Book Review · Noam Chomsky · Non Fiction

Deterring Democracy by Noam Chomsky

I’ve been plodding through this book for two weeks now. Not because it’s boring. It’s actually very fascinating. But for a 23 year old, like me, who still prefers reading parables and analogies to hardcore facts and figures, this book is very Very VERY heavy reading! I don’t know why I agreed to read this book when my mother suggested it. Because even though she thought it was an eye opener she didn’t get past the first few pages herself. She is planning on reading more when she gets the time. Moving on to what the book is about.

In Deterring Democracy, Noam Chomsky dares to reveal the New World Order which, as one of the blurbs on the jacket reads, is the Cold War by another name. It also said that this book ought to be required reading in schools and reading rooms. And I completely agree. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book for pleasure, though I’m ready to be proven wrong. This book has been written to prove a point and not to entertain. The language is simple and to the point and I knew exactly what he was talking about. And even though this book was written a few years ago it is still very relevant to today’s world. The only problem I had was that it had way too much information than I could process. I literally had to make notes to keep track of what I was reading. To get the most out of this book one has to take out time just for it, to spend in analyzing and reflecting.

Reading this book has expanded my way of thinking, not to mention taught me discipline. I really do wish this had been made compulsory reading for Political Science, because Noam Chomsky is an incomparable intellectual and I did think it shockingly eye opening. Though sadly, outside class I’m not able to appreciate heavy reading –to this extent– very much. If you have time and if you enjoy World Politcs, this book will not disappoint.

Interesting quotes from the book that might be more revealing than the review above:

“The problem after a war is with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?” –A.J. Muste

“Though the sophistication of traditional theology is lacking, the similarity of themes and style is striking. It reveals the extent to which worship of the State has become a secular religion for which the intellectuals serve as priesthood.”

“In history, the man in the ruffled shirt and gold laced waist coat somehow levitates above the the blood he has ordered to be spilled by dirty handed underlings” –Francis Jennings

“The U.S. is a global power and plans accordingly.”


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