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The Essential Chomsky [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   515
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 12, 2008
Publisher   New Press
ISBN  1595581898  
EAN  9781595581891  

Availability  31 units.
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Item Description...
For the past forty years Noam Chomsky's writings on politics and language have established him as a preeminent public intellectual and as one of the most original and wide-ranging political and social critics of our time. Among the seminal figures in linguistic theory over the past century, since the 1960s Chomsky has also secured a place as perhaps the leading 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 dissidents, activists, scholars, and concerned citizens on subjects ranging from the media to human rights to intellectual freedom. In particular, Chomsky's scathing critiques of the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East have furnished a widely accepted intellectual inspiration for antiwar movements over nearly four decades.
"The Essential Chomsky" assembles the core of his most important writings, including excerpts from his most influential texts over the past forty years. Here is an unprecedented, comprehensive overview of Chomsky's thought.

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More About Noam Chomsky & Anthony Arnove

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (Emeritus) in the M.I.T. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. His work is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including the New York Times bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions, What We Say Goes, and Hopes and Prospects.

Noam Chomsky currently resides in Lexington, in the state of Massachusetts. Noam Chomsky was born in 1928 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Techn.

Noam Chomsky has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Empire Project
  2. City Lights Open Media
  3. Columbia Themes in Philosophy

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Linguistics   [499  similar products]
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > History & Theory   [667  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General   [16010  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Essential Chomsky  Oct 29, 2008
Out of ten most cited authors ever Chomsky is the only living one among them. Chomsky is essential!
A fitting tribute to a great intellectual  Oct 26, 2008
The Essential Chomsky is a comprehensive consummation of that great author's writings on language and politics. This forms a good background to read his other famous books like Understanding Power, Hegemony and Survival, Failed States etc.

As ever, the readers will be spellbound to relaize from this collection the monumental intellectal efforts that went into producing all these Chomsky works. Readers would find how sincere a author can be through laborious collection of statistics and an equally incisive analysis of facts on that basis.

The book would give a true picture of Dr. Chomsky's personality since he supplants his ideas with philanthropic endeavors, too. Readers may even save money through the purchase of this single book that would give a rare opportunity to glimpse through his giant intellectual efforts. His cautions about America being too dominating have come as a prophecy when 9/11 tragedy struck that country.

Gautam Maitra
Author of Tracing the Eagle's Orbit: Illuminating Insights into Major US Foreign Policies since Independence.
"libidinous Power..."  May 27, 2008
The "Chomskian Worldview" has to do, in part, with the ANARCHIC view that 1. POWER is ALWAYS illegitimate until, 2. it has justified its existence. 3. The "burden of proof," i.e., proving its legitimacy, is on POWER, NOT upon those in its thrall. Therefore, the U.S./Israeli power alliance agenda is illegitimate, via both the Nuremburg protocols and the U.N. charter which considers aggression THE cardinal prohibition. Libertarian Socialism--to which Chomsky espouses--is Anarchic in its praxis.

Therefore, we err if we argue that, "Chomsky's agenda is a consistent attack of propertied classes," since it not property, per se, that is vexing. Rather, examine the arrogant, expansionist "worldview" that informs the Israeli agenda (aided and abetted by the U.S.) for the Palestinians--underwritten by a belief in its own Zionist POWER ENTITLEMENT (i.e., the Modern State of Israel is an ENTITLEMENT for the Holocaust, as opposed to a region the Palestinians have a full, legitimate claim to).

It follows, then, from the Israeli/U.S. hegemony in effect in the Middle East, that POWER PURSUES ITS OWN PREROGATIVES, i.e., here, the illegitimate seizure of property. And it is this, in part, which Chomsky seeks to expose (and, hopefully, depose). Again, the Anarchic view: POWER--de jure, de facto--is obliged to justify itself.

By the way--and lest there be any doubt in anyone's mind--'Anarchy' has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with chaos, lawlessness, disorder, etc. That is disinformation promoted by the Market/State/Media Power complex.

Regarding the so-called "power conspiracy" theories--which Chomsky has refuted several times, both in print and in lectures:

At this point, "players" within the Market/State/Media complex do not need to "conspire" in order for "Power" to exist. That is, "Power," in the parlance of Social theorists, is "libidinous." "Power" as an illegitimate, i.e., non-justified, entity--that has not been successfully opposed, or contravened--once rooted, will continue. It's as simple as that.

At this late stage in the game no overarching conspiracy is needed--no upper-echelon "meetings," subterfuge, secret envoys, etc.--to sustain Power. Yes, the names and faces of the various "players" may be variable--e.g., if the CEO of Exxon-Mobil dies tomorrow some other "suit" will take over quickly--but Power itself rolls on.

"Libidinous" is a Freudian term referring to the libido, the sex drive, or sexual desire--an apt comparison. Power is libidinous--an often mindless, material striving...for its own sake. "Libido" and "desire" are subtle drives, but none the less real for their subtlety. And just what is there to "desire"?

That is, what are the Market, the State, and the Media in pursuit of--simultaneously--that might lead one to believe that there is a quote-unquote conspiracy which correlates all their activities, somehow in tandem, one to the other? What is there to desire? In a word: MORE. "MORE," that is necessary or needful? No--just "MORE." And the pursuit of "MORE" will never be sated.

Just like someone suffering from a substance-abuse type addiction, Power-as-the-pursuit-of-MORE has to be contravened and stopped. To use another analogy, it's like a juggernaut--it's out of control, i.e., it cannot stop by itself. It has to be opposed...

Provokes both thought and action  Apr 29, 2008
Spanning several decades, this collection of articles is a fair representation of the opinions of someone who is responsible for instigating a lot of research into language theory as well as provoking many into political debate and action. A writer, researcher, political activist, or teacher does not have to always be right in order for them to be judged as effective, and Noam Chomsky is right about issues just as often as he is wrong. He is best when he is encouraging his readers to be skeptical, and given the history of governments one can only approach their analysis from the standpoint of extreme skepticism. No utterance, document (official or unofficial) or decree coming from any government in the world should be believed without in-depth analysis and painstaking research. Time constraints often put a damper on the level of analysis that is required; with the immediate consequence that one must withhold judgment on sometimes very important matters. This makes authors such as Chomsky valuable, in that they summarize events and histories that enable those interested to make better use of their time.

Chomsky can be very loose with facts, as can been seen by perusing some of the articles in this book. For example, when discussing the (illegal and immoral) invasion of East Timor by Indonesia, he states that the United States supplied 90 percent of arms used, but he does not give a reference for this assertion. And in the same article, he refers to an "outstanding Australian specialist" on East Timor describing Fretlin, the political party at the time of the invasion, as "populist Catholic". Chomsky often quotes individuals that he deems as expert in a subject, but he never gives objective criteria for what constitutes an expert. Readers who are not intimidated by authority demand evidence be given for assertions, and it matters not to what degree the person who makes these assertions is held in esteem.

But the greatest contribution that Chomsky has made, and one that is detailed in the article on the responsibility of intellectuals, is that he eloquently speaks out for the joining of actions and words. Too often intellectuals, from both the "right" and the "left", approach critical analysis from the comfort and serenity of the academic armchair. Chomsky encourages active involvement, and understands that a large degree of stoicism and perseverance may be required if one is to make changes in social hierarchies, or even perhaps to dissolve these hierarchies entirely. For this reason Chomsky is not a conservative, for he is not afraid to bring about change in very short periods of time. But he is also not afraid to take on liberals such as John F. Kennedy, who he clearly deplores as is evident by reading some of the articles in this book. No public or governmental figure or nation state is sacred for Chomsky.

Given his current age, Chomsky may be leaving us soon. Some will perhaps rejoice, but even those who strongly disagree with him will certainly miss him, for he gave them incentive to better formulate their own positions and make them distinctive from his. One cannot have a better testament to one's existence than the encouragement of critical thinking.
Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest living Intellectuals.   Mar 28, 2008
This book provides a good overview of Chomsky's work. It covers both his political and psychological work and captures his unique, original and highly intellectual insights into many areas. It is in my opinion a good introduction to the great man and ideal for someone looking to get acquainted with his work. I would also argue that if you were to buy just one Chomsky book this one should be it as it covers the whole scope of his work. However if you are interested only in Chomsky's political work then I suppose the best introduction to that is `Understanding Power'. However the two books compliment each other very well.

To give you a better idea of what the book covers I have listed the contents.
Contents are as follows:

1. A Review of B.F. Skinner's `Verbal Behaviour'
2. Preface to `Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
3. Methodological Preliminaries
4. The Responsibility of Intellectuals
5. On Resistance
6. Language and Freedom
7. Notes On Anarchism
8. The Rule of Force in International Affairs
9. Watergate: A Skeptical View
10. The Remaking Of History
11. Foreign Policy and the Intelligentsia
12. The United States and East Timor
13. The Origins of the "Special Relationship"
14. Planning for Global Hegemony
15. The View Beyond: Prospects for the Study of Mind
16. Containing the Enemy
17. Introduction to `The Minimalist Program'
18. New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind
19. Intentional Ignorance and Its Uses
20. A World Without War
21. Reflections on 9-11
22. Language and the Brain
23. United States - Israel - Palestine
24. Imperial Grand Strategy
25. Afterword to Failed States

I would also personally recommend in addition to this book (in order of most highly recommended): Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda and Failed States.

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