The Political Economy of Human Rights

Chomsky, Noam; Herman, Edward
Publisher:  Black Rose Books
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX8131

The examines the selective and unbalanced way in which the American media cover human rights violations in the American sphere of influence as opposed to those outside the U.S. sphere of influence.

In this two volume work Chomsky and Herman underline the American Press' selective coverage of atrocities around the world. The mainstream press has ignored the crimes committed by countries in the U.S. sphere of influence. While focussing on crimes in Communist countries they have turnd a blind eye to East Timor, the massacre of Ache Indians in Paraguay, the disapearance or murder of 20,000 Guatemalans. They also point out that foreign aid has traditionally gone to regimes that create a favorable investment climate by suppressing dissent. Using a study of 12 U.S. backed Third World countries they found that the most aid went to the countries that had the most human rights violations. They demolish the notion that after Watergate the press would be tough and investigative -- at least when it comes to American foreign policy. Paradoxically the book has ended up illustrating much of what they have said about the control of ideas in America. A small publishing firm was going to publish an earlier version as a monograph but the parent company Warner Publishing refused the distribution of 20,000 copies because it felt the book was "unpatriotic".

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