Because We Say So, by Noam Chomsky

Paperback review

Sat, Nov 21, 2015, 00:17

   
 

Book Title:
Because We Say So

ISBN-13:
978-0-241-18835-4

Author:
Noam Chomsky

Publisher:
Hamish Hamilton

Guideline Price:
£12.99

The 1962 Dean Acheson enunciation that, regardless of the rest of the world’s views, the US could do whatever it thought necessary to protect its “power, position and prestige” is tackled head on here by Chomsky in his typically lucid and uncompromising style. The 30 concise essays confront such issues as climate disaster (and the US rejection of multilateral agreements), the creation of “unpeople” (Palestinians and others) and “unhistory” (US crimes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), the assault on US public education by defunding, US coalition crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the threat to civilisation of capitalism, which is “radically incompatible with democracy”. The essays on Gaza, “the world’s largest open-air prison”, are among the most powerful. “A visitor to Gaza can’t help feeling disgust at the obscenity of the occupation, compounded with guilt, because it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end.” Compulsory reading from the foremost public intellectual of our time.