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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"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: 09/01/2004
Series: American Empire Project Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 226,726
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 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He hates the west, and that poisons his judgement
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
luvdancr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
while Chomsky tends to ramble about all that he is knowledgeable about, I found that this book really had a wealth of thought provoking ideas, but were sometimes lost in the words. I get a little bored reading it at times, but it's well worth the read.
enemus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Currently reading... will post review soon...
beeaz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great read, contemporary insight from one of the most prolific thinkers of our times and a stern warning about the probable outcomes of emerging patterns in geo-politics
Bookalicious on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've always been one to question Noam Chomsky's positions on issues, and at times have even felt his proclivity for citing himself in support of an argument to be a bit questionable from a scholarly perspective. But that being said, this is an excellent read. Despite what one may think of this author's point of view there is much to be considered within this book. Chomsky supports his arguments and delivers them in a concise way that puts into context so much of recent histories worst attrocities. I recomend this book highly for any one who is ready to see what has been well hidden by a very tight knit group of commercial interests and elitists who do not have the needs of humanity at heart.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great book and a must read, especially in this particular global situation. Noam Chomsky tells it like it is and you don't have to agree with it but you have to admit that he does back up what he is saying with research and facts. I personally agree with most of what he says but even if you aren't particularly a fan of his, you should still read this book because of what he has to say. It's interesting and important.
bloom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Noam Chomsky provides yet another sweeping political indictment of the United States, and this time he places the human species entire as potential victims of far-right elite power. This volume is extraordinarily broad and far-reaching. Chomsky discusses the Bush doctrine, Iraq, the Middle East, Globalization, the Cold War, and Nuclear proliferation to name justa few. His scholarship is praiseworthy, although he continues to overstretch himself. On the issue of the FRY, Chomsky continues to make false assumptions about the appropriate response to Serbian aggression. He is not an expert on this issue, and relies almost entirely on leftist publications, though his section on Israel-Palestine is evidence of his continued mastery of the topic.A few points to raise: Chomsky occasionally applies passing references to well established systems of thinking without quoting directly. For example, in discussing Clinton's unilateral bombing of the al-Shifa plant in Sudan in 1998, he refers to "the Hegelian doctrine that Africans are `mere things', whose lives have `no value.'" (pg. 207). No direct reference to Hegel is provided. Additionally Chomsky claims on page 100 that "the figure of $17 billion is the amount that Iraq has paid to people and companies [...]", without a citation. Chomsky also quotes Paul Wolfowitz to the fact that he was "praising the monstrous Suharto and supporting the brutal and corrupt Marcos" (pg. 114), without proper citation. One last scholarly issue, on page 233, Chomsky writes that "Washington had argued that `access to American bio-defense installations' might reveal military secrets" but he refers to the Judith Miller in the footnote (see #35 pg. 266), who later of course turned out to be a rubbish journalist.Never the less, Chomsky's belief that the forces of U.S. power are a threat to the survival of the human race are legitimate and worth taking seriously. His knowledge of politics is undeniably intimidating, yet I disagree with his incessant employment of the term "truism" (see esp. chapter 8 `Terrorism and Justice, pgs. 187- 216), there are no "truisms" in human affairs. No matter how scrupulously one arranges facts, facts are all they remain, not "truisms." Even the most reputable journalists, scholars, and human rights organizations are incapable of reporting the facts truthfully and correctly.
urhockey22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year 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.