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  • American Power and the New Mandarins is a book by the US academic Noam Chomsky, largely written in 1968, published in 1969. It was his first political book and sets out in detail his opposition to the Vietnam War. He develops the arguments, laid out in The Responsibility of Intellectuals, that the American intellectual and technical class, in universities and in government, bear major responsibility for the atrocities perpetrated by the United States in Vietnam. Chomsky argues, however, that US policy in Vietnam was largely successful. In Chomsky's view US policy was to destroy the nationalist movements in the South Vietnamese peasantry rather than to defend South Vietnam from North Vietnamese aggression. He holds that the former was accomplished rather successfully even if at the expense of the latter. His fundamental point on the New Mandarins is that we should not uncritically accept the claim that technocratic approaches are neutral and beneficial.

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