I'll make an admission up front: until the recent brouhaha regarding an out-of-context quote by Professor Churchill, I had never even heard of the guy. That's not uncommon, as most of us in the academic world toil in relative obscurity and rarely know much about what other academicians are doing outside of our own narrow specialties. Suffice it to say, with the issue of academic freedom on the line I felt compelled to at least read the original essay that caused so much disdain among America's right-wingers and to follow that up with some reading of his more scholarly work. Hence, I chose to pick up "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" and find out for myself what all the fuss was about.
Having now read this book, I'm willing to give it a top rating. The essays are well-written and thoroughly documented, and the chronologies of US military interventions since the Declaration of Independence and of US double-standards and outright violations of UN resolutions since its inception are invaluable. Those features of the book give the lie to the commonly held myths that ours is a "peace loving nation" and a nation dedicated to "upholding laws". Historically, we've been neither, it pains me to say.
Reading this book will not make you feel good. It will likely leave the reader angry, frustrated, and/or depressed - and that is the point. If this book can convey to its readers even an inkling of the pain that has been inflicted upon both our own people and those in developing nations by our own government in our own names, then the author has done his job. The one hope we have as a society of averting a state of perpetual war is to increase the level of empathy that US citizens have towards their counterparts elsewhere. Alternative histories such as Churchill's (along with of course Chomsky and Zinn) are important precisely because they do invite readers to challenge their assumptions and to see our potentially great nation through others' eyes.