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On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare Paperback – 5 Sep 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (5 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745333877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745333878
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'Chomsky’s maturity has endowed him wisdom that acts as a complement to his astonishing command over the specifics of the whole spectrum of political concerns. This substantive authoritativeness set him apart long ago as our foremost intellectual and most beloved commentator on the passing scene of world events, but now he has also become a ‘wise elder,’ and whose views of the world deserves the greatest respect from all of us.' (Richard Falk, Foreign Policy Journal)

'It is absolutely essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the current context of contemporary geo-politics by revealing the often-hidden histories that have given rise to it, as well as highlighting the pressing issues facing the world which are usually ignored going forward.' (Joe Turnbull, inkyneedles.com)

'It makes for enlightening, provocative and revealing reading and it's a welcome antidote to the plethora of books and films on the "horrors" of communism.' (John Green, Morning Star)

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is a world renowned linguist and one of America's foremost social critics. He is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and the author of numerous books for Pluto Press, including Fateful Triangle, The New Military Humanism, Power and Terror and A New Generation Draws the Line.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read in a long time. Written in a very easy to read format, eye opening to say the least.
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With him, we get informed !
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Fast service, very pleased.
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Format: Paperback
This is less a discussion of the pejoratively named subject matter as the minutes of a mutual admiration society. It's impossible to take Vltchek seriously when he describes Chomsky as 'the greatest intellectual of the twentieth century'. His obeisance is as sycophantic as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under Stalin. Chomsky has used academia as a platform from which to spread left-wing propaganda rather than provide a reasoned critique of the world. Vltchek argues the great majority of wars 'were related to greed, to the desire to rule and to control, coming almost exclusively from the 'old continent' and its powerful but ruthless offspring on the other shore of the Atlantic'. North Vietnam, China and the Soviet Union were apparently innocent bystanders, none of whom were responsible for the 100 million deaths attributed to them!!

In similar vein he argues he and Chomsky 'were fighting for the same cause, for the right of self-determination and real freedom for all people around the world....we were fighting against colonialism and fascism' although 'fascism' has long since become a meaningless term. He disrespects democracy by regurgitating the standard left-wing claim of manufactured public opinion and pretending socialist dictatorships were real democracy in action. He doesn't present evidence but selectively uses anything available to buttress his prejudicial standpoint. He and Chomsky are compatible bed-fellows. Any critique of left wing anarchism and syndicalism is dismissed as being 'attacked, poisoned, discredited, or at least ridiculed' by 'propaganda apparatchiks .... hired to target all progressive and independent ideas and ideals'. In the real world conspiracy theorists are dismissed as suffering from self-perpetuating paranoia.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 37 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Open Discussion 26 Jan. 2014
By Nick J. Cuccia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers a lot of territory-from before Hiroshima to the Cold War and the "War on Terror". The format is Q & A throughout the book. It assumes historical knowledge that many people would have a difficult time in cementing the cultural context necessary for full understanding. These two amazing men bring light to many historical events that created the current reign of corporate capitalism's hold on the economic and political milieu. The final chapter is the best chapter in the book, it actually should be read first. It highlights the frustration of Vltchek that very little, outside of a complete collapse of the the U.S. and European Empire, can bring about the opportunity for meaningful change and,surprisingly, Chomsky's more optimistic thesis that the Empire is already showing cracks and can't last. This is where one needs the understanding of the profound historical pivot points of the Great Depression and World War ll had on world history. Read the book,it's definitely worth the effort.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Western terrorism from a radical point of view 12 Mar. 2015
By J. Alan Bock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book two of our better known radical authors claim that "between 50 and 55 million people have died around the world as a result of Western colonialism and neocolonialism since the end of World War II." They point this out throughout the book and present a timeline at the end dating from August 1945 to August 2012. Along with these "55 million or so people killed as a direct result of wars initiated by the West, pro-Western military coups and other conflicts, hundreds of millions have died indirectly in absolute misery, and silently."

The authors claim that this history is largely unknown in the West since Westerners are extremely indoctrinated and obsessed with perceptions of their own uniqueness. They go through a one-sided education and rely on their media outlets without studying alternative sources. Two full chapters are devoted to this phenomenon: "Concealing the Crimes of the West," and "Propaganda and the Media."

At the present time there are mass extermination campaigns taking place in the Congo and Papua, says Vltchek and entire nations are being ravished: Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Libya and Afghanistan. "Warfare has moved away from man-to-man combat, and is now dominated by deadly missiles, bombing campaigns and by the latest terrible weapons: drones, which are synonymous with terrorism and absolute impunity - they kill without the invading nation having to risk its own soldiers. It is a one-sided war; a video game for one side, the horror of destroyed villages, murdered individuals and mutilated bodies for the other."

Noam Chomsky concludes the book on a sombre note: "It doesn't look very hopeful but we have only two choices : one is to say "it's hopeless, let's give up." And the other is to say, "Well, we would like to make things better, so we'll try. If it works, it works, if it doesn't we go back to the worst choice. Those are the options opens for us."
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chomsky and Vltchek are a potent combination 9 April 2014
By Rameez Rahman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main reason why this book is so good, in my view, is Andre Vltchek. He constantly challenges Chomsky. Sometimes it appears that he knows almost as much as Chomsky. This is not a typical book of interviews. This is a proper conversation between two people who are equals!
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read 10 Dec. 2016
By Mason D. Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good Discussion of important issues which are overlooked by too many people. This is basically Chomsky going through his usual (correct) historical examples for various parts of the world.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you are familiar with the topic; not a primer on western terrorism. 20 Jan. 2014
By N. Prokup - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a conversation between Chomsky and Vitchek. For me, the style of the book is primarily a con, though it does make for easy reading (as far as the language goes. The content is not easy/pleasant to digest.)

Because this book is a conversation between two people with a lot of shared knowledge, it is not particularly useful for those who have absolutely no knowledge of the issues and conflicts that they are discussing. Statements are made and facts understood between Chomsky and Vitchek, and, sadly, one will not come away from this book with a list for further reading, because sources are not discussed. Throughout the book there are also mentions of "a certain U.S. Company" and "a particular company," which left me wondering "which? who?" so that I could do further research. A few names of useful scholars as mentioned throughout, but not as many as one would hope for. I had some familiarity with these topics, so I did find the book engaging and useful, however if I had had any less familiarity, I think I would have just been annoyed.

That being said, the book does raise some very important points and considerations that we should be aware of in the modern world, and it was a good read. It is not a good first book on the topic, but well worth reading.
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