Failed States: The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On Democracy by Noam ChomskyFailed States: The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On Democracy by Noam Chomsky

Failed States: The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On Democracy

byNoam Chomsky

Paperback | April 3, 2007

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"It's hard to imagine any American reading this book and not seeing his country in a new, and deeply troubling, light."-The New York Times Book Review

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, showing how the United States itself shares features with other failed states-suffering from a severe "democratic deficit," eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world. Exploring the latest developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Chomsky reveals Washington's plans to further militarize the planet, greatly increasing the risks of nuclear war. He also assesses the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; documents Washington's self-exemption from international norms, including the Geneva conventions and the Kyoto Protocol; and examines how the U.S. electoral system is designed to eliminate genuine political alternatives, impeding any meaningful democracy.

Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis. Systematically dismantling the United States' pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused-and urgent-critique to date.

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions and What We Say Goes. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.
Title:Failed States: The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On DemocracyFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.52 × 0.86 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.52 × 0.86 inPublished:April 3, 2007Publisher:Henry Holt and Co.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0805082840

ISBN - 13:9780805082845


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chomsky is an intellectual giant The only criticism of Chomsky titles is that everyone and their uncle has had a conversation with Chomsky and decides to publish that account. Certainly the author or keyword of 'Chomsky' then portends to sell books. This is not one of them. It is original Chomsky material at what he does best (although some would argue this is linguistics). Excellent insight into current affairs. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from As biased as any other book by Chomsky Chomsky is focusing on false facts and misleading quotes to justify his revisionist history bluff. The book is full of bias towards the US and the Western world at all.
Date published: 2008-09-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fair and balanced?? I do believe in a lot of what Chomsky states in the book, but I also believe in fair and balanced writing of which this book is not. Chomsky makes his points and arguments with loose and sometimes misleading quotes that will leave you shaking your head. It's too bad because Chomsky is very well respected and a great thinker of our time.
Date published: 2006-12-30

Read from the Book

Preface The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes. It is important to stress the government, because the population, not surprisingly, does not agree. That brings up a fourth issue that should deeply concern Americans, and the world: the sharp divide between public opinion and public policy, one of the reasons for the fear, which cannot casually be put aside, that "the American 'system' as a whole is in real trouble--that it is heading in a direction that spells the end of its historic values [of] equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy."1 The "system" is coming to have some of the features of failed states, to adopt a currently fashionable notion that is conventionally applied to states regarded as potential threats to our security (like Iraq) or as needing our intervention to rescue the population from severe internal threats (like Haiti). Though the concept is recognized to be "frustratingly imprecise," some of the primary characteristics of failed states can be identified. One is their inability or unwillingness to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction. Another is their tendency to regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and hence free to carry out aggression and violence. And if they have democratic forms, they suffer from a serious "democratic deficit" that deprives their formal democratic institutions of real substance.2 Among the hardest tasks that anyone can undertake, and one of the most important, is to look honestly in the mirror. If we allow ourselves to do so, we should have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of "failed states" right at home. That recognition of reality should be deeply troubling to those who care about their countries and future generations. "Countries," plural, because of the enormous reach of US power, but also because the threats are not localized in space or time. The first half of this book is devoted mostly to the increasing threat of destruction caused by US state power, in violation of international law, a topic of particular concern for citizens of the world dominant power, however one assesses the relevant threats. The second half is concerned primarily with democratic institutions, how they are conceived in the elite culture and how they perform in reality, both in "promoting democracy" abroad and shaping it at home. The issues are closely interlinked, and arise in several contexts. In discussing them, to save excessive footnoting I will omit sources when they can easily be found in recent books of mine.3 Copyright © 2006 by Harry Chomsky, as Trustee of Chomsky Grandchildren Nominee Trust

Editorial Reviews

"Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet." -The New York Times Book Review