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108 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torch-bearer for investigative journalism and human rights
One of the great tragedies of recent times is the death of quality journalism; so much of the press is given over to hype, scandal, trivia, or spin, so much of the press is owned and controlled by so few politically powerful magnates, there appears little room for investigative reporting or thorough analysis. There are a few, inspiring exceptions.
John Pilger has...
Published on 23 Dec 2004 by Budge Burgess

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24 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Angry but with chucks of ignorance.
Like everybody that has reviewed this book, I initially found it a mind opener. I took the assertions stated in the book and referenced as real FACT (I did not check the references though, i just assumed them to be credible initially) until I got to page 142 when it started to talk about the Kosovo war. I have quite allot of knowledge about that particular war both from...
Published 19 months ago by somerandomdude


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108 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torch-bearer for investigative journalism and human rights, 23 Dec 2004
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
One of the great tragedies of recent times is the death of quality journalism; so much of the press is given over to hype, scandal, trivia, or spin, so much of the press is owned and controlled by so few politically powerful magnates, there appears little room for investigative reporting or thorough analysis. There are a few, inspiring exceptions.
John Pilger has an incisive writing style, a sharp focus, and apparently endless energy. For years, now, he has been castigating our political and economic masters, exposing the abuses of power and uses of corruption which dominate international relations and internal politics. In his "New Rulers", Pilger shines his investigative light into areas the press is usually happy to abandon to darkness.
It's a well judged package - looking at the plight of the indigenous population in Australia, at ethnic conflict in East Timor, at Turkish abuses of Kurds, at Western abuses of Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the tensions of the Middle East. It's a world in which globalisation is not just a word, it's a world where globalisation means manipulation of silence - thousands of people will die today, tomorrow, and the next day because it is to the advantage of the West and the political status quo.
This is a timeless enquiry. The abuses Pilger exposes have not gone away. They will not go away until investigative journalism, or crusading journalism of Pilger's quality becomes the yardstick by which we judge our newspapers, magazines, television and radio coverage. Implicit in Pilger's analysis is the recognition that we, each of us, have to get up and make our voices heard. We have to demand greater press freedom, we have to demand better standards, and we have to take to the streets and ballot boxes and protest ... until people like Blair and Bush are forced to take note and not simply try to explain away the suffering of the world as a necessary toll in their war against 'terrorism'.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelation, 13 May 2003
By A Customer
Sadly, as you pass by the middle of this book, as your eyelids are pushed further and further open, as the last vain hope that this guy is just an extremist melts like smoke in the wind, the true gravity of his subject and argument forces you, the reader, to look rather seriously at your current perceptions of politics and world events. This is well researched material cutting straight to the bone on strategies driving western foreign policies, with personal experiences and a great writing style from this highly accredited journalist. Compelling.
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209 of 221 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely chilling., 25 Mar 2003
By A Customer
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Reading this book left me in a state of shock.
Like a lot of people, I always thought that 'we' were the good guys, and that our governments, while not whiter-than-white, were at least a fairly light grey. But the evil (there's no other word) perpetrated by our leaders, as described in this book, is of a type that I thought only existed in movies and the heads of conspiracy lunatics.
But Pilger outlines it, documented fact by documented fact.
I never cry, but I lost count of the times I wept as I read this book. For me, it's been a totally life-changing experience. The world I thought I knew has been turned totally upside down, and I'm left with the challenge of how to integrate this knowledge and DO something about it.
I'll end this review, because if I really start writing about the book, I won't know where to stop. But if you live in the Western World, you MUST read this book and discover what atrocities are being carried out in your name (and financed by your taxes). And it's a grave shock to find out that by purchasing products that are household names, you're helping to create a living hell for people who are already poorer than we can begin to imagine.
The book is very readable (and re-readable). I recommend it more highly than anything else I've read for years.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read, 21 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
Coming from a person that is well read on the Middle East, Asia, and other political issues across the, there is only one comment to share with potential readers. Read this book. Regardless of the reason you are interested in reading the book, it is truely one of the extremely rare books that I reccomend as a "Must Read". It opened my eyes to issues and matters that I was not aware off despite my extensive library. John Pilger's book compelled me to continue reading continuosly until i finished it in less than a day... it revolves around Indonesia, Iraq, Australia, and the failings of the international governing & humanotarian bodies such as UN, WHO and teh American influence on such puppet organizations. Must Read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener, 24 May 2011
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This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
I am still reading the first chapter and already I think that this is a book well worth reading. Regular as clock, we're "bombarded" with documentaries or films about the two world wars and how Hitler and his cronies were such a bunch of evil people (which they were!). However, there's little or nothing about world events which are a lot more recent and put Hitler's actions into prespective, unfortunately, he was one of many evil ones but we only seem to hear about him. Why don't we hear about other equally appalling world events again and again as a reminder? Because they happened in Asia or Africa, not in Europe or America, and therefore they don't matter, because the atrocities happened to "unpeople" (term used by the author). Also, because it was the very countries that hail themselves as the defenders of freedom and democracy against the nazies (and others since) that promoted and supported brutal regimes because it was convenient for economic and political reasons. This is an inconvenient truth, and a very sad one as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth., 20 Mar 2010
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This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
Illusions can die hard. Mine were gone by the time I'd read this book - in part thanks to the documentaries Pilger did on these same issues. I'd expected the book to be dry, that the documentaries would be a hard act to follow. I was very wrong. Between the book and the documentaries, I'd recommend the book - though either is absolutely brilliant.

Others have covered the subject matter quite well, so there's no point in my rehashing it. The main thing to know is that what Pilger has uncovered is shocking and horrifying. Be prepared to acknowledge that your view of the world was far from reality - even if you'd thought you were a progressive and aware of what first world nations have done and are doing.

This is THE book to tell people to read if they want to believe that their country (US, UK, any other first-world nation) is a good guy, that their actions are based on doing what's right for people around the world.

Just tell them to read this book, and tell 'em that they have no idea what they're saying until they have. That goes for conservatives and liberals. If the liberals and progressives can still say that supporting their party (Democrat, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat) makes sense, then you know they haven't actually read it.
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81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Name of Freedom, 2 Feb 2003
By 
SW Farnham (preston, lancashire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I first heard about John Pilger in 1993, the book I was recommended was entitled Heroes, a trans global account of the struggles of ordinary working people in the face of economic and political oppression. Since then the size of the subject matter Pilger tackles has grown commensurate with his profile. Times have changed considerably since I first heard of Pilger; these days a globalised (many argue an Americanised) culture preaches individualism and consumption from every advertising hoarding, TV screen and computer monitor. The net result is that today's youth increasingly find their individuality in conformity, whether it is in apparel or opinion. In such times writers such as John Pilger play an increasingly important role. In his most recent book The New Rulers Of The World (NRW) Pilger lifts the lid on the illusion of globalisation.
NRW is a collection of four essays researched and written by Pilger; the first two The Model Pupil [of globalisation] and Paying The Price are based on Pilger's documentaries in Indonesia and Iraq respectively. The Model Pupil traces the dubious involvement of western business and government in post-Sukarno Indonesia to the present day. Paying The Price deals with the effects of post gulf war sanctions on the people of Iraq. The Great Game is the main essay and approaches the rocky territory of America's quest for geo-political and economic control of the globe, in particular southern Asia and Eurasia. The final essay The Chosen Ones sees Pilger return to his native Australia to deal with the thorny issue of the rights of the aboriginal peoples.
The essays encapsulate the experiences of individuals whose sufferings have been caused by the (not so) invisible hand of economics and global power play, if the two are separable from each other. In The Model Pupil we are taken on a tour of the export processing zones that surround Jakarta; here we encounter what Pilger refers to as the Hobbesian working and living conditions of globalisation's un-people who make the products of Nike and Gap; they don't earn enough in a month to buy the laces of the trainers that they make. Pilger juxtaposes this with a visit to the Shangri la hotel in Jakarta (construction paid for by a $86 million World Bank loan) where he attends a wedding reception costing $120,000. In attendance are the 'cronies' of the deposed president Suharto and World Bank officials. Pilger points out that the World Bank's raison d'etre in Indonesia is that of 'poverty reduction' and 'reaching out to the poor'. Shortly after the wedding most of the hotel workers were fired for striking for a living wage. If it wasn't so tragic it would be laughable, and this is what Pilger does so well in highlighting the grotesque anomalies of neo-liberal economics gone mad in the hands of a powerful few.
These anomalies are perhaps best highlighted in Paying The Price. In Iraq it is children who have borne the brunt of sanctions instituted by the UN in an attempt to destabilize the Iraqi regime. Pilger quotes Madeleine Albright in a TV interview in 1996; when asked if the reported figure of half a million Iraqi infant deaths was a price worth paying for sanctions, she replied 'I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it.' This statement repeatedly rings in the readers head like a funeral bell as Pilger personally charts the travails of doctors struggling to cope with a wave of infant cancers that Pilger is perhaps a little too quick too blame on the use of depleted uranium munitions during the Gulf war. One thing that is for sure is that the wrong people are suffering through sanctions. Denis Halliday, former UN coordinator for humanitarian relief in Iraq, accompanies Pilger on his journey through Iraq. Halliday makes the observation that the UN charter and declaration of human rights are flouted as war is effectively waged on the children of Iraq, with 'results that you do not expect to see in a war under the Geneva convention.' The credibility of Pilger's work is often enhanced by the strength of such contacts and eyewitness accounts, though at times Pilger should be more careful in his use of these. Later in Paying The Price Pilger uses third hand eyewitness evidence to back up a claims made by an unnamed former Iraqi rebel leader. In 1991 as the Gulf war ended he makes a claim that forces loyal to Saddam Hussein poured kerosene from helicopters onto him and his troops. He goes onto claim that it was then set alight by tracer fire as US planes circled overhead taking photographs. These are startling observations from a man on the ground that is about to be burnt alive. Certainly the plausibility of such an act is not beyond doubt, especially after one has read the third essay The Great Game.
The Great Game is essentially a documentation of how the United States has used its government, military and the institutions of the Bretton Woods agreement to perpetuate living space for the US dollar. From the days when Vietnam was still Indochina to the bombing of Afghanistan in October 2001, Pilger demonstrates how the US has systematically avoided peace and opted for war, to keep it's own economy ticking over. This is cleverly done as Pilger contrasts his own first hand experiences of US bombing campaigns in Vietnam with those in 'modern' day Afghanistan. The irony that it is carried out by the very same B-52's is not lost on the reader, as the suffering of innocents is lost in a world of Orwellian newspeak and doublethink. The Great Game is littered with eye opening facts and figures: 20% of humanity controls 80% of the world's wealth. The US foreign aid bill (2000) for the poorest countries totalled less then the cost of a B-52 bomber. UK overseas aid minister Clare Short's promise of providing clean water to third world countries was conditional on the privatisation of their water supplies; or that during the 1989 US incursion into Panama to 'arrest' General Noriega (former friend of George Bush Snr in his CIA days) upwards of 8000 civilians were killed by us troops. It is a string of stomach churning evidence such as this that continually confronts the reader. The natural conclusion is that the oilmen and women incumbent in the Whitehouse are acting on behalf of US oil giants in order to secure the world's energy supplies. Most notably in Afghanistan, which now looks set to have, an oil pipeline built across it from the Caspian to the deep-water ports of Pakistan. No stone is left unturned in The Great Game, whatever your political viewpoint, one cannot but admire the startling array of evidence amassed and worked into a wonderfully synthesised polemic on the post 9/11 new imperialism and neo-McCarthyism that appears to be on the ascendancy.
The Chosen Ones sees Pilger return to his homeland, to deal with the injustices suffered by Australia's aboriginal population. This essay doesn't really fit in with the subject matter of the previous three, though it's content is no less important, it is slightly out of kilter with the rest of the book. It seems its inclusion may well be Pilger's way of presenting an issue that is close to his heart to as wide an audience as possible. The chosen ones demonstrates the paradoxes of Australian identity, a fusion of white and aboriginal black promoted at the 2000 Olympics; and the reality of politically endorsed racial oppression leading to world record levels of illness and disease. The Chosen Ones is a well-deserved self-indulgence for Pilger, bearing in mind the enormity of the previous works.
Pilger is a true proponent journalism, compiling evidence and getting behind the rhetoric of government and supra national organisations. NRW is a natural successor to Naomi Klein's no logo in a post 9/11 world. Pilger's writing is engaging as it moves through the corridors of power and transcends time and place, to vividly illustrate how the abuse of power and information can lead to suffering. As such, NRW forces us to re-evaluate our own identities whether it be national or individual, our consumer choices directly affect the lives of others. This is the beauty of NRW that it offers no prescriptive advice, but simply prompts one to cogitate on the evidence presented and then make informed choices. Pilger does well to keep his work from becoming a diatribe although he is prone to occasional Marxist outbursts. In calling governments 'crypto-fascist regimes' or referring to leaders as 'murderers' or inferring that the International Olympic Committee is inherently fascist Pilger lowers his own tone, but this is also evidence of his retention of youthful idealism. John Pilger will never be Noam Chomsky, but with a dearth of current tangible work from Chomsky NRW plays a vital role and does it well. NRW is a must read for anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of what is being done in the far (and not so far) flung corners of the world, in the name of 'freedom' and 'civilisation'.
Simon W Farnham
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Excellence, 27 Oct 2003
This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
Currently an International Relations student at the london School of Economics, this is the first book from John Pilger i have read, and boy, have i been missing out. He explores the sanctions that have crucified Iraq after the 1st Gulf War, and the the aftermath of the Afghanistan war, and the so called War on terrorism. He also looks at how the UK, under Blairs blind agreement to follow US foreign policy, was selling arms & courting the very "terrorists" that it now declares as a blight to democracy.
However, If you buy this book for no other reason, you must read the interview with James Rubin, as he squirms under the questioning from John Pilger about UN sanctions and the half a million people who died for "the good of the nation."
John pilger mixes facts with a relative unbiased attitude, that makes this book a superb read for young & old.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The New Rulers of the World, 12 May 2003
Pilger writes a convincing fact-filled book describing how the West (mostly the US and Canada) is exploiting the Lesser Developed Nations (LDNs) of the world. Not a shocking thesis, but Pilger approaches the topic with a wide-angle lens and narrows his viewpoint to relevant, first-person experiences.
The only problems I found with the book, which I do recommend, are that Pilger does not offer any alternative explanations for this exploitation nor does he offer any suggestions - things a responsible citizen of the world could do to better the situation.
Pilger does seem full of himself from time to time, and probably should be since he a very accomplished journalist, yet there were times I felt thankful that I had not met him at a cocktail party.
His last chapter, on Australia's obscene treatment of the Aborigines was more personal in nature, read more easily, and could have been a book on its own. Maybe that will be next?
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Breathtaking, 15 April 2003
This review is from: The New Rulers of the World (Paperback)
I do not say this lightly. This is the best book I have ever read.
Pilger continues to set his own journalistic standards for integrity with a sublime piece of work.
Divided into four essays, the book sets out to inform the reader of the world's ills as caused by globalisation and imperialism and it does this persuasively and intelligently.
A common thread of injustice, genocide and corruption knits three essays. Taking on the subjects of the widely unreported military coup in Indonesia, The topical UN sanctions on Iraq scandal, and the continuing injustice Australia's Aboriginal population are subjected to. The last of these close to the antipodean authors heart.
Pilger details the bloodshed and cruelty inflicted on the poor people of east Timor by the machine that is globalisation. Often graphic, never gratuitous, the account is one of heartbreak at the scale of the atrocities committed.
There is so much in this book that is directly related to current international affairs that it almost becomes a companion piece to news at ten.
The account of the effects twelve years of UN sanctions have had on the people of Iraq is compelling and shocking. Pilger relays eyewitness accounts of Turkish raids on Kurdish villages, soaring cancer rates from the effects of depleted uranium dropped by allied forces in the first Gulf War, and corruption and cover up in the UN. This only begins to scratch the surface of the truly horrifying story.
The penultimate report is a highly intelligent delve into the medias use of and influence by propaganda. Explaining with clarity, Pilger dismisses conspiracy theory whilst showing that the fear of journalists is such that there needs no conspiracy. He is one of the heroic exceptions.
Naom Chomsky says
"John Pilgers work has been a beacon of light in often dark times. The realities he has brought to light have been a revelation, over and over again, and his courage and insight a constant inspiration"
I couldn't put it better.
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The New Rulers of the World
The New Rulers of the World by John Pilger (Paperback - 20 Feb 2003)
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