Who Rules the World?

Noam Chomsky

HSPS

Who Rules the World?

Review by:

Nancy Tupling

2 May 2021

Who Rules the World?’ is a great book for anyone interested in international politics. Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s most famous academics, he has published over 25 books in fields such as international politics, domestic politics, governmental organisations and linguistics, where is has been named the ‘father of linguistics’ .

‘Who Rules the World’ is not a book about linguistics, rather Chomsky focuses heavily upon the U.S and likens their actions to ‘modern-day imperial power’. In International Relations, as you find out in the HSPS course, some of the core theories are deep rooted in Eurocentric and Colonial ideas. Chomsky, along with other academics, have worked for years deconstructing these ideas and exploring what is hidden beneath the actions of certain nation-states on a global scale.

In this book, Chomsky covers the hypocrisy of the United States throughout history on domestic and international issues. From Iraq and Afghanistan to the Israel/Palestine conflict- Chomsky identifies the U.S actions are far from their mantra of Western liberalism (freedom, equality, democracy). One part of the book that is particularly interesting is chapter 3, ‘The Torture Memos and Historical Amnesia’. Within this chapter Chomsky describes torture as ‘the least of the many crimes of aggression, terror, subversion, and economic strangulatiom that have darkened U.S history’ and goes on to explain the conflict between ‘what we stand for’ and ‘what we do’ through the exploration of ‘the idea of America’ from its birth to the modern day (all the way up to Obama)

“President Obama advises us to look forward, not backward- a convenient doctrine for those who hold the clubs. Those who are beaten by them tend to see the world differently.”

I highly recommend this book as it challenges almost every aspect of U.S intervention and actions from a non-party sense; the U.S as an entire concept and nation is deconstructed, not just the republican party which is usually what books focus on. It highlights discussions that are essential to understanding the U.S.