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Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War Two [Paperback]

William Blum
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1995
Is the United States a force for democracy? From China in the 1940s to Guatemala today, William Blum presents a comprehensive study of American covert and overt interference, by one means or another, in the internal affairs of other countries. Each chapter of the book covers a year in which the author takes one particular country case and tells the story - and each case throws light on particular US tactics of intervention.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press,U.S. (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567510523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567510522
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,434,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

William Blum is one of the United States' leading non-mainstream experts on American foreign policy. He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first 'alternative' newspaper in the capital. Mr Blum has been a freelance journalist in the US, Europe and South America. His stay in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government's 'socialist experiment', and then its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing in various corners of the world. He is the author of 'Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II', and the controversial bestseller 'Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower'. He currently sends out a monthly Internet newsletter, the Anti-Empire Report.

Product Description


'Far and away the best book on the topic.' - Noam Chomsky 'A valuable reference for anyone interested in the conduct of US foreign policy.' - Choice 'I enjoyed it immensely.' - Gore Vidal 'The single most useful summary of CIA history.' - John Stockwell, former CIA officer and author ' Each chapter I read makes me more and more angry.' - Helen Caldicott 'A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope, important.' - Thomas Powers, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist 'A very valuable book. The research and organization are extremely impressive.' - A.J. Langguth, author and former 'New York Times' bureau chief --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

WILLIAM BLUM left the State Department in 1967, abandoning hopes of becoming a foreign service officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first 'alternative' newspaper in the US capital. As a freelance journalist, he worked in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government and its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup. He is the author of Rogue State (Zed Books, revised edition, 2001). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a correction to a previous review 19 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I already have this book and was quite worried when I read a review on this site claiming that Blum had claimed Tibetans welcomed the Chinese occupation. Luckily, while the chapter in question has some faults, it claims no such thing.
I checked the chapter on China and in fact only 2 pages - 25 and 26 refer to Tibet at all. No-where in them is any reference to Tibetans welcoming the invasion or occupation. It does say that and that Tibetan guerillas opposed 'Peking rule and/or the profoundsocial changes being instituted by the revolution (serfdom and slavery were, literally, still prevalent in Tibet'). This may give the wrong impression - since it could be interpreted to mean the Chinese occupation led to a fairer or freer society while the reverse is undoubtedly the case. While Chinese human rights abuses and killings should have been mentioned for balance I feel the book is not as unbalanced as the previous reviewer suggests.
As for charges that the book is unbalanced or favours Chinese Communism here is an excerpt (from pages 26-27 - so people can check it for themselves)
'The Chinese devoted a great deal of effort to publicising their claim that the United States ....had dropped large quantities of bacteria and bacteria-laden insects over China. It presented the testimony of about 38 captured American airmen...It should be noted that some of the American's statements were so full of communist rhetoric...that their personal authorship of them must be seriously questioned. Moreover it was later learned that most of the airmen had only confessed after being subjected to physical abuse'
This seems fairly balanced to me (with the exception that in this context the euphemism 'physical abuse' should not be used in place of 'torture').
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stars and Stripes' red? For innocent BLOOD! 21 Feb 1999
By A Customer
I am an honors history major and studied US history and US foreign policy. I was aware of some mistakes by the US, such as giving Japanese occupiers of Korea power and then, Korean collaborators of the Japanese over regional people's committees; ignoring the gross corruption of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist regime during the 1945-1949 civil war; ignoring the blatantly unfair practices of the Shah of Iran prior to the 1979 revolution; meddling in Brazil's internal affairs in the mid-1960s. But after reading this book, all I can say is that I wish it had been part of my college material, for although I read many books, this would have enriched my education.
The United States remains a wonderful country full of opportunities for its citizens and for legal immigrants who obey the law and contribute to the nation's well being; its freedoms, natural beauties, and cultural advancement are not to be questioned. But as far as American integrity abroad... The United States IS NOT a force for democracy. It has continually labeled internal rebellions and legitimately elected officials "communists" whenever Washington disliked the ruler or disagreed with the country's independent and non-hostile foreign policy.
I regret to confess that I have lost respect for the government of the US, and that I must rank it with the hypocritical Japanese government in terms of honesty about its past--it has not only been communist dictatorships that lied and used propaganda to deceive its own people. American foreign policy has killed millions of innocent people, and it is their blood that colors the red square in the Stars and Stripes.
A must reading for all history lovers and for all who really want to know what this great country of ours is doing abroad.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Blum's work is written in an easy-to-understand style and will thoroughly shock anyone not familiar with United States escapades around the world since the end of World War II. Blum has done excellent research and discusses the incidents with a high degree of objectivity. Although he is highly critical of the United States during the Cold War, this is by no means a pro-Soviet book, for Blum condemns the actions of both superpowers in his work. Excellent reading--packed with information (the book has relatively small print so 400+ pages is a lot).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spreading Democracy 19 Aug 2009
A thoroughly good read and recommended for anyone studying history, politics, sociology etc. It certainly gives food for thought and prompts you ask some very searching questions, one being, hasn't the US learned anything from intervening in other countries affairs. Especially where they are not welcome by the majority of the population. The book is laid out in easy to read sections covering each country. If you are writing anything to do with a country then this is a good starting point to see how 'freely' it has developed.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redressing the balance 18 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This book is by no means a thorough investigation of world affairs nor an exercise in balanced reporting, the USA vs. 'Communism'.
It is however what it says it is, a detailed review of tactics used by the USA which have been forgotten or ommitted from general western history, which itself is slanted against other 'powers' or ideologies in order to create the idea that the allies are always 'the good guys' and can do no wrong.
This even in the face of copiuos evidence that the 'good guys' were in fact agent provocateurs and subversive, working with the aim of futhering Multi-national business and the commercial economy of the USA, Britain and its allies.
Good will, righteousness and press coverage can be shown as having served to engender this in our collective westernised society.
Hence any terrorism has to be based on Greed and Envy, instead of any nefarious actions on our behalf.
The wolrds view on Communism is both well documented and biassed. This book serves to redress the balance
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Jane Kirk
5.0 out of 5 stars Book you need to read
Very good and interesting book. I have bought it for my husband and he have read it during one week! I would recomend it to everyone who is interesting in politics.
Published 2 months ago by nadezhda
5.0 out of 5 stars Never ending story.
The book is well written and I see no flaws in places / names / numbers. A very convincing history lesson that focuses on the motivs. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Per Lorentzen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good service
The book was in good shape. No markings, no underlinings etc. So I would say good service. Only one minus, the postal expences are to high.
Published on 25 Jun 2012 by Wilhelm
3.0 out of 5 stars Mainly Latin America/ Africa
I was expecting more on Indian Sub-continent and to my amazement Mr Blum ejected CIA's cunning strategy towards Pakistan and India. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Hypocritical and very disturbing.
I bought this book not because it would tell me much new information (the information is already available from dozens of sources), but because it would bring this information... Read more
Published on 2 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars What schools don't tell ya in History class!!
Have you ever wondered or questioned our country's foreign policy? Then this shocking, factual book is definitely for you. I definitely recommend that you buy it. Read more
Published on 12 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Blum's chapters are short, well documented and eye opening.
I was in Baghdad during the first week of the air war (Jan 91) and the Chapter on the Gulf War is extrodinary in the way it covers salient points in about 20 pages. Read more
Published on 17 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading in every school
The best summary of post-WW2 history you'll ever read. This explains how people around the globe are kept in their place.
Published on 17 Feb 1999
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