Book excerpts from a variety of educational nonfiction sources focusing mainly on current events and history of the activities of the US Government and the Multi-national Corporations that influence it

“The people who own the country ought to govern it.” John Jay

Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler and Brendon Smith “In the Name of Democracy”

Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995

James Carroll “House of War” 2006

Noam Chomsky Deterring Democracy”

Noam Chomsky “Failed States”

Noam Chomsky “Imperial Ambitions”

Noam Chomsky “World Orders Old and New”

Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies”

Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995

Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger”

Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable”

Catalogue of books available online

Page two: quotes for authors K-Z

The purpose of the government-media campaign to undermine the peace process is not obscure. It was important to ensure that Nicaragua would remain under at least a low level of terrorist attack within and military threat at the borders, so that it could not devote its pitiful resources to the awesome and probably hopeless task of reconstruction from U.S. violence, and so that internal controls would allow U.S. commentators to bemoan the lack of freedom in the country targeted for attack. The same logic lay behind the Pentagon directives to the proxy forces (explicitly authorized by the State Department, and considered reasonable by liberal doves) to attack undefended "soft targets." The reasoning was explained by a contra defector who was so important that he had to be as rigorously avoided by the independent media as the Secretary General of the OAS: Horacio Arce, chief of contra (FDN) intelligence, whose nom de guerre was Mercenario ("mercenary") -- talk about "freedom fighters" and "democrats" is for the educated classes at home. Contras were accorded ample media attention, more than the Nicaraguan government, but Arce received a different treatment.

Arce had a good deal to say when interviewed in Mexico in late 1988 after his defection. In particular, he described his illegal training in an airforce base in the southern United States, identified by name the CIA agents who provided support for the contras under an AID cover in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, outlined how the Honduran army provided intelligence and support for contra military activities, and reported the sale of CIA-supplied Soviet-style arms to the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador (later offered as "proof" of Cuban and Nicaraguan arms shipments). Arce then explained: "We attack a lot of schools, health centers, and those sort of things. We have tried to make it so that the Nicaraguan government cannot provide social services for the peasants, cannot develop its project...that's the idea." Evidently, the careful U.S. training was successful in getting the basic idea across.

It was never seriously in doubt that congressional liberals and media doves would support measures of economic strangulation and low-level terror guided by these principles until Nicaragua would achieve "democracy" -- that is, until political power passed to business and landowning elites linked to the United States, who are "democrats" for this reason alone, no further questions asked.15 They can also be expected to lend at least tacit support to further Washington efforts to undermine and subvert any government that fails to place the security forces under effective U.S. control or to meet proper standards of subservience to domestic and foreign business interests. (Noam Chomsky "Detering democracy" p79-80)

The articulation of Washington’s unilateral right to resort to force in the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy broke little new ground. Writing in Foreign Affairs before the 2000 elections, Condoleezza Rice, for example, had condemned the “reflexive appeal… to notions of international laws and norms, and the belief that the support of many states-or even better, of institution like the United Nations –is essential to the legitimate exercise of power.” The US government need not conform to the “illusory ‘norms” of international behavior,” she explained, or “adhere to every international convention and agreement that someone thinks to propose.” Clients and allies apart, all states of course must rigorously obey those norms, as the United States interprets them, or else. (Chomsky “Failed States” p85-6) Foreign affairs article

In 1981, Samuel Huntington, professor of the science of government at Harvard University, explained the functions of the Soviet threat: “you may have to sell” intervention or other military action “in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union you are fighting. That is what the United States has done ever since the Truman Doctrine.” On the same grounds, he warned a few years later, Mikhail Gorbachev’s “public relations can be as much a threat to American interests in Europe as were [Leonid] Brezhnev’s tanks.” (Chomsky “Failed States” p103)

As historian Charles Bergquist concludes in his review of justifications for interventions in Latin America, “to conserve…faith in liberal democracy” analysts must “distort…evidence, and transform the rational consistency in US policy (the defense of capitalist interests) into irrationality (unfounded fear of Communism).” The same has regularly been true elsewhere as well. (Chomsky “Failed States” p110)

On 9/11 in 1973, after years of subversion of Chilean democracy, support for terror, and “making the economy scream,” General Augusto Pinochet’s forces attacked the Chilean presidential palace.

Subversion of democracy by concentrations of private power, of course, familiar: mainstream commentators casually observe that “business is in complete control of the machinery of government” (Robert Reich), echoing Woodrow Wilson’s observation, days before taking office, that “the masters of the government of the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States”. America’s leading twentieth-century social philosopher, John Dewey, concluded that “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business” and will remain so as long as power resides in “business for private profit through private control of backing, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.” Accordingly, reforms will not suffice. Fundamental social change is necessary to bring meaningful democracy. (Chomsky “Failed States” p205-6) cited in this discussion as well

The initial design was articulated clearly by the most influential of the framers, James Madison. He held that power should be in the hands of “the wealth of the nation… the more capable set of men. ”People without property, or the hopes of acquiring it,” he reflected at the end of his life, “cannot be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its rights, to be safe depositories over them.” The rights are not those of property, which has no rights but of property owners, who therefore should have extra rights beyond citizens generally…. . (Chomsky “Failed States” p206-7)

-in Woodrow Wilson’s words- that “most men are the servants of corporations…in a very different America from the old.” In this new America- “no longer a scene of individual enterprise,…individual opportunity, and individual achievement”-“small groups of men in control of great corporations wield a power and control over the wealth and business opportunities of the country.” As the process of corporatization gained force,….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p208-9)

The task of advertising is to undermine the free markets we are taught to admire: mythical entities in which consumers make informed rational choices. In such systems, business would simply provide information about their products: cheap, easy, simple. But it is hardly a secret that they do nothing of the sort. On the contrary, business spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year projecting imagery to delude customers. Uncontroversially, that is the goal of advertising-not providing information….Furthermore, as Veblon pointed out long ago, one of the primary tasks of business propaganda is the “fabrication of consumers,” a device that helps induce “all the classic symptoms of state based totalitarianism: atomization, political apathy and irrationality, the hollowing and banalization of purportedly democratic political processes, mounting popular frustration and so forth.”

The basic observation is as old as Adam Smith, who warned that the interests of merchants and manufacturers are “to deceive or even oppress the public,” as they have done “on many occasions.” By now they are served by major industries that have been created for this purpose. Informed consumer choice is about as realistic as the famed “entrepreneurial initiative” and “free trade.” Except for temporary advantage, the fanciful markets of doctrine and economic theory have never been welcomed- or long tolerated- by those who dominate society.

Sometimes the commitment to deceit takes extreme forms. One illustration is the US-Australia negotiations on a “free trade agreement” from 2003. These were held up by Washington’s concern that Australia follows “evidence-based” procedures and prohibits “direct-to-consumer marketing for prescription drugs,” while US “manufacturers would prefer a system in which they have the freedom to market their products and set prices according to the market’s willingness to pay.” Australia engages in unacceptable market interference, US government negotiators objected. Pharmaceutical corporations are deprived of their legitimate rights if they are required to produce evidence when they claim that their latest product is better than some cheaper alternative, or run TV ads in which some sports hero or movie actress tells the audience to “ask your doctor whether this drug is right for you (if’s right for me),” sometimes not even revealing what the drug is supposed to be for. The right of deceit must be guaranteed to the immensely powerful and pathological immortal “persons” that have been created by radical judicial activism. Australia’s Health care system is perhaps the most efficient in the world. In particular, drug prices are a fraction of those in the United States: the same drugs, produced by the same companies, earning substantial profits though not like those in the United States, where such profits are commonly justified on the dubious grounds that they are needed for research and development (R&D)…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p220-2)

The facts are sometimes acknowledged, with an interesting twist. )…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p225-6)

A month earlier, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky presented the State Department’s annual report on human rights around the world, (Chomsky “Failed States” p231-2)

The reactionary statists who have a thin grip on political power are dedicated warriors. With consistency and passion that approach caricature, their policies serve the substantial people—in fact, an unusually narrow sector of them—and disregard or harm the underlying population and future generations. They are also seeking to use their current opportunities to institutionalize these arrangements, so that it will be no small task to reconstruct a more humane and democratic society….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p236-7)

In Ohio drawing from the same courageous defenders of academic freedom against the onslaught from the left, Senator Larry Mumper introduced legislation to “restrict what university professors could say in their classrooms.”…… ….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p239)

The financial crisis is surely no secret. The press reports that 30 percent of health care costs go for administration,….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p246-7)

Meanwhile Cuba-Venezuela relations are becoming very close, each relying on its comparative advantage……(Chomsky “Failed States” p256,8)

One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: "They present solutions, but I don't like them." In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for the United States have already been mentioned: 1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; 2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; 3) let the UN take the lead in international crises; 4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror; 5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter; 6) give up the Security Council veto and have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centers disagree; 7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending. For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: they appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are in radical opposition to public policy. To be sure, we cannot be very confident about the state of public opinion on such matters because of another feature of the democratic deficit: the topics scarcely enter into public discussion and the basic facts are little known. In a highly atomized society, the public is therefore largely deprived of the opportunity to form considered opinions. (Chomsky “Failed States” 262)

Then McNamara says, “I think he’s right….But what makes it immoral if you lose and not Immoral if you win?”

I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve been told that in it McNamara identifies his own role during the Second World War for the first time. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.65-

The Reagan administration blocked it because they didn’t want the public to know what happened in Guatemala in 1954 and Iran in 1953. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.

Every four years Americans, those who vote, are faced with what is often called the lesser of two evils as their presidential options. Dave Dellinger, who passed away in May, used to call it "the evil of two lessers." You say that there is "a fraction" of difference between George Bush and John Kerry. And this raised some eyebrows. I heard, "It sounds like Chomsky is coming out for Kerry." Could you expand on your position.

There are differences. They have different constituencies. There are different groups of people around them. On international affairs I wouldn’t expect any major policy changes. It would probably be more like back to the Clinton years, when you have sort of the same policies, but more modulated, not so brazen and aggressive, less violent. And I would expect a kind of return to that.

On domestic issues there could be a fairly significant difference–it’s not huge–but different in its outcomes. The group around Bush are real fanatics. They’re quite open. They’re not hiding it; you can’t accuse them of that. They want to destroy the whole array of progressive achievements of the past century. They’ve already more or less gotten rid of progressive income tax. They’re trying to destroy the limited medical care system. The new pharmaceutical bill is a step towards that. They’re going after Social Security. They probably will go after schools. They do not want a small government, any more than Reagan did. They want a huge government, and massively intrusive. They hate free markets. But they want it to work for the rich. The Kerry people will do something not fantastically different, but less so. They have a different constituency to appeal to, and they are much more likely to protect some limited form of benefits for the general population.

There are other differences. The popular constituency of the Bush people, a large part of it, is the extremist fundamentalist religious sector in the country, which is huge. There is nothing like it in any other industrial country. And they have to keep throwing them red meat to keep them in line. While they’re shafting them in their economic and social policies, you’ve got to make them think you’re doing something for them. And throwing red meat to that constituency is very dangerous for the world, because it means violence and aggression, but also for the country, because it means harming civil liberties in a serious way. The Kerry people don’t have that constituency. They would like to have it, but they’re never going to appeal to it much. They have to appeal somehow to working people, women, minorities, and others, and that makes a difference.

These may not look like huge differences, but they translate into quite big effects for the lives of people. Anyone who says "I don’t care if Bush gets elected" is basically telling poor and working people in the country, "I don’t care if your lives are destroyed. I don’t care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don’t care, because from my elevated point of view I don’t see much difference between them." That’s a way of saying, "Pay no attention to me, because I don’t care about you." Apart from its being wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.112-3

Yes. One of the first acts in the conquest of Falluja was to take over the general hospital, which was a major war crime. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.122=7

Take this morning’s New York Times, which has an article reporting the views of Gregory Mankiw, the chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.142=3

John F. Kennedy apparently sponsored a military coup in 1963 that put Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party in power. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.162-3

Or take Haiti. Haiti is considered a “failed state,” but in 1990 Haiti had a democratic election of the kind we can only dream of. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.200-1

The west is guided by a different vision, one outlined forthrightly by Winston Churchill (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.4)

On similar grounds, the United States never considered Stalin’s proposals for a unified and demilitarized Germany with free election in 1952. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.33)

There was also no delay in demonstrating that the contempt for democracy that has long been a leading feature of U.S. policy and intellectual culture would persist without change. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.45)

A rational person interested in what the Soviet leaders intended to do during the Cold War years would ask what they did do, particularly in the regions most fully under their control. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.71)

Recognizing these peculiarities of American political culture, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce distributed more than a million copies of it’s pamphlet “Communist Infiltration in the United States” Immediately after the war, along with another entitled “Communists Within the Government.” (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.89)

Modern gynecological surgery, for example, was developed by respected medical researchers who were free to torture helpless Irish indigent women as well as slaves in their experimental work; Mengele might have been impressed. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.115)

As Washington prepared to reverse Guatemala’s brief experiment with democracy in 1954, a State Department official warned that Guatemala “has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.122)

(Noam Chomsky Third World Traveler quotes similar to World Orders Old and New )

The violence of the Israeli reaction to the Intifada received some general notice, but neither these reports, nor the occasional accounts in earlier years when atrocities passed beyond the norm, give an accurate picture of the “sheer accumulations of endless humiliations and casually committed brutalities” that (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.)

Events followed a parallel course. Israeli military operations in the territories were accelerated at once, with fifteen Palestinians killed and nine houses destroyed in September……..Among them was grocer Abdul-Rahman Yusif Aruri , “the victim of what the human rights organization, Al-Haq, described as ‘premeditated execution,’” his cousin, University of Massachusetts professor Naseer Aruri, reported. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.258)

Page two: quotes for authors K-Z

Edward Bernays “Propaganda” 1928

Albert J. Beveridge: “The Life of John Marshall” 1916

James Boggs: “The American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker's Notebook” 1963

H. Rap Brown: “Die Nigger Die: A Political Autobiography”

retired major General Smedley Darlington Butler “War is a Racket

Noam Chomsky: "9/11" 2001 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda" 1973 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Deterring Democracy" 1991 for free online copy click here

Noam Chomsky: "Failed states: the abuse of power and the assault on democracy" 2006 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Hegemony or survival: America's quest for global dominance" 2003 for free preview click here

Noam Chomsky: "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies" 1997 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Rethinking Camelot: JFK, Vietnam and the political culture" 1973

Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004

William John Cox “You’re not Stupid! Get the Truth: A Brief on the Bush Presidency”

Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007

Richard Dawkins: “The Ancestor's Tale” 2004

Richard Dawkins: “The Blind Watchmaker”

Richard Dawkins: “A Devil's Chaplain” 2004

Richard Dawkins: “The God Delusion” 2006

Richard Dawkins: “The Selfish Gene”

Richard Dawkins: “Unweaving The Rainbow”

Daniel Dennett: “Breaking the Spell-Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” 2006

Daniel Dennett: “Darwin's Dangerous Idea” 1995

Henry George “Progress and Poverty” 1879 (1953 abridged edition, with modern commentary)

Michael Haas: “George W. Bush, War Criminal?” 2009

Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 on line copy

Sam Harris: “Letter To A Christian Nation” 2006

Christopher Hitchens: “God is not Great” 2006

Samuels Huntington “Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” 1997

Hyde Park Chapter, Chicago Women's Liberation Union “Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement”

George Jackson: “Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson” 1971

George Lakey: “Strategizing For A Living Revolution” 2003

edited by Andrea Langlois, Ron Sakolsky, & Marian van der Zon “Islands of Resistance Pirate Radio”

Lawrence Lessig Free “Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity” 2004

Staughton Lynd “The Freedom Schools” 1964

Nelson Mandela's statement at his trial and his speech at his release

Alice Miller: "For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence" 1990 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available

Olivier Maurel: “Spanking: Questions and answers about disciplinary violence” 2005 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available

Greg Mortenson: “Stones into Schools” 2009 on line copy

Bill Moyer: “The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements” 1987

John Perkins: “The Secret History of American Empire”

Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962

Lewis F. Powell “The Powell Memorandum” 1971

Carl Sagan: “The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence” 1978

Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” 2007 on line copy at

Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” on-line copy at knizky.mahdi

David Walker: “David Walker's Appeal”

Joseph Watson “Order out of Chaos”

Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002

Bob Woodward “State of Denial” 2006

Bob Woodward “The War Within” 2008

Robert Wright “The Moral Animal Why We Are The Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology” 2006

Howard Zinn: "A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.)" 2005 for free copy click here

History is a Weapon

Deterring Democracy

Warren Report

Report of the Select Committee of Assassinations of the US House of representatives

Clay Shaw Trial transcripts

additional information available at History

Copy of JFK’s “Peace Speech” at American University

Other speeches by JFK

James Douglass Ground Zero Center for nonviolent Action website

Daniel Ellsberg’s website

Full Index
Indoctrination Tactics
The Real God Maybe
Free Speech
Lessons From Histoy
What Religious people really Worship
Theory for everything
107 Wonders of the Ancient World