• Hegemony or Survival

  • America's Quest for Global Dominance
  • By: Noam Chomsky
  • Narrated by: Brian Jones, Noam Chomsky
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (712 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing, as in the Cuban missile crisis, to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward the final frontiers of imperial control, toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and a livable Earth. Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

Lucid, rigorous and thoroughly documented, Hegemony or Survival is Chomsky's most urgent and sweeping work in years. Certain to spark widespread debate, it is a definitive statement from one of the world's most influential political thinkers.

©2003 Aviva Chomsky, Diane Chomsky, Harry Chomsky (P)2003 Audio Renaissance

Critic Reviews

"Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty, and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive." (The New York Times)
"In this highly readable...critique of American foreign policy from the late 1950s to the present...Chomsky brings together many themes he has mined in the past, making this cogent and provocative book an important addition to an ongoing public discussion about U.S. policy." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Hegemony or Survival

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read and open your mind

Everyone should read this book, you do not have to agree with the information provided but, it is about time that the world realised that there are always two sides to a story and not swallowed what the state and media feed to us. The easy way out is to claim that it is anti-American but, that is not what it is all about ... the actions of a state are not necessarily representative of its' population.

Personally, I found the whole book very distressing because it left me with a real feeling of sadness about the horrors that we, as human beings, heap on ourselves and our environment. It left me wanting to know more and wanting to do more ... despite a feeling of complete uselessness in the face of state power. This, I would imagine, was the goal that Noam Chomsky seeks ... ask and seek more information.

106 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Great Leftist blame America first rhetoric

If you hate this country and want to listen to others of the same mind set then this is a fantastic book! Otherwise Treason by Ann Coulter would be a better suggestion.

96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A hard pill to swallow for most Americans, but ...

I have read a fair amount of modern history, and was only vaguely aware (like most Americans) of the many of Chomsky's facts and assertions. Some were so startling that I felt I needed to verify. After researching four and finding them unassailable, I stopped trying to fault the facts. The indictment of US foreign policy that Chomsky devolves from these facts is at such variance with our view of ourselves that one is inclined to look for an explanation. If the facts are not false, then perhaps the interpretation is the problem, so I examined the logic by re-reading the book with careful attention to the relationship between facts and conclusion. There are weaknesses in some place where an argument depends on ?respected commentator? or some other unsupported assertion. However, even if one throws out all of the marginal cases, he is still left with a great deal to be dealt with--a paradigm changer for the honest and open minded, and something to be reviled and suppressed for those determined to believe that Americans are the good guys who go around the world altruistically stamping out evil.

Chomsky stops short of a monolithic conspiracy theory, but the pattern of behavior of the US over the last 60 years that is painted by this book is remarkably consistent and disturbing.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I've read several short things published by the author online and, as a respected professor at M.I.T., found them thoughtful and interesting. But not this rant. Comments of others, here, online and in the press have all been equally disturbing to me.

I'm not "liberal," "libertarian," or "conversative" and strongly dislike political labels. Dr. Chomsky clearly does not share my view.

Whether it be the economy, environment, education, or other concerns there seems to be no middle ground any more. Historically this is not true of America. We've always differed, but have historically found a way to resolve differencers, with "liberal" and "conservative" cycles here and there, but no really dramatic swings in either direction.

But the times they are a changing.

Now we have Dr. Chomsky, Russ Limbaugh and the like and everyone chooses his "true believer," dutifully lines up behind them, always blocking out the "bad" news TV channels or websites, minds closed and in lock step.

I've tried to listen to this book twice from the beginning and never gotten beyond the first fifteen minutes. I've also tried to start out in the middle somewhere with the same result. This book disturbs me like true believers like Russ Limbaugh. We must label and belittle our "enemies" in order to shine the light to the correct path.

I've tried to listen and understand whiy I see so many references to this book. It's been a very frustrating experience all around. I read (not listen to) several dozen books each year and often find them bland and boring, but rarely am I ever as frustrated as I've been with this book.

Beware those who engender only love or hate. This book is supposed to propose ideas which end the cycle of religious wars, racial strife, wars based on economics, and all the other foolish acts of humanity throughout history. Instead it finds a way to engender a new kind of polarization. Richard Nixon had an "enemies list. So does Dr. Chomsky.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting viewpoint - terrible reader

I found the ideas and concepts fascinating (if scary) but I had to force myself to continue listening because the reader was so bad. Would have been better if the author had read the whole thing instead of just an introduction. The person reading the book apparently got paid a bonus for reading as fast as possible, with extra points for butchered inflections. As a result, it was very tough to follow the reasoning of the author sometimes.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An epiphany

If you have ever wondered how those evil terrorists see the United States, or for that matter, if you have ever wondered just why do so many foreigners see things differently than we who were blessed to be born American, then this book will be a real eye-opener.

Suppose the proverbial "man from Mars" came to visit planet Earth. He doesn't understand anybody's language here; all he can do is see what we do. How can he tell the difference between acts of the terrorists who blow up buildings and buses, hurting and killing people, from the acts state-sponsored retaliation when the Israeli defense forces shoot missiles at homes from helicopter gunships, hurting and killing people?

The lesson of this book is to stop parroting the political catch-phrases our leaders and their ememies use to justify their behavior and look at the behavior itself. If you read this book with an open mind you will never be the same.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very revealing.

I can't say that I enjoyed listening to this audio book - but this is more because of it's topic - the drive of US administrations etc. for hegemony - than because of the narrative. I was very often appalled by what I listened to.
It was very revealing to hear about the openly led discourse in the USA on how to rule the world and the reasons for doing so.
Albeit it just a very small issue in the overall context, it was intriguing to hear how the USA counter any efforts of other countries to prevent the militarisation of space.

Even if you back US politics and diplomatic efforts around the globe - which this reviewer does only seldomly -, you should read or listen to what Mr. Chomsky has to say. At least for the benefit of future generations on this planet.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not What I Expected

I decided to read this book in an attempt to discover founded arguments from a liberal point of view. What I found was a barrage of emotional arguments utilizing strong accusatory language without basis for his reasoning. After listening to the author attack several events without providing sufficient basis, I grew to a general distrust of his commentary. I have concluded that the book is designed to foster alarm in U.S. policies instead of true investigative journalism. Noam Chomsky truly disappoints in this work.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, lousy reader

This is a dense analytical examination of US foreign policy, very much in the usual Chomsky tradition. The reader reads it entirely too fast, so it's often hard to follow the arguments. It sounds like he's rushing through it. It would have been great if Chomsky read it himself.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Americas Guilty Conscience

Chomsky isn?t afraid to air the country?s dirty laundry. Listening to this work is like carefully examining your face in one of those lighted magnifying mirrors. Gradually, you begin to see all the flaws, pimples, and wrinkles that are easy to miss at first glance. Chomsky forces the listener to take an objective look at American foreign policy from a global perspective, and it isn't pretty.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Welsh Mafia
  • 04-03-07

History given the voice of fact....unmissable

This is a thrilling book. No heroes, no heroics, no opinions, no villains, no vilification - just the facts...laid end to end so that they speak for themselves. The moral pronouncements and appeals of other 'dissident' voices pale under the crystal objectivity of Chomsky's clear insight into where we are and how we got here. Ideologies are built up and peeled away with the words of the political leaders, the ambassadors, the resolutions and the briefings - verbatim in all their high minded contradictions. Words quoted, actions detailed, patterns established, understanding conveyed. Where is Chomsky in all of this? Unshowy, impeccable, scrupulous, reliable, authorative - he slips into the background and allows Masters of the New Imperialism speak for themselves. Authorial indignation, appeals to morality, the radical as romantic hero?....all rendered irrelevant against historical fact. Read this book and then recommend it to someone else, important doesn't begin to describe it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mantle
  • 04-12-18

Factual content that changes your perspective

Chomsky helps you see things so clearly that his vision cannot be denied or undermined. A brilliant performance and a fantastic narrative that will mean I will get to know him more as I go through all of his work.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Flopadoo
  • 05-09-13

Interesting and insightful

The content is very good - Chomsky has been comprehensive and expansive in his explanations. The book is circa 2003 so some of the points are more relevant to that time than to 10 years later. All in all it's well worth a listen and has a lot of extremely valid and interesting points and examples.

The narrator is American and I found his narrating a bit annoying - from the regular mispronunciation of hegemony as "he-jem-inny" (and yes, I know it's the American way, but is still sounds like English is being butchered) to his attempts to dramatise some passages. With Chomsky's writing, the whole point is that it is calm and matter of fact, so increasing the pace and stressing certain points in the narration didn't seem right and got on my nerves.

Overall, I would recommend it and say it is definitely worth a listen.

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