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The Chomsky Reader Perfect Paperback – Sep 12 1987

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (Sept. 12 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394751736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394751733
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

From the 1960s to the present, linguist Chomsky has been a prominent critic of American foreign policy, influential in radical and scholarly circles. This collection offers a broad sampling of Chomsky's best writing on the subject. The essays are typical Chomsky: long, analytical, probing, and controversial. Some have appeared in earlier collections; others are expanded transcripts of recent lectures. The most familiar are concerned with U.S. policy in Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East. Editor Peck gives us an overview of Chomsky's writings in his useful introduction, though he tends to be extravagant in his praise. Even more useful is a long interview with Chomsky himself. Highly recommended for all academic libraries. Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The political and linguistic writings of America's leading dissident intellectual. He relates his political ideals to his theories about language.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Perfect Paperback
Dear Colleagues, Noam Chomsky understands the power of language, the nature of language, how language can be used and how language is frequently abused by those who would seek to lead us, influence us, beguile us, repress us or simply rip-us off for as long as possible.
Noam Chomsky makes people think, he poises some of the difficult questions, and will maybe have you struggling to justify some of your best and long held beliefs in people and society. In this way, this book is both a gentle introduction and a great mental workout, if nothing else, and it can be much more.
Starting with this book by Chomsky if you haven't read any of his stuff before is like deciding on a diet and workout plan that is neither drastic or radical, but eases the reader into the Chomsky ways of seeing things, of gathering facts, of interpreting language and of developing ideas and analysis. Chomsky is nearly always delivering arguments that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive, which leads for well focussed and sometimes overly-knowledge rich text, but it's well worth the effort - in my book Chomsky is one of the greatest thinkers of the last 100 years - even if you, like me, will disagree with at least 50 percent of Chomsky's conclusions.
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By A Customer on Oct. 23 2000
Format: Perfect Paperback
An indispensible anthology of readings from America's foremost foreign policy critic. James Peck, the book's editor, presents an excellent introduction, outlining core themes that unite the wide-ranging material making up the text. There is much that is familiar to long time Chomsky readers, but much that is also less familiar, such as personal background facts that may help explain the MIT professor's remarkably creative and heretical career. Included also among the miscellainea, are a section on Chomsky's work in linguistics, a critique of B.F. Skinner's behavioral approach, and a defense of freedom and equality, a compatibility often derided in more conservative circles. Of course, there are the more familiar researches on Latin America, Southeast Asia, and other frontier hotspots that define the American imperium. Unfortunately missing because of publishing date are researches on Washington's more recent adventures in Panama, Iraq, and Yugoslavia. Though the tune may change, the music remains the same.
At bottom - and what renders the MIT professor a non-person to state and media alike - is his view of Washington not as vaunted leader of the free world, but as a self-serving imperial power, neither better nor worse than its predecessors, but with greatly expanded reach and killing power. To put the point briefly, behind sterling academic and intellectual credentials, he mounts a leftish, but non-Marxist, expose' of Washington's most cherished foreign policy pieties. Just as effectively, he is careful not to put forth a central thesis, theory or organizing idea, that might otherwise distract from the damning indictment his case studies provide of global interventionism.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Chomsky never asks you to take his word for it. He challenges existing beliefs and paradigms and refutes them, providing evidence of his assertions. You, as the reader, are invited to read what he writes, agree or disagree. Chomsky invites readers to question what information they are given and exercise simple reason and skepticism in evaluating that information.
The introduction to this collection of essays (and informative interview) is excellent. It provides a basic overview of Chomsky's philosophy (if you could call it that.) I felt that this book was basic reading, particularly for those who are new to Chomsky's works. In the introduction Peck writes that freedom and the process of indoctrination go hand in hand... and in America freedoms exist "within an ideological consensus that limits debate and protects powerful interests in ways all too similar to those in which obviously repressive societies operate." The entire book (and Chomsky's many other works) provide evidence of these statements. Chomsky is meticulous in combing for details and wants readers to release themselves from the mindlessness of taking information (or veracity of readily available information) for granted. Conventional media are seemingly free from having a burden of proof and need not provide any evidence to support their claims. This is not only the fault of media outlets. The media do what they can get away with. Discriminating, thoughtful readers seeking information should not accept that.
One of the most apt analogies Chomsky makes in the interview is that professional sports, as an example, are one means for deflecting attention from real and important issues.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
"The Chomsky Reader" kicks off with an excellently composed essay by the books editor, Peck. Excellent as this initial taste is, it gives but a slight indication of what is to come. For this collection of essays by Chomsky gives a unique insight into the viewpoints and observations of one of this century's greatest political thinkers. Is this book 'enjoyable' fellow students have asked me? Perhaps this, in fact, is not the right question. After all, how enjoyable can it be reading essays (backed up by exhaustive evidence) dealing with topics such as tens of thousands of innocents slaughtered in not so far off lands while our 'free press' turns the other way, unwilling to impart meaningful information to their audience? But this book is more than a Chomskyian socio-political critique; avid readers (even with no prior germane knowledge) should enjoy the essays examing language and human nature, (don't forget Chomsky is a Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy). One word of warning, this book can not be leafed through or merely perused; it must be read. Intellectuals, states Chomsky, have a responsibility to tell the truth. Think about that.
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