Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9-11 World

Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9-11 World book cover

David Barsamian interviews Noam Chomsky.
Metropolitan/Holt, 2005; 228 pages.

(More than 60,000 copies in print.)

Timely, illuminating, and urgently needed, this volume of interviews conducted by award-winning radio journalist David Barsamian features Noam Chomsky discussing U.S. policies in the increasingly unstable post-9/11 world. In these exchanges, appearing for the first time in print, Chomsky offers his frank, provocative, and informed views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of preemptive strikes against so-called rogue states, and the growing threat to international peace posed by the U.S. drive for domination. In his inimitable style, Chomsky also dissects the propaganda system that fabricates a mythic past and airbrushes inconvenient facts out of history.

Barsamian, recipient of the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, has conducted more interviews and radio broadcasts with Chomsky than any other journalist. Enriched by their unique rapport, Imperial Ambitions explores new ground, including the 2004 presidential campaign and election, the future of Social Security, and the increasing threat of global warming. The result is an enlightening dialogue with one of the leading thinkers of our time, a startling picture of the turbulent world in which we live, and an affirmation of the many possibilities for a more hopeful and humane future.

"Reading Chomsky today is sobering and instructive... He is a global phenomenon ... perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."
--The New York Times Book Review

Reviews of Imperial Ambitions


Review in South China Morning Post, October 30, 2005:

A reviewer for London's The Daily Telegraph wrote in 2001 that if Noam Chomsky didn't exist "it would be necessary to invent him - the one thing that his polemics are guaranteed to do is make you think". Imperial Ambitions is a collection of interviews by David Barsamian, whose dialogues with liberal intellectuals are syndicated on US radio. He first worked with Chomsky in 1986 and, in this collection, he leads the MIT professor of linguistics and left-wing polemicist through a series of discussions, spanning March 2003 to February this year, about the US and the potential global ramifications of its policies. Barsamian says the essence of Chomsky is that understanding the truth or knowing how to act is "not so complicated". Those who have tackled Chomsky's latest book, Hegemony or Survival, may be excused for thinking otherwise, but Barsamian's skilful editing makes accessible Chomsky on such topics as the distortion of history and memory, and, in "Another World is Possible", a discussion of fundamentalism and the American right.


Read David Swanson's review in Political Affairs Magazine.

Read reviews on Amazon.

Author(s):

David Barsamian (click to view archive)

One of America's most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio -now in its 28th year- and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest book of interviews with Noam Chomsky is Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire. His best-selling books with Chomsky have been translated into many languages. Barsamian was deported from India in 2011 due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, the state of journalism, censorship, the economic crisis and global rebellions.

He is winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. The Boulder Daily Camera, Barsamian's hometown newspaper, published this feature about David in 2011. As Arundhati Roy wrote for The Guardian, Barsamian was deported from India in 2011 due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He speaks all over the world.

Noam Chomsky (click to view archive)

Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. The legendary MIT professor practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” He is the author of scores of books, including Hopes & Prospects, Masters of Mankind, How the World Works, and Power Systems with David Barsamian.

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