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Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Hardcover – 1 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd; 1st Edition edition (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241143233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241143230
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, from American Power and the New Mandarins in the 1960s to Hegemony or Survival in 2003 and Imperial Ambitions in 2005. 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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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By DJ Quimby on 29 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
When trying to sum up 'Failed States', as with other books by Noam Chomsky, the words that spring to mind are 'thought provoking'. In this latest work professor Chomsky argues that America, whilst commonly accusing other nations of being failed states, can be fairly judged to be a failed state itself, or at least share some of the qualities that define a failed state. He bases this argument on America's demonstrable inability or unwillingness to protect its citizens from violence and possible destruction and its tendency to consider itself beyond domestic and international law. He also argues that America suffers from a 'democratic deficit' which is another indicator of a failed state. Each of these arguments, along with others, are discussed in detail and presented with Chomsky's usual clarity.

My early fears that Failed States would contain little that hadn't already been discussed in the excellent Hegemony or Survival were proven false as the book went on to cover fresh ground, including 'just war theory', an up to date analysis of the invasion of Iraq and the present chaotic situation, and possible future developments in the middle east and south America. Chomsky does discuss certain principles which will be familiar to those who have read him before, and which are central to his, and surely any right thinking persons, beliefs such as the principle of universality. This is understandable as keeping such principles in mind is important when considering the issues which the book discusses.

Professor Chomsky polarizes opinion like few others and there is a tendency for people to either dismiss him and his views entirely or to consider his every word and opinion to be the unequivocal truth.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE on 7 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Failed States is Professor Noam Chomsky's latest state of the nation address, a critical snapshot of where the United States is right now.

The approach he takes is that 'Failed States' is a phrase used within the U.S. establishment to justify certain exercises of power, from financially supporting opponents of failed states, to regime change and invasion. 'Failed states', like 'rogue states' and 'states of concern' before it, is a vague term, perhaps deliberately so but Chomsky identifies some defining features of a failed state, among them, a failure to adequately protect its citizens from terrorism, a failure to provide reasonable health care for all, regardless of an ability to pay, a tendency to break international law and act regardless of treaties and conventions, a lack of representative democracy in its political processes.

Chomsky argues that a fundamental moral truism is that an individual or a country should judge oneself by the same standards that you apply to others, if not to a higher standard if you are completetly honest with yourself. Therefore, the United States should be examined on the basis of the criteria briefly laid out above. Chomsky undertakes this task and finds that the U.S. is sorely lacking in many crucial respects and indeed shares many of the key aspects of countries that are currently demonised by those who stalk the corridors of power.

As is probably familiar to readers of Chomsky, I approached this book with a little caution, fearing that Chomsky was simply going to rehash many of his familiar arguments and cases through this new prism; I was pleased to find that, whilst there is obviously some overlap with previous texts, there is a great deal of fascinating contemporary material in this highly detailed book.
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By tariqmuda on 22 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 terrorist nations of the world to follow. Trouble is, USA and its foreign policies are the main reason why countries like North Korea and Iran are in their current state, as every country in the world will consciously or subconsciously follow the leader, copying its every move and behaviours. Unfortunately for the world, USA will not change, why should it? Why change a strategy which has got it at the top slot. All the world has to do now is wait for an able contender for the throne. In the meantime writers like Chomsky will have a field day arguing to their lefty brothers. The book makes completing reading though.

Check for yourself.....
'International court jurisdiction has proven inappropriate for the United States.' Condoleeza Rice 2005.

International law and court judgments are fine, but only when they come out the right way. Anything else is inappropriate for the United States.

Why are the US nuclear facilities not open to IAEA like Iraq and Iran?

The US has the right to attack any country that it thinks could attack it first.

The logic of the annexation of Texas was essentially attributed to Saddam Hussain when he conquered Kuwait.
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