Author bio

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky - book author

Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. He also helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, in which he challenged the behaviorist approach to the study of behavior and language dominant in the 1950s. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has affected the philosophy of language and mind. He is also credited with the establishment of the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power. Beginning with his critique of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, Chomsky has become more widely known for his media criticism and political activism, and for his criticism of the foreign policy of the United States and other governments.

According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–1992 time period, and was the eighth-most cited scholar in any time period.

Noam Chomsky is the author of books: Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, Chomsky On Anarchism, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, Who Rules the World?, 9-11, How the World Works, The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature


Author books

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01
An immediate national bestseller, Hegemony or Survival demonstrates how, for more than half a century the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing-as in the Cuban missile crisis-to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this perilous moment and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky tracks the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of "full spectrum dominance" and vividly lays out how the most recent manifestations of the politics of global control-from unilateralism to the dismantling of international agreements to state terrorism-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our existence. Lucidly written, thoroughly documented, and featuring a new afterword by the author, Hegemony or Survival is a definitive statement from one of today's most influential thinkers.
02
A major new collection from "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times). Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sold-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's recent talks on the past, present, and future of the politics of power. 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.
03
In Profit Over People, Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a form of class war worldwide. By examining the contradictions between the democratic and market principles proclaimed by those in power and those actually practiced, Chomsky critiques the tyranny of the few that restricts the public arena and enacts policies that vastly increase private wealth, often with complete disregard for social and ecological consequences. Combining detailed historical examples and uncompromising criticism, Chomsky offers a profound sense of hope that social activism can reclaim people's rights as citizens rather than as consumers, redefining democracy as a global movement, not a global market.
04
Noam Chomsky’s backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control begins by asserting two models of democracy—one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky, "propaganda is to democracy as the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state," and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States. From an examination of how Woodrow Wilson’s Creel Commission "succeeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, war-mongering population," to Bush Sr.'s war on Iraq, Chomsky examines how the mass media and public relations industries have been used as propaganda to generate public support for going to war. Chomsky further touches on how the modern public relations industry has been influenced by Walter Lippmann’s theory of "spectator democracy," in which the public is seen as a "bewildered herd" that needs to be directed, not empowered; and how the public relations industry in the United States focuses on "controlling the public mind," and not on informing it. Media Control is an invaluable primer on the secret workings of disinformation in democratic societies.


From the Audiobook Download edition.
05
We all know what Noam Chomsky is against. His scathing analysis of everything that’s wrong with our society reaches more and more people every day. His brilliant critiques of—among other things—capitalism, imperialism, domestic repression and government propaganda have become mini-publishing industries unto themselves. But, in this flood of publishing and republishing, very little ever gets said about what exactly Chomsky stands for, his own personal politics, his vision of the future.

Not, that is, until Chomsky on Anarchism, a groundbreaking new book that shows a different side of this best-selling author: the anarchist principles that have guided him since he was a teenager. This collection of Chomsky’s essays and inter-views includes numerous pieces that have never been published before, as well as rare material that first saw the light of day in hard-to-find pamphlets and anarchist periodicals. Taken together, they paint a fresh picture of Chomsky, showing his lifelong involvement with the anarchist community, his constant commitment to nonhierarchical models of political organization and his hopes for a future world without rulers.

For anyone who’s been touched by Chomsky’s trenchant analysis of our current situation, as well as anyone looking for an intelligent and coherent discussion of anarchism itself, look no further than Chomsky on Anarchism.

Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s leading intellectuals, the father of modern linguistics, an outspoken media and foreign policy critic and tireless activist. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
06
"It's hard to imagine any American reading this book and not seeing his country in a new, and deeply troubling, light."--The New York Times Book Review

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, showing how the United States itself shares features with other failed states--suffering from a severe "democratic deficit," eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world. Exploring the latest developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Chomsky reveals Washington's plans to further militarize the planet, greatly increasing the risks of nuclear war. He also assesses the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; documents Washington's self-exemption from international norms, including the Geneva conventions and the Kyoto Protocol; and examines how the U.S. electoral system is designed to eliminate genuine political alternatives, 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. Systematically dismantling the United States' pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused--and urgent--critique to date.
07
In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky examines the way that the United States, despite the rise of Europe and Asia, still largely sets the terms of global discourse. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the sordid history of U.S. involvement with Cuba to the sanctions on Iran, he details how America's rhetoric of freedom and human rights so often diverges from its actions. He delves deep into the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel-Palestine, providing unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. And, in a new afterword, he addresses the election of Donald Trump and what it shows about American society.
08
In 9-11, Noam Chomsky comments on the September 11th attacks, the new war on terrorism, Osama bin Laden, U.S. involvement with Afghanistan, media control, and the long-term implications of America's military attacks abroad. Informed by his deep understanding of the gravity of these issues and the global stakes, 9-11 demonstrates Chomsky's impeccable knowledge of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia, and sheds light on the rapidly shifting balance of world power. Speaking out against escalating violence, Chomsky critically examines the United States' own foreign policy record and considers what international institutions might be employed against underground networks and national states accused of terrorism. 9-11's analysis still stands as a measure of how well the media is able to serve its role of informing the citizenry, so crucial to our democracy in times of war.
09
According to The New York Times, Noam Chomsky is “arguably the most important intellectual alive.” But he isn’t easy to read . . . or at least he wasn’t until these books came along. Made up of intensively edited speeches and interviews, they offer something not found anywhere else: pure Chomsky, with every dazzling idea and penetrating insight intact, delivered in clear, accessible, reader-friendly prose.

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.
10
Two of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers debate a perennial question.
In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War and at a time of great political and social instability, two of the world's leading intellectuals, Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault, were invited by Dutch philosopher Fons Edlers to debate an age-old question: is there such a thing as "innate" human nature independent of our experiences and external influences?
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 additional text by Noam Chomsky.