For the past fifty years Noam Chomsky’s writings on politics and language have established him as a preeminent public intellectual as well as one of the most original political and social critics of our time. Among the seminal figures in linguistic theory over the past century, Chomsky has also secured a place among the most influential dissident voice in the United States.
Chomsky’s many bestselling works—including Manufacturing Consent, Hegemony or Survival, Understanding Power, and Failed States—have served as essential touchstones for activists, scholars, and concerned citizens on subjects ranging from the media and intellectual freedom to human rights and war crimes. In particular, Chomsky’s scathing critique of the US wars in Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East have furnished a widely accepted intellectual premise for antiwar movements for nearly four decades.
The Essential Chomsky assembles the core of his most important writings, including excerpts from his most influential texts over the past half century. Here is an unprecedented, comprehensive overview of the thought that animates “one of the West’s most influential intellectuals in the cause of peace” (The Independent).
“Chomsky ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities—and is the only writer among them still alive.” —The Guardian
“Noam Chomsky is one of the most significant challengers of unjust power and delusions; he goes against every assumption about American altruism and humanitarianism.” —Edward Said
“A rebel without a pause.” —Bono
The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene against "failed states" around the globe. In this much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state," and thus a danger to its own people and the world.
"Failed states" Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a ‘democratic deficit,' having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of the nuclear risk; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and America's self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy.
Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices have recklessly placed the world on the brink of disaster. Systematically dismantling America's claim to being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused—and urgent—critique to date.
The world’s leading intellectual offers a probing examination of the waning American Century, the nature of U.S. policies post-9/11, and the perils of valuing power above democracy and human rights
In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe and wrecking the global commons. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the expanding drone assassination program to the threat of nuclear warfare, as well as the flashpoints of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine, he offers unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet.
In the process, Chomsky provides a brilliant anatomy of just how U.S. elites have grown ever more insulated from any democratic constraints on their power. While the broader population is lulled into apathy—diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable—the corporations and the rich have increasingly been allowed to do as they please.
Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central conflicts and dangers of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky.
In a series of enlightening and wide-ranging discussions, all published here for the first time, Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during Vietnam to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America’s imperialistic foreign policy and the decline of domestic social services, Chomsky also discerns the necessary steps to take toward social change. With an eye to political activism and the media’s role in popular struggle, as well as U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power offers a sweeping critique of the world around us and is definitive Chomsky.
Characterized by Chomsky’s accessible and informative style, this is the ideal book for those new to his work as well as for those who have been listening for years.
Published as four short books in the famous Real Story series—What Uncle Sam Really Wants; The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy; and The Common Good—they’ve collectively sold almost 600,000 copies.
And they continue to sell year after year after year because Chomsky’s ideas become, if anything, more relevant as time goes by. For example, twenty years ago he pointed out that “in 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment—more or less productive things—and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed.” As we know, speculation continued to increase exponentially. We’re paying the price now for not heeding him them.
The resulting dialogue is one of the most original, provocative, and spontaneous exchanges to have occurred between contemporary philosophers, and above all serves as a concise introduction to their basic theories. What begins as a philosophical argument rooted in linguistics (Chomsky) and the theory of knowledge (Foucault), soon evolves into a broader discussion encompassing a wide range of topics, from science, history, and behaviorism to creativity, freedom, and the struggle for justice in the realm of politics.
In addition to the debate itself, this volume features a newly written introduction by noted Foucault scholar John Rajchman and includes substantial additional texts by Chomsky and Foucault.
Fifty years after it first appeared, one of Noam Chomsky’s greatest essays will be published for the first time as a timely stand-alone book, with a new preface by the author
As a nineteen-year-old undergraduate in 1947, Noam Chomsky was deeply affected by articles about the responsibility of intellectuals written by Dwight Macdonald, an editor of Partisan Review and then of Politics. Twenty years later, as the Vietnam War was escalating, Chomsky turned to the question himself, noting that “intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments” and to analyze their “often hidden intentions.”
Originally published in the New York Review of Books, Chomsky’s essay eviscerated the “hypocritical moralism of the past” (such as when Woodrow Wilson set out to teach Latin Americans “the art of good government”) and exposed the shameful policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying it.
Also included in this volume is the brilliant “The Responsibility of Intellectuals Redux,” written on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, which makes the case for using privilege to challenge the state. As relevant now as it was in 1967, The Responsibility of Intellectuals reminds us that “privilege yields opportunity and opportunity confers responsibilities.” All of us have choices, even in desperate times.
The United States is in the process of staking out not just the globe but the last unarmed spot in our neighborhood-the heavens-as a militarized sphere of influence. Our earth and its skies are, for the Bush administration, the final frontiers of imperial control. In Hegemony or Survival , Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in, and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.
With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky dissects America's quest for global supremacy, tracking the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of policies intended to achieve "full spectrum dominance" at any cost. He lays out vividly how the various strands of policy-the militarization of space, the ballistic-missile defense program, unilateralism, the dismantling of international agreements, and the response to the Iraqi crisis-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our survival. In our era, he argues, empire is a recipe for an earthly wasteland.
Lucid, rigorous, and thoroughly documented, Hegemony or Survival promises to be Chomsky's most urgent and sweeping work in years, certain to spark widespread debate.
In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.
The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, Power Systems shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
The collection includes a revealing new introduction by journalist Nathan Schneider, who documented the Occupy movement for Harper's and The Nation, and who places Chomsky's ideas in the contemporary political moment. On Anarchism will be essential reading for a new generation of activists who are at the forefront of a resurgence of interest in anarchism—and for anyone who struggles with what can be done to create a more just world.
Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race.
"This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger
"In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism...the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us." —Publisher's Weekly
"Chomsky’s commentary is razor sharp and offers a compendium of facts that make a well-supported—and undoubtedly controversial—claim of the incongruity between US actions and the democratic ideals it professes....A valuable resource for both academics and everyday concerned citizens." —ForeWord
Professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Noam Chomsky is widely regarded to be one of the foremost critics of U.S. foreign policy in the world. He has published numerous groundbreaking books, articles, and essays on global politics, history, and linguistics. Among his recent books are The New York Times bestsellers Hegemony or Survival and Failed States.
Chomsky considers how the media might be democratized (as part of the general problem of developing more democratic institutions) in order to offer citizens broader and more meaningful participation in social and political life.
In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on fifty years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis. He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding. Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present.
"A revelation. . . . This is a book woven through with hope and awe at all the people who slip beyond imperial control and establish real democracy . . . a treasure-trove."—The Independent
In this collection of essays from 1969 to 2013, many in book form for the first time, Noam Chomsky examines the nature of state power, from the ideologies driving the Cold War to the War on Terror, and reintroduces the moral and legal questions that all too often go unheeded. With unrelenting logic, he holds the arguments of empire up to critical examination and shatters the myths of those who protect the power and privilege of the few against the interests and needs of the many. A new introduction by Marcus Raskin contextualizes Chomsky's place among some of the most influential thinkers of modern history.
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT. His work is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. He is the author of numerous best-selling political works, which have been translated into scores of countries worldwide. His most recent books include the New York Times bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Power Systems, Occupy, and Hopes and Prospects.
Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and professor of public policy at George Washington University, is a social critic, activist, and philosopher.
Noam Chomsky is widely regarded to be one of the foremost critics of US foreign policy in the world. He has published numerous groundbreaking books, articles, and essays on global politics, history, and linguistics. Since 2003 he has written a monthly column for the New York Times syndicate. His recent books include Masters of Mankind and Hopes and Prospects. Haymarket Books recently released updated editions of twelve of his classic books.
Ilan Pappé is the bestselling author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine: A History of Modern Palestine and The Israel/Palestine Question.
Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books include Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Gaza in Crisis, Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation, and On Palestine.
bestselling 9-11, our foremost intellectual activist examines crucial new questions of U.S. foreign policy
Timely, urgent, and powerfully elucidating, this important volume of previously unpublished interviews conducted by award-winning radio journalist David Barsamian features Noam Chomsky discussing America's policies in an increasingly unstable world. With his famous insight, lucidity, and redoubtable grasp of history, Chomsky offers his views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of "preemptive" strikes against so-called rogue states, and the prospects of the second Bush administration, warning of the growing threat to international peace posed by the U.S. drive for domination. In his inimitable style, Chomsky also dissects the propaganda system that fabricates a mythic past and airbrushes inconvenient facts out of history.
Barsamian, recipient of the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, has conducted more interviews and radio broadcasts with Chomsky than has any other journalist. Enriched by their unique rapport, Imperial Ambitions explores topics Chomsky has never before discussed, among them the 2004 presidential campaign and election, the future of Social Security, and the increasing threat, including devastating weather patterns, of global warming. The result is an illuminating dialogue with one of the leading thinkers of our time—and a startling picture of the turbulent times in which we live.
“A loosely connected collection of four essays that will fascinate anyone interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of language.”
—New York Review of Books
We are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in conversations. This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language—“the language faculty”—raises important biological questions about language, including how it has evolved. This book by two distinguished scholars—a computer scientist and a linguist—addresses the enduring question of the evolution of language.
Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky explain that until recently the evolutionary question could not be properly posed, because we did not have a clear idea of how to define “language” and therefore what it was that had evolved. But since the Minimalist Program, developed by Chomsky and others, we know the key ingredients of language and can put together an account of the evolution of human language and what distinguishes us from all other animals.
Berwick and Chomsky discuss the biolinguistic perspective on language, which views language as a particular object of the biological world; the computational efficiency of language as a system of thought and understanding; the tension between Darwin's idea of gradual change and our contemporary understanding about evolutionary change and language; and evidence from nonhuman animals, in particular vocal learning in songbirds.
Beginning in the mid-fifties and emanating largely form MIT, an approach was developed to linguistic theory and to the study of the structure of particular languages that diverges in many respects from modern linguistics. Although this approach is connected to the traditional study of languages, it differs enough in its specific conclusions about the structure and in its specific conclusions about the structure of language to warrant a name, "generative grammar." Various deficiencies have been discovered in the first attempts to formulate a theory of transformational generative grammar and in the descriptive analysis of particular languages that motivated these formulations. At the same time, it has become apparent that these formulations can be extended and deepened.The major purpose of this book is to review these developments and to propose a reformulation of the theory of transformational generative grammar that takes them into account. The emphasis in this study is syntax; semantic and phonological aspects of the language structure are discussed only insofar as they bear on syntactic theory.
In Part I, Language and Responsibility, Chomsky presents a fascinating self-portrait of his political, moral, and linguistic thinking. In Part II, Reflections on Language, Chomsky explores the more general implications of the study of language and offers incisive analyses of the controversies among psychologists, philosophers, and linguists over fundamental questions of language.
"Language and Responsibility is a well-organized, clearly written, and comprehensive introduction to Chomsky's thought." —New York Times Book Review
"Language and Responsibility brings together in one readable volume Chomsky's positions on issues ranging from politics and philosophy of science to recent advances in linguistic theory... The clarity of presentation at times approaches that of Bertrand Russell in his political and more popular philosophical essays." —Contemporary Psychology
"Reflections on Language is profoundly satisfying and impressive. It is the clearest and most developed account of the case of universal grammar and of the relations between his theory of language and the innate faculties of mind responsible for language aquisition and use." —Patrick Flanagan
The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism relentlessly dissects the official views of establishment scholars and their journals. The "best and brightest" pundits of the status quo emerge from this book thoroughly denuded of their credibility.
In this new collection of conversations, conducted in 2006 and 2007, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: Iran's challenge to the United States, the deterioration of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise of China, and the growing power of the left in Latin America, as well as the Democratic victory in the 2006 U.S. midterm elections and the upcoming presidential race. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.
The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, What We Say Goes shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
In wide-ranging discussions with David Barsamian, his longtime interlocutor, Noam Chomsky asks us to consider “the world we are leaving to our grandchildren”: one imperiled by climate change and the growing potential for nuclear war. If the current system is incapable of dealing with these threats, he argues, it’s up to us to radically change it.
The twelve interviews in Global Discontents examine the latest developments around the globe: the rise of ISIS, the reach of state surveillance, growing anger over economic inequality, conflicts in the Middle East, and the presidency of Donald Trump. In personal reflections on his Philadelphia childhood, Chomsky also describes his own intellectual journey and the development of his uncompromising stance as America’s premier dissident intellectual.
Noam Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, published in 1965, was a landmark work in generative grammar that introduced certain technical innovations still drawn upon in contemporary work. The fiftieth anniversary edition of this influential book includes a new preface by the author that identifies proposals that seem to be of lasting significance, reviews changes and improvements in the formulation and implementation of basic ideas, and addresses some of the controversies that arose over the general framework.
Beginning in the mid-fifties and emanating largely from MIT, linguists developed an approach to linguistic theory and to the study of the structure of particular languages that diverged in many respects from conventional modern linguistics. Although the new approach was connected to the traditional study of languages, it differed enough in its specific conclusions about the structure of language to warrant a name, “generative grammar.” Various deficiencies were discovered in the first attempts to formulate a theory of transformational generative grammar and in the descriptive analysis of particular languages that motivated these formulations. At the same time, it became apparent that these formulations can be extended and deepened. In this book, Chomsky reviews these developments and proposes a reformulation of the theory of transformational generative grammar that takes them into account. The emphasis in this study is syntax; semantic and phonological aspects of the language structure are discussed only insofar as they bear on syntactic theory.
In his foundational book, The Minimalist Program, published in 1995, Noam Chomsky offered a significant contribution to the generative tradition in linguistics. This twentieth-anniversary edition reissues this classic work with a new preface by the author.
In four essays, Chomsky attempts to situate linguistic theory in the broader cognitive sciences, with the essays formulating and progressively developing the minimalist approach to linguistic theory. Building on the theory of principles and parameters and, in particular, on principles of economy of derivation and representation, the minimalist framework takes Universal Grammar as providing a unique computational system, with derivations driven by morphological properties, to which the syntactic variation of languages is also restricted. Within this theoretical framework, linguistic expressions are generated by optimally efficient derivations that must satisfy the conditions that hold on interface levels, the only levels of linguistic representation. The interface levels provide instructions to two types of performance systems, articulatory-perceptual and conceptual-intentional. All syntactic conditions, then, express properties of these interface levels, reflecting the interpretive requirements of language and keeping to very restricted conceptual resources.
In the preface to this edition, Chomsky emphasizes that the minimalist approach developed in the book and in subsequent work “is a program, not a theory.” With this book, Chomsky built on pursuits from the earliest days of generative grammar to formulate a new research program that had far-reaching implications for the field.
The father of modern linguistics, Noam Chomsky is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a world-renowned philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. The least expensive edition of his selected readings, this volume is an ideal choice for students and teachers.
The book consists of five lectures on U.S. international and security policy. The first two lectures examine the persistent and largely homogenous features of U.S. foreign policy, and overall framework of order. The third discusses Central America and its foreign policy pattern. The fourth looks at U.S. national security and the arms race. And the fifth examines U.S. domestic policy.
These five talks, conveyed directly to the people bearing the brunt of devastating U.S. foreign policy, make historic and exciting reading.
This work is of singular importance as it contains the genesis of the author’s work in the field of generative grammar which has had such a profound impact upon the study of linguistics. This reissue of a truly pioneering work will be of great interest to all those concerned with generative grammar and its origins, and with the progression of thought of one of the greatest minds of our time.