Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Paperback – 29 Mar 2007
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About the Author
Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1928. He is the bestselling author of over 100 influential political books, including Hegemony or Survival, Imperial Ambitions, Failed States, Interventions, What We Say Goes, Hopes and Prospects, Making the Future, On Anarchism and Masters of Mankind. He has also been the subject of numerous books of biography and interviews and has collaborated with journalists on books such as Perilous Power, Gaza in Crisis, and On Palestine. Noam Chomsky is Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his forthcoming Who Rules the World will be published by Hamish Hamilton in May 2016.
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Top Customer Reviews
My early fears that Failed States would contain little that hadn't already been discussed in the excellent Hegemony or Survival were proven false as the book went on to cover fresh ground, including 'just war theory', an up to date analysis of the invasion of Iraq and the present chaotic situation, and possible future developments in the middle east and south America. Chomsky does discuss certain principles which will be familiar to those who have read him before, and which are central to his, and surely any right thinking persons, beliefs such as the principle of universality. This is understandable as keeping such principles in mind is important when considering the issues which the book discusses.
Professor Chomsky polarizes opinion like few others and there is a tendency for people to either dismiss him and his views entirely or to consider his every word and opinion to be the unequivocal truth.Read more ›
The approach he takes is that 'Failed States' is a phrase used within the U.S. establishment to justify certain exercises of power, from financially supporting opponents of failed states, to regime change and invasion. 'Failed states', like 'rogue states' and 'states of concern' before it, is a vague term, perhaps deliberately so but Chomsky identifies some defining features of a failed state, among them, a failure to adequately protect its citizens from terrorism, a failure to provide reasonable health care for all, regardless of an ability to pay, a tendency to break international law and act regardless of treaties and conventions, a lack of representative democracy in its political processes.
Chomsky argues that a fundamental moral truism is that an individual or a country should judge oneself by the same standards that you apply to others, if not to a higher standard if you are completetly honest with yourself. Therefore, the United States should be examined on the basis of the criteria briefly laid out above. Chomsky undertakes this task and finds that the U.S. is sorely lacking in many crucial respects and indeed shares many of the key aspects of countries that are currently demonised by those who stalk the corridors of power.
As is probably familiar to readers of Chomsky, I approached this book with a little caution, fearing that Chomsky was simply going to rehash many of his familiar arguments and cases through this new prism; I was pleased to find that, whilst there is obviously some overlap with previous texts, there is a great deal of fascinating contemporary material in this highly detailed book.Read more ›
"Failed States", with a sub-heading of "The Abuse of Power and the Assault of Democracy", seems to hint at other countries, e.g. the Middle East, Central America or Eastern Europe. It is the United States.
In part one, he deals with ways in which the United States state power is used in in violation of international law. In part two, he looks at ways in which democracy functions and examines ways in which the United States political system is not functioning democratically.
To many, Chomsky has become a loose-cannon, firing off randomly but consistently at a great national superpower attempting to bring freedom and democracy to other nations of the world; to others, he is a unique voice arguing rationally from a deeply intellectual,scholarly and well-researched position against an aggressive and overtly imperialist world power.
A "marmite" character though he may be, over many years he has been a consistent, thoughtful critic who cannot be ignored.
Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting read, with a lot of good points relating to US hegemonic power and its abuses. However, Chomsky does have an issue when it comes to re-writing history, as he does often... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sam Gman
The rich contents of this excellent book deserves a good quality paper. It still worth the price.Published on 13 July 2014 by MKhpal
The ancient Greeks (and many since) said that if you gave a man the finest education, which included Art, Poetry, Philosophy and Music, the result would be a man of supreme moral... Read morePublished on 29 May 2014 by Amazon Customer
I like his stile. everything is so focused and with so many details and he shows every source. It's very good to keep the mind busy and to try a different point of view of... Read morePublished on 25 Dec. 2013 by Nelly
When history is crafted in the service of power, evidence and rationality are irrelevant.
Hazrat Chomsky is very popular with Pakistani literati and for good reason, as... Read more
I have gave 5 stars too all his previous books but there was something about this one that had no fluid writing and ended up just a mixture of various topics with not much... Read morePublished on 4 July 2013 by johntmma
Shows you what really goes on, this book is an unfiltered masterpiece (unlike tv or newspapers)
A must read just like all his other works