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The Face of Imperialism [Paperback]

Michael Parenti
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 July 2011
The relationship between US economic and military power is not often considered within mainstream commentary. Similarly the connection between US military interventions overseas and US domestic problems is rarely considered in any detail. In this brilliant new book, Michael Parenti reveals the true face of US imperialism. He documents how it promotes unjust policies across the globe including expropriation of natural resources, privatisation, debt burdens and suppression of democratic movements. He then demonstrates how this feeds into deteriorating living standards in the US itself, leading to increased poverty, decaying infrastructure and impending ecological disaster. The Face of Imperialism redefines empire and imperialism and connects the crisis in the US with its military escapades across the world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Paradigm (20 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594519188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594519185
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.4 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 510,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Parenti is an internationally known, award-winning author, scholar, and lecturer who addresses a wide variety of political and cultural subjects. Among his recent books are God and His Demons (2010), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), The Culture Struggle (2006), The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2003), and Democracy for the Few, 9th edition (2010).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant study of present-day imperialism 7 Nov 2011
This splendid book is a well-informed and well-written study of imperialism today.

Empires, like wars, are not made by accident. They are built on the denial of the democratic right of nations to self-determination. They are imposed and maintained by force and fraud, through a variety of economic, political, military and cultural institutions and arrangements.

Parenti points out empires depend on the countries they run: the poor countries in the world are not so much under-developed as over-exploited.

He notes an October 1970 cable to CIA operatives in Chile from Kissinger's `Track Two' group (released more than 30 years later) said, "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup ... We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [United States Government] and American hand be well hidden." This combination of violence and denial is all too typical of imperial behaviour and is a pattern repeated today.

The US state regularly denounces Cuba as a dictatorship, but Parenti observes that Fidel Castro promised to open Cuba's press to counter-revolutionaries when the US state allowed American communists regular exposure in the USA's major media.

And even the US Interests Section had to admit that Cuba's `human rights groups' "lack demonstrable evidence of persecution ... Almost none show proof of house searches, interrogations, detention, or arrest."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% needed to truly understand the world 24 Sep 2011
It's a summary, with simplicity itself at the heart of the matter, which uses sources you may find hard to credit as being used to draw the conclusions, but it is powerful and compelling and instructive and accurate (I checked)

Myths die in these pages... and happily so.

Wealth and prosperity do not come from the capitalist free market system - - - surprise, surprise!

Read it, weep and then celebrate that you are now a wiser and more eye-opened individual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the real face of imperialism 23 Dec 2012
In his comments on Rudyard Kipling's writings, George Orwell's notes perspicaciously that the defender of the British Empire didn't understand it, simply because he didn't see that `an empire is primarily a money-making concern'. Of course, Michael Parenti doesn't make the same crucial mistake in this pamphlet.

For Michael Parenti, imperialism is not only a question of power and dominance, but, more importantly, of real material interests, and, more precisely, of transnational investments and capital accumulation. It is a process whereby the dominant investment interests (capitalists) of one country use their political, military, economic and financial clout to grab land, the labor of the population, capital, natural resources, commerce and markets of less powerful countries.
Imperialism knows only two types of nations: satellites (vassals) and enemies.

Free trade, globalization, the media
Major means to secure and extend imperial dominant interests are free trade and globalization. Free trade is devised to leave the world's economic and environmental fate to the mercy of bankers and transnational corporations. Globalization, which promotes free trade, is a logical emanation of imperialism. It is a victory of the imperial international financial and commercial interests on local producers and merchants. Free trade and globalization constitute also a direct attack on the democratic sovereignty of independent nations and their right to social wage settings. For Michael Parenti, free trade agreements (NAFTA, WTO) are nothing less than a global hold-up committed by large transnational companies.
Another important issue is the reporting by the `mass' media.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parenti Pulls the Mask off the Face of Imperialism 25 May 2011
By Roberta Takahashi - Published on Amazon.com
Michael Parenti does it again. He takes a complex and vital subject and presents it to us with clarity and insight. He writes clearly and engagingly. He shows how U.S. foreign policy is neither inept nor confused. U.S. imperial policy is consistent and successful in serving the interests of the rich and powerful, in keeping the world safe for the transnational corporations, in making sure that most of the world remains weak, poor, compliant, so that the plutocracy remains strong, rich, and dominant.

Parenti always goes that extra step. He doesn't backpedal or say less than he sees. He doesn't worry about keeping close to the "respectable opinions" handed out by the media and the White House.

After reading this book, we come away knowing much more about the world and much more about what the U.S. empire really is doing to us and everyone else. We come to understand why U.S. leaders (be they Democrats or Republicans) support certain kinds of dictators and "democracies" while opposing other kinds. I find this book very handy in helping me understand what is happening in the Arab world.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Imperialism exposed 20 May 2011
By Angel Wings - Published on Amazon.com
An easy read yet typical of Dr. Parenti's writing full of important facts, the Face of Imperialism is a brilliant exegesis of America's imperialistic policies vis a vis many countries around the world, including Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, and other important sites. In his usual tempered and carefully crafted style, including a bit of his usual dry wit, he helps the reader to understand many current issues which are not usually noticed in mainstream media, or if they are , with very little instructive or deep analysis. Extremely important to any student of international affairs or even just those who are curious about seemingly "inexplicable" responses of so many countries to US policy. Most importantly, Dr. Parenti offers the facts that are so desperately missing in most political writing and even in books--uncovering a wealth of information that helps the reader understand better the foreign policy of this unprecedented imperialistic power in the history of the world. Brief but a powerhouse of information.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are all affected by Imperialism. This book will help you understand how. 7 Jun 2011
By Robert Campus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is another wonderful exercise in rational thinking by Michael Parenti. The Imperialism he writes about is NOT the old fashioned type, where a country is conquered and plundered, then becomes a satellite of the conquering nation. This is the Imperialism that governments practice by supporting immoral regimes that favor the business interests of their country, be it oil. bananas, or automobiles. Our country's business interests become more important than our ideals. America (and other countries) have supported dictatorships and murderous regimes that are friendly to businesses and investors. Many of us have been distraught by our governments past immoral choices. (Pinochet, anybody?)

Mr. Parenti does extensive research and writes clearly and incisively. You may occasionally disagree with him, but his writing will open your mind to seeing the issues in a fresh way. We all need to question our long held beliefs, and Mr. Parenti is excellent at making us delve into and question them.

This book is a fast and insightful read for all of you who are interested in the political and the moral ramifications of our government's interaction with countries of our world.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another incisive and informational book from Parenti 26 July 2011
By Adrian S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is very incisive and covers some of the issues of American foreign policy, especially those that the media rarely covers. If you have read a lot of Parenti before this it may be a little repetitive but it provides updates and speaks to the fact that Obama's foreign and domestic policy has been a whole lot of more of the same. If you have not read any Parenti, this is a quick read and a good start, although Contrary Notions is probably more thorough.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves Rapid and Wide Dissemination 22 Nov 2011
By Mark Straka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I will be brief. At this point, there are five other five-star reviews with which I entirely agree. I only wish to add that this is a book that, for its concision and accuracy regarding matters of vital importance to citizens of the world, deserves to be translated into as many languages, and to be disseminated and read, by as many as possible as soon as possible. The American empire has become a juggernaut of planetary coercion and brutality. If it is ever to be contained, people must be able first and foremost to see and think their way through the torrents, the walls, of American propaganda and mythology, and this book cuts away the mortar of those walls. Buy several copies and give them as gifts.
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