A book review by editor and staff writer Andrew Ng, ’22.
Chomsky’s best-selling Hegemony or Survival is a masterful dissection of US foreign policy from the 2nd World War up to the US invasion of Iraq. While his acerbic tone may not be for everyone, I personally enjoyed Chomsky’s heavy dose of sarcasm and biting criticism of the US government, a welcome relief after my traversal of Piketty’s incredibly dry Capital and Ideology (review here). Chomsky frequently points out the blatant hypocrisy of government statements and policy, emphasizing the “logical illogicalities” to great effect. For example, one of my favorite lines from the book is “surely this establishes the case and justifies the praise for the altruistic leaders opening a new era of enlightenment. And so it might, if the claims had any relation to the facts.” As we will see, Chomsky’s criticism also reaches across the aisle, ensnaring both Democrats and Republicans in the complicated and pernicious web of US imperialism.