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Perilous Power:The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky , Gilbert Achcar
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Mar 2008

The volatile Middle East is a site of vast resources, profound passions, frequent crises, and long-standing conflicts, as well as a major source of international tensions and a key site of direct US intervention.

Two of the most astute analysts of this part of the world are Noam Chomsky, the pre-eminent critic of US foreign policy, and Gilbert Achcar, a leading specialist of the Middle East who lived in that region for many years. In their new book, Chomsky and Achcar bring a keen understanding of the internal dynamics of the Middle East and of the role of the United States, taking up all the key questions of interest to concerned citizens, including such topics as terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracies, oil, democracy and anti-Arab racism, as well as the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the sources of US foreign policy.

Timely, erudite and incisive, Perilous Power provides the best readable introduction for all who wish to understand the complex issues related to the Middle East from a perspective dedicated to peace and justice.

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Perilous Power:The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice + Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians + How the World Works
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141029722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141029726
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Noam Chomsky was recently named the world’s number one public intellectual in a poll by Prospect magazine. He is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival, Imperial Ambitions and Failed States, all of which are published by Hamish Hamilton and Penguin. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, and is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT.

Gilbert Achcar lived for many years in Lebanon and now teaches politics and international relations at the University of Paris. He is a frequent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and is the author of several books on contemporary politics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful ideas to reduce the dangers of wars 1 Jun 2007
This fascinating book records Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar's talks in January 2006. They are astoundingly well-informed and full of good ideas for reducing the dangers of war. They discuss terrorism, fundamentalism (especially in Saudi Arabia), the sources of US Middle Eastern policy (particularly oil), the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Achcar points out that the Bush-Blair claim that they must now stay in Iraq because, having invaded, `we have the responsibility', is like the vile rule in some societies that a man who rapes an unmarried woman must marry her. They cite the US military commander in Iraq who admits that the presence of US troops `fuels the insurgency'. They note that most people in Baghdad believe that the USA's chief aim is to `rob Iraq's oil' and they note that most Americans think that the USA should get out of Iraq.

Chomsky and Achcar point out that the EU gives the Israeli state economic privileges and they suggest that the EU should desist until Israel stops building new illegal settlements and the illegal Separation Wall. They agree that an academic boycott of Israel is a bad idea, but worse, it is a divisive diversion from academic unions' main job, to defend their members' wages and conditions.

Chomsky observes that in October 2003, Iran suspended its nuclear enrichment programme in order to reach a general agreement. The EU said that it would provide `firm commitments on security issues', but it reneged when the USA refused to join the talks. In January 2006, Iran offered to suspend its nuclear programme again; the EU rejected this offer too.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing as always 21 April 2007
It is a stunning book as always filled with Chomsky's subtle humour. It's interesting when Achar and Chomsky get into arguments, achar gives these long winded rebuttles, but chomsky shoots him down with single liners. I also found Chomsky's input to be far more interesting than Achar's
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The detail and insights into the political dynamics of imperialism in the middle east in this book is fantastic. These guys really understand what is going on and the method of transcribing conversations over a three day period make it very easy to read. Chomsky has a mind like a scappel. How he remembers so much detail is just totally impressive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everybody should read it very good indeed
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5.0 out of 5 stars the danger of power by hegemony 12 April 2014
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prof chomsky, his one of the most effective and critical person on the american policy in today's world of politics.

haven't finish reading this book yet.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explanation at last. 11 July 2008
I've often found myself wondering why the USA is so involved with Israel and Saudi Arabia, why haven't we managed to get peace between Israel and Palestine and why do we hate Iran?

This book provides the answers to those questions in a succinct and easy to follow manner. It's a shame that discourse on these subjects is so hard to find in the main stream media. Would Americans be so shocked to find the USA has a self interested foreign policy rather than a moral one?
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