Robert Mcchesney Rich Media Poor Democracy Essays


Paperback, 160 pages
ISBN: 1-58367-111-0
Released: August 2004

This volume brings together the work of leading Marxist analysts of imperialism to examine the burning question of our time—the nature and prospects of the U.S. imperial project currently being given shape by war and occupation in the Middle East.

Immanuel Wallerstein, Peter Gowan, and others discuss the dynamics at work behind the “War on Terrorism.” Their analyses locate recent developments within a longer historical arc, and set out the central questions for research and debate: Is U.S. unilateralism and militarism a sign of the increasing strength of the world’s only remaining superpower? Or a desperate response to the erosion of the strategy it developed for ensuring its leadership over the advanced capitalist world during the Cold War? Essays by Barbara Epstein, Amiya Kumar Bagchi and others also examine the prospects for the resistance to imperialism in the United States and globally.

Pox Americana brings together a range of insights and perspectives that were initially presented at a conference in Burlington, Vermont, to honor Harry Magdoff on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday. It is a fitting tribute to Magdoff’s pioneering analyses of U.S. imperialism and a testimony to the resilience and fruitfulness of the radical tradition.

Table of Contents

Preface by John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney

PART ONE: U.S. Imperialism Has a Long History

  1. Kipling, the “White Man’s Burden,” and U.S. Imperialism by Harry Magdoff, John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney
  2. Imperial Ambition by Noam Chomsky, interviewed by David Barsamian
  3. The Grid of History: Cowboys and Indians by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  4. U.S. Weakness and the Struggle for Hegemony by Immanuel Wallerstein

PART TWO: The Geopolitics and Political Economy of U.S. Imperialism

  1. The New Geopolitics by Michael Klare
  2. U.S. Hegemony Today by Peter Gowan
  3. The Global Minotaur by Joseph Halevi and Yanis Varoufakis
  4. The Two Wings of the Eagle by William K. Tabb

PART THREE: Resistance

  1. Confronting the Empire by Samir Amin
  2. The Parameters of Resistance by Amiya Kumar Bagchi
  3. Can U.S. Workers Embrace Anti-Imperialism? by William Fletcher, Jr.
  4. Prospects for Anti-Imperialism: Coming to Terms with Our Own Bourgeoisie by Sam Gindin
  5. Notes on the Antiwar Movement by Barbara Epstein
  6. Construction of an Enemy by Eleanor Stein
  7. Homeland Imperialism: Fear and Resistance by Bernardine Dohrn
  8. The New Age of Imperialism by John Bellamy Foster

John Bellamy Foster is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, author of Marx’s Ecology and Ecology Against Capitalism, and co-editor of Monthly Review. Robert W. McChesney is professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Rich Media, Poor DemocracyOur Media, Not Theirs, and The Problem of the Media.

Expertly co-edited by John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney, Pox Americana: Exposing the American Empire collects analyses and essays from leading left-wing authors … Noam Chomsky, Barbara Epstein, and many more learned contributors discuss U.S. imperialism throughout history such as its genocidal campaign against Native Americans, the political economy of imperialism, the modern antiwar movement and what can be done to strengthen it, and much more. A highly sober accounting…

—Paul T. Vogel, The Midwest Book Review

Additional information

Book Type


Publication Date

August 2004

Number of Pages


Paperback ISBN


Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN: 0-85345-989-4
Released: January 1998

Not a day goes by that we don’t see a news clip, hear a radio report, or read an article heralding the miraculous new technologies of the information age. The communication revolution associated with these technologies is often heralded as the key to a new age of “globalization.” How is all of this reshaping the labor force, transforming communications, changing the potential for democracy, and altering the course of history itself? Capitalism and the Information Age presents a rigorous examination of some of the most crucial problems and possibilities of these novel technologies. Taken together, the essays reveal how the new information technologies have been grafted onto a global capitalist system characterized by vast and growing inequality, economic stagnation, market saturation, financial instability, urban crisis, social polarization, graded access to information, and economic degradation.

Contents & Contributors

  1. The Political Economy of Global Communication by Robert W. McChesney
  2. Modernity, Postmodernity, or Capitalism? by Ellen Meiksins Wood
  3. Virtual Capitalism by Michael Dawson and John Bellamy Foster
  4. Democracy and the New Technologies by Ken Hirschkop
  5. Global Village or Cultural Pillage? The Unequal Inheritance of the Communications Revolution by Peter Golding
  6. The U.S. Rules, OK?: Telecommunications Since the 1940s by Jill Hills
  7. The Privatization of Telecommunications by Nicholas Baran
  8. Selling Our Children: Channel One and the Politics of Education by Michael W. Apple
  9. Challenging Capitalism in Cyberspace: The Information Highway, the Postindustrial Economy, and People by Heather Menzies
  10. Work, New Technology, and Capitalism by Peter Meiksins
  11. Fighting Neoliberalism in Canadian Telecommunications by Elaine Bernard and Sid Schniad
  12. Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind by Noam Chomsky
  13. The Propaganda Model Revisited by Edward Herman
  14. Information Technology and Socialist Self-Management by Andy Pollack

Anyone concerned about the direction the information revolution is taking should read this book. The subjects covered are far-ranging… [The] essays are clearly written, making the book accessible to a broad range of readers. In short, highest recommendation…


Explains in very concrete terms how the global communication revolution is still firmly controlled by capital, and that the ‘freedom’ of expression we enjoy today is really shaped by a few mega-corporations who own virtually all of the media and entertainment industries.

Development in Practice

Robert W. McChesney teaches journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy and Rich Media, Poor Democracy (2000, pbk. edition). Ellen Meiksins Wood is the author of numerous books including The Retreat from Class (1986, winner of the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize), The Origin of Capitalism (1999), The Pristine Culture of Capitalism (1991), and Democracy Against Capitalism (1995), co-author with Neal Wood of A Trumpet of Sedition (1997), and co-editor of In Defense of History (1997), and Rising from the Ashes?: Labor in the Age of Global Capitalism (1999). John Bellamy Foster is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Vulnerable Planet (1999) and Marx’s Ecology (2000) and co-editor of In Defense of History (1996).


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