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Good points, not well executed

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Chomsky makes a lot of very good points here, and his analysis of contemporary political trends seems pretty accurate. However, there are a number of drawbacks to this particular book. A lot of the criticisms are the same ones that can be leveled at many other Chomsky works. For one, this book comes across as extremely disorganized and rambling. This wasn't written from scratch as a book per se, but was culled from transcripts of speeches, essays, book introductions/forewords, and yes a few original pieces. He also makes too many reference to things being "discussed elsewhere", as in "buy my other books!" The writing is also a bit mediocre, overly glib and full of sarcasm that doesn't translate into print well. Another thing lacking is support/citations. Some of the chapters here have none, and the ones that do have endnotes are still skimpy. So when Chomsky asserts things like "In 1971 , 90 percent of international financial transactions were related to the real economy--trade or long term investment--and 10 percent were speculative. By 1990 the percentages were reversed . . ." (from chapter 1: Neoliberalism and Global Order). But where do these figures come from? And what exactly makes investment speculative? Not being "long term", whatever that means? Apparently, we are just supposed to "trust" him. I guess that's just not enough for me, even if I still tend to agree with most of the ultimate conclusions.

Robert McChesney's intro is invaluable. It's the most clearly and concisely written piece in the book.
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Added by azuege
10 years ago on 17 May 2007 02:38




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