Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project)

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9780805074000: Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project)

From the world's foremost intellectual activist, an irrefutable analysis of America's pursuit of total domination and the catastrophic consequences that are sure to follow

The United States is in the process of staking out not just the globe but the last unarmed spot in our neighborhood-the heavens-as a militarized sphere of influence. Our earth and its skies are, for the Bush administration, the final frontiers of imperial control. In Hegemony or Survival , Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in, and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky dissects America's quest for global supremacy, tracking the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of policies intended to achieve "full spectrum dominance" at any cost. He lays out vividly how the various strands of policy-the militarization of space, the ballistic-missile defense program, unilateralism, the dismantling of international agreements, and the response to the Iraqi crisis-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our survival. In our era, he argues, empire is a recipe for an earthly wasteland.

Lucid, rigorous, and thoroughly documented, Hegemony or Survival promises to be Chomsky's most urgent and sweeping work in years, certain to spark widespread debate.

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Review:

Noam Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics. In this richly detailed criticism of American foreign policy, he seeks to redefine many of the terms commonly used in the ongoing American war on terrorism. Surveying U.S. actions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey, the Far East and elsewhere over the past half a century along with the modern American war in Iraq, Chomsky indicates that America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization. George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq drew worldwide criticism, in part because it seemed to present a new philosophy of pre-emptive war and an appearance of global empire building. But according to Chomsky, such has been the operating philosophy of American foreign policy for decades. Opponents of the Bush administration's tactics consistently point out how the American government supported Saddam Hussein for many years prior to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait (pictures of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand are easy to come by) as a means of pointing out how the United States is happy to fund despots when it's in American interests. But Chomsky, armed with extensive historical notation, takes this notion further, arguing how the repression of other nations' citizenry is, in fact, the very reason Americans support certain foreign leaders. The charges made throughout the book are severe, as are the dire consequences he posits if current trends are not reversed, and Chomsky is no more likely to make friends or gain supporters from the mainstream now than he's ever been. But Hegemony or Survival is relatively dispassionate. Instead of relying on camp or shock value or personal attacks as some of his contemporaries have done, Chomsky drives his well-supported points steadily forward in an earnest and highly readable style. --John Moe

About the Author:

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, from American Power and the New Mandarins in the 1960s to 9-11 in 2001. A professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

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