without noticing it. ...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
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