Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. Sometimes described as the "father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy. He has spent most of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently Professor Emeritus, and has authored over 100 books. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and was voted the "world's top public intellectual" in a 2005 poll.
Born to a middle-class Ashkenazi Jewish family in Philadelphia, Chomsky developed an early interest in anarchism from relatives in New York City. He later undertook studies in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained his BA, MA, and PhD, while from 1951 to 1955 he was appointed to Harvard University's Society of Fellows. In 1955 he began work at MIT, soon becoming a significant figure in the field of linguistics for his publications and lectures on the subject. He is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy, the universal grammar theory, and the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem.
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The world's foremost critic of U.S. foreign policy exposes the hollow promises of democracy in American actions abroad—and at home

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 seminal writings of America’s leading philosopher, linguist, and political thinker—“the foremost gadfly of our national conscience” (The New York Times).
 
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
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