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on 11 December 2017
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on 5 November 2013
shortly after 9/11 i was hungry for books and knowledge to educate myself about the world we live in. although i was still very young i was one of those unfortunate souls who believed i was already informed and well-read. i would have argued to the death that i was right because i thought i was. "i watch the news, i watch documentaries, i do know what's happening..." and then i discovered noam chomsky. hegemony or survival was the first chomsky work that i read. and it knocked me sideways. if you've never read anything like this before, but think you know what's happening out there, this book is intellectually devastating. the thing that sets chomsky apart is that he only deals in documented facts. there is no debate to be had. this man has more integrity in his little finger than the entire western world's corporate mainstream media has combined. he is a walking encyclopedia. i gave this book away to a friend one evening and told him trust me, just read it. he text me around 6am the next morning. the text said simply "this book is incredible."
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on 13 February 2015
Chilling. Shocking. Enraging. Depressing. Everyone in the West should read this book and understand the cynical decisions taken by US governments and their lackey states over many, many years. It might help us to answer the question, 'why do they hate us?' Equally important is to understand how the mainstream media fails to do its job - keep account of the politicians, military industries and economic elites. This book made me angry but it also made me depressed because I felt so helpless in the face of such huge abusive power.
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on 19 July 2017
Noam Chomsky, This is not one of the best of his that I have read. but having said that he is still one of my favourites.
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on 12 August 2013
Another hit from Chomsky. Wonderfully interesting book, shedding light on the history we are never told nor taught. From this book one can really understand why there is such an anti-American sentiment towards the US government (not US people). This is a must read for anybody interested in this sort of thing. 5 Stars
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on 27 June 2013
Replaced my copies that I gave to my son and cousin so I just had to have a copy of my own. Books were used but in good order and neither can I complain about price.
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on 15 November 2003
Those new to Chomsky�s view on American dominance of the world will find this book a revelation. Those who�ve been reading Chomsky for years will find an unsatisfying familiarity; not with his eminently straightforward writing style, but with the fact that little in the world seems to have changed. All who read this book will turn off their bedside lamp with a will to change the world tomorrow.
Chomsky tends to write his books as updates to previous books, therefore those familiar with his past works will inevitably find themselves being exposed to facts they�ve already heard. However, as these facts are so numerous and noteworthy, only the most retentive brain will mind hearing them for a second or third time. And for newcomers what this man has to say about America�s intentions for the world will require two or three reads to soak in, and a further session of research to determine whether his meticulously documented facts could possibly all be true.
The book itself does exactly what Amazon�s synopsis says, so those in the know will click on add to basket straight away. For those unfamiliar with Chomsky, I�ll say only this: if you still question whether the US administration is willing to sacrifice innocent lives for oil, this book provides an intelligent answer.
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on 1 May 2017
One of the best books that I've ever read on current affairs and power.
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on 20 June 2010
I've owned this book for years & thought I'd try to review it. There are several points that ought to be made:--

[1] The 'white guilt' aspect. Chomsky talks of the USA (and, earlier, Europe) as though decisions made by 'elites' are group decisions. ('Manufacturing consent' - doesn't that imply that *you* consented to e.g. bombing Vietnam, or supplying Turkey with weapons?) I'm not saying this is a dominant thread, but it lurks in there.

[2] He loves quotations - there are 8 to 10 on almost every page, probably 2000 or so total. However, the people quoted are mostly journalists from the USA or state (or tax exempt) 'think tanks'. One has to wonder whether such people are simply paid hacks; they are trained to pick out misleading statistics, to disguise what they say, to use emotive language, and all the rest, including of course supporting decisions already secretly made. As a check, I looked up the extended passages on Nicaragua, and virtually all the notes were were US sources, apart from eg a Nicaraguan Society of Doctors. Much of this book reads like patients' testimonials in regard to an illness; it is evidence, but not of the most serious type.

[3] Chomsky systematically and, it must be deliberately, ignores the Jewish element in the world. For example, he says Russia was invaded after WW1, which is true. What he omit is the Jewish coup and subsequent mass-murders, supported, not by 'you', or even in a sense the US 'elite', but by the specifically Jewish component which had links with eastern Europe. It's inconceivable he doesn't know about this. It must be deliberate suppression. Having granted that, it must be deliberate that he refuses to consider the truth about e.g. Pearl Harbor, Kennedy's murder, 9/11. He describes Israel as a 'client state' of the USA - an alternative view is that the USA is a client state of Israel. Certainly if someone donated billions to me, I'm not sure I'd count as a 'client'!

[4] Chomsky seems to insist there must be purpose behind killings, but I'm not sure that's true. If a corporation makes money from supplying weapons, it doesn't matter to them what if anything they're used for. If another corporation simply dismantled them again, that would be as profitable as bombing people - more so, if it's the same corporation! This is related to other issues, e.g. the question of NASA's fraudulence, and issues related to whether weaponry, particularly the really costly sort, in fact works, or whether it's partly a way to mop up tax dollars. My personal belief is that nuclear weapons may be of this sort - there's clear evidence the early film of tests is faked. There's plenty of evidence that money is wasted on spurious weapons projects - the secrecy of course helps keep it covered up.

[5] His writing style resembles that of the 'screamers' who turn up to scream slogans to disrupt meetings of e.g. revisionists. Time and again in this book Chomsky turns from what may be a serious topic (e.g. the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' clock), to another topic - in this case, the Cuba crisis (if it was a crisis!) He switches constantly to discussions on Italy and Germany in the 1920s, and so on - Manchuria, Ethiopia. He never mentions the fact that national socialism, fascism, and whatever Japan and Spain had, POSTDATED so-called 'communism'. He is of course convinced that Germany was the worst nation that has ever existed. And yet, again, he MUST know about revisionist work - he even wrote a pro-free speech preface for a book by Faurisson which, I'm sure, he never read.

[6] Some of his historical generalisations are wrong, I think mainly because of an innumerate approach - some massacres, after all, are bigger and presumably worse than others. Here and there Chomsky seems to be saying that all massacres are equally bad - but, he also maintains the 'Holocaust' was the worst thing ever, which is a complete counter-argument, unless you assume Jews are different.

Another problem is changes in the meaning of the word 'war'. He says for example that Europeans spent much of their time slaughtering each other. There are of course some examples of that, notably post-Reformation, just as the US had a bloody civil war. However many 'wars' in Europe were so localised and small most people had no idea they were even happening. He seems to have little idea of the dynamics of countries which so far aren't very industrialised; Islam being the now-obvious example.

[7] As to 'hegemony', what niggles with me is the fact that it seems untrue. Of course, now, with Obama, the true state of the US economy is being revealed. But even when Chomsky wrote, it was obvious that there wasn't much in the way of 'hegemony' over the world's oil - notably in Saudi Arabia, who have received absolutely astronomical amounts of money for a resource which they knew nothing about, and did nothing to use or develop. Chomsky takes a traditional view, which is that countries exist, and should own their territorial resources. However, like it or not, the fact is things are distributed unevenly.

[8] Chomsky entirely ignores the criticisms of the 'Fed' and these other organisations designed to secretly take a percentage of everything. His anti-capitalist stuff seems very outdated - though this must be deliberate, I think. He also accepts the material on global warming, on the say-so of various people - though he has no methodology that I can see for deciding which group's views are more likely to be true than some other group.

Hence I think 'superficial' is a correct remark; so is 'inherent bias' in the sense of ignoring Jewish influence. My best guess is that he's a splinter group of Jewish intellectuals: mostly they agree (e.g. they want third world immigration; they are undemocratic almost by instinct; the Germans were the worst people ever etc). BUT there are other issues - not all Jews favour mass immigration now. Possibly Chomsky represents a humanitarian movement within Judaism?
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on 22 December 2010
On a first reading of Noam Chomsky, I have to say that Nick Cohen's review of Hegemony or Survival, published in the Observer (14/12/03), seems so wide of the mark that he could have been discussing a different book. Chomsky's writing is neither "dense" nor "convoluted" - on the contrary, he writes clearly and concisely and the argument is not at all difficult to follow if you approach it with an open mind, which Cohen obviously doesn't. Given how much ground is covered in a fairly short book, it's inevitable that some issues are covered in a fairly superficial way, but Chomsky acknowledges this and provides plenty of references for those who wish to fill in the gaps. Admittedly, the text is seasoned with a fair amount of irony, but given the nature of the facts that are related here this seems amply justified. The book is a gripping, disturbing read - a wake up call to the planet's "second superpower", i.e. public opinion. Chomsky's popularity is anything but "mystifying" to me.
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