Blum, William. Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, USA. 2004.

A new book by Blum is an occasion. He has only written two earlier books of political analysis; Killing Hope: U.S.A. Military and CIA interventions Since WW2 and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. His exhaustive research combined with witty commentary make his books easy to read but powerfully authoritative.

In this latest collection of essays his fertile mind ranges across a wide geography of issues and events. On the subject of, “Interventions Are Us,” Blum reminds us of the USA bombing of a drug factory in Sudan and the support for a corrupt regime in Peru. Iraq and Afghanistan have overshadowed mendacity of USA foreign policy in the rest of the world but, interventions, force and threat are still the order of the day. Indeed we may ask what technique is being used now to make Canada a second home for BMD?

Blum does a wonderful job of using politicians own words to illustrate their deceit and lies. From Madeleine Albright justifying murderous sanctions to the justification for armed intervention in Iraq from the latest bunch of oil slicks back to the lies surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he covers them all.

But the part that I liked and was new to me was the list of socialist governments in today’s world. We know about Cuba and Venezuela, but what about Tajikistan and Estonia?

In a scary essay, “Winning hearts and mindless”, Blum shows the depth and breadth of ignorance of the American people, concluding that the peace movement has the necessary and enormous task of overcoming this vacuum. As in his other books, there is a wealth of information and wit here to help that task; it belongs on the activist reference shelf with his other books.

Filed under Book Reviews, William Blum