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

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

by Noam Chomsky


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

"Reading Chomsky today is sobering and instructive . . . He is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet." -The New York Times Book Review

An immediate national bestseller, Hegemony or Survival demonstrates how, for more than half a century the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing-as in the Cuban missile crisis-to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this perilous moment and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky tracks the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of "full spectrum dominance" and vividly lays out how the most recent manifestations of the politics of global control-from unilateralism to the dismantling of international agreements to state terrorism-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our existence. Lucidly written, thoroughly documented, and featuring a new afterword by the author, Hegemony or Survival is a definitive statement from one of today's most influential thinkers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805076882
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: American Empire Project Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 463,558
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions and What We Say Goes. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt

We are entering a period of human history that may provide an answer to the question of whether there is intelligent life on earth, at least in the sense of "intelligence" that might be admired by a sensible extraterrestrial observer. The most hopeful prospect is that the question will not be answered: for any definitive response can only conclude that humans are a kind of "biological error," using their allotted 100,000 years—the life expectancy of a species—to destroy themselves and, in the process, much else. Humans have surely developed the capacity to do just that: our hypothetical extraterrestrial observer might argue that they have demonstrated that destructiveness throughout their history, and dramatically so in the past few hundred years—with an assault on biological diversity, on the environment that sustains life, and, with cold and calculated savagery, on each other as well.

Table of Contents

1.Priorities and Prospects1
2.Imperial Grand Strategy11
3.The New Era of Enlightenment51
4.Dangerous Times73
5.The Iraq Connection109
6.Dilemmas of Dominance145
7.Cauldron of Animosities157
8.Terrorism and Justice: Some Useful Truisms187
9.A Passing Nightmare?217

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Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He hates the west, and that poisons his judgement
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
urhockey22 on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Outstanding book. It is not a light read, but it is powerful and insightful.
fishingnook More than 1 year ago
Anonymous from 25 days ago: It's clear you hate reading or facts or logic or something sensible.
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Elephent-FishEyes More than 1 year ago
Remember the theatrics of Hugo Chavez on the platte form of United Nations advising Americans to read or to reread Noam Chomsky.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that Chomsky's analysis of the events of our time is an essential part of understanding our current political situation. Without information by people like him, the ruling class would have us believe that it opporates upon the highest of moral doctrines while vainquishing evil forces and whatever other rhetoric seems applicable at the time. Excellent work from a true patriot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Chomsky's book is suprisingly (or, perhaps not) thin on hard information. It contains his usual sweeping criticisms of US policy without any substantial factual foundation. He cites rumour as fact, makes statements such as 'as everyone knows' in lieu of solid footnoting and generally relies on his reputation rather than his reporting to bolster the arguments he presents. The book is alarmist which may account for it's popularity but there's nothing really there save a badly presented opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is truly an eye opener; it is evidence that there is some conscious left in this world. MG Allam
Guest More than 1 year ago
The basic theory of HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL is found in its subtitle that the United States has and has had (back to at least JFK and perhaps the end of WW II) a goal of America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project). Noam Chomsky uses specific examples from the past four decades to defend his argument that owning the world and militarily space have been the real objectives of American foreign and domestic policy. Chomsky also parallels the American global empire building to that of the eighteenth and nineteenth century British Empire where the sun never set until 1942 in North Africa. He insists the current administration is willing to risk human survival to prove they are right. He succinctly and intelligently supports his thesis by tracking the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of attaining 'full spectrum dominance' at any cost.

This tome is extremely well written and worth reading as the historical based logic is quite easy to follow and seems so valid that the spin is the USA is the freedom providers and anyone opposing America is a vicious totalitarian. Chomsky¿s belief that a global empire must fail like the British did, but in this NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical WMDs) age will lead to an orb- wasteland is not as reliable of a conclusion as its defense seems more of a supposition. Still this is an eye opener that will receive praise from the left, condemnation from the right, sadly ignored from the middle, and never reach the global unaligned masses more interested in surviving leaders who know what is best for everyone.

Harriet Klausner

StPeteBuzz More than 1 year ago
As a regular old American who has always been interested in politics, but never completely aligned with any political party, I've been amazed by certain statements I've heard from time to time from and about liberals. Lately I've been reading a large number of books considered to be the best from the most credible intellects. These books are considered to be the source in most political science and sociology degrees and advanced studies. I feel I'd glean a significant amount of enlightenment from these books, and I have. In my profession, we have normally looked to the Democrat Party for support of our unions and interests. Our unions and PAC's have always backed Democrat candidates for more than Republican candidates. At times the Democrat party has shown its appreciation with incredibly punishing actions. Until now I could not understand the almost general animosity the Democrat party displayed to America, our industries, and those of us who worked hard to succeed academically and professionally. After reading this book, their position is 100% understandable. The DNC does hate America and Americans. Chomsky attacks every American leader from JFK to G.W. Bush, and many from the founding of this country to the present. It is normally quite easy to follow as almost every problem on the face of the earth is caused by the American government, business, and people. I was really just amazed at the problems attributed to America. I have to say that Chomsky builds very viable cases for America causing all the earth's problems since taking over from the British. Think about it World War I, World War II, weather, natural catastrophes all America's fault. Having lived through most of this distorted history, I find it absolutely incredible that our academic geniuses take this stuff to not be dark comedy. In many instances we not only did not set up the problems but it would have been impossible for us to have any meaningful impact. Anyone who has worked with other governments in their countries understands they make the rules. Our government officials may take actions we may not like or understand but in other countries their officials not our officials control the sovereignty. To address all the inaccuracies in this book, would take a book. If you stop and think about it, I would think a prudent person would see the foolishness portrayed as incite, but more importantly you will understand why certain hard core "Socialist" and hard leftist hate "America", which includes you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
frightening, unnerving confirmation of all we may have suspected about the americas global policies. whichever party you support, however much you love or hate Bush, read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Noam Chomsky is standing atop our rooves shouting truths the whole world must hear, especially those in the US / North America who today are being subjected to a snow job of epic proportions and potentially terrifying consequences. This book is replete with details, an abundance of excellent sources, and such clarity it gets your adrenaline pumping! Chomsky is a nonpareil thinker and intellect who unabashedly speaks truth, aiding in creating a better world for all of us. WE must decide to care as much as he does and seek out and spread the truth in similar fashion: with tireless and dogged diligence, and always with compassion for all humanity. But in the meantime let us drink deeply of this refreshing and heady elixir of truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another great book by Noam Chomsky. He underscores America's Imperialistic tenets and how the United States is a global Hegemon, imposing 'democracy' via invading and occupying countries. If you love Chomsky this is a very good read, and suffice to say, very well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, clarity gets you nowhere in this business. Perhaps he should write some mathematical proofs. That would be an example of a lasting contribution.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This brilliant study is based, like all Chomsky¿s writings, on a vast range of sources, including Pentagon, CIA and White House statements. He uses these to detail how the US ruling class seeks to rule the world. It seeks `full spectrum dominance¿, weapons in space, greater powers of attack through `ballistic missile defence¿, and the break-up of all international treaties and agreements that might limit its ambitions. Chomsky argues that the US ruling class threatens an earthly wasteland. He explains that the Republican-Labour doctrine of preventive war justifies all aggressions: Japan at Pearl Harbour and Hitler attacking the Soviet Union also claimed `anticipatory self-defence¿. He points out that the US and British states constantly use the Security Council to flout UN Resolutions; their record numbers of vetoes prove them to be its worst non-compliers. Chomsky reminds us that the old British Empire proclaimed the right to `humanitarian intervention¿. Liberals like John Stuart Mill defended this, writing shameful apologetics for the imperial crimes of aggression against India and China, and for France¿s atrocities in Algeria, `exterminating the indigenous population¿, as its War Minister urged. The liberal David Lloyd George praised the British government¿s sabotage of Disarmament Conferences by `reserving the right to bomb niggers¿. Now Blair¿s adviser Robert Cooper writes, ¿the need ¿ for colonisation is as great as it ever was in the 19th century.¿ Chomsky notes that today¿s imperialists commit war crimes too: President Clinton flew Al Qa¿ida terrorists from Afghanistan to fight for the US side in Bosnia. Labour imperialists backed the Kosovo Liberation Army terrorists, even though Defence Minister George Robertson admitted, ¿the KLA was responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Serbian authorities had been.¿ The same forces drive empires past and present: John Maynard Keynes explained, ¿the democratic experiment in self-government was endangered by the threat of global financial market forces.¿ So now the European Union uses Eastern Europe to ¿hammer away at high wages and corporate taxes, short working hours, labor immobility, and luxurious social programmes¿, as the business press boasts. In sum, this extraordinarily well-informed survey shows how capitalism endangers us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a painful rhetorical rant, made worse in the audio version by the monotone machine gun delivery of Brian Jones. A better read is 'Bush At War' by Bob Woodward who digs deep and fleshes out his ideas. Michael Moore is also infinitely better at this kind of thing. Outrage and wicked sarcasm would definitely pick up this monotonous diatribe.