Reviewer: Allan Ostermann (Portland, or United States) - See all my reviews
I am influenced by Chomsky more than any other political philosopher (although he seems to encompass much more than a mere career categorization). I've studied him on and off for the past five years, and I find it harder and harder to rely on mass media (TV, radio, movies, increasingly more of the internet) for any information. It's like lost innocence. One can never look at these things the same after reading Chomsky.
In this book, he tackles these themes, but concentrates a great deal on U.S. international relations. The equation is basically this: corporations control the government and own the media. U.S. international relations are directly affected and influenced by the whims of multinationals; namely the desire for [inexpensive] production and [inexpensive] resources, exploiting civilians and foreign lands to achieve these means. The government is in the pocket of the corporations.
The ordinary American has little say. We may vote; but we vote for one party; solely representing the interests of the rich, and the huge corporations.
That's a bit of Chomsky in a nutshell. This book supports these arguments with EXHAUSTIVE research. I admit, I found it exhausting to read, but not from lack of interest. He is detailed; which makes his arguments valid. He uses countless examples, all supported by the contradictory historical actions and propaganda of U.S. foreign relations; where the government lies to the public via the media. There are so many quotes and supportive examples that the bibliography could be 40 pages long!
So, I love Chomsky. However I really don't like reading him; but I try. I find the easiest way to get the big picture of Chomsky's views is by watching the documentary, Manufacturing Consent, reading Z Magazine, and also "The Real Story" series of transcribed interviews with Chomsky.
Perhaps I'm just a lazy reader. However I think this book legitimizes many of Chomsky's views, in a dense, detailed, way. But without these supporting examples and quotes, his views couldn't be seen as valid.