If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. That’s your choice. — Noam Chomsky, from Chronicles of Dissent

Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist, a professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT and a lifelong political activist who was jailed for his anti-Vietnam War activities. He is regarded as the foremost critic of American media and U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Politically, Chomsky defines himself as an anarcho-syndicalist, citing Bakunin and Rudolf Rocker as his greatest influences.

— AK


Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures

Noam Chomsky

“Chomsky’s most accessible statement on the nature, origins and current concerns of the field of linguistics. Much of this discussion revolves around our understanding of basic human nature—that we are unique in being able to produce a rich, highly articulated and complex language on the basis of quite rudimentary data—and it is here that Chomsky’s ideas on language relate to his ideas on politics. From lectures given at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua, in March 1986.”

Publisher: MIT
Paperback: 205 pages

Letters From Lexington: Reflections on Propaganda

Noam Chomsky

In a collection of letters written to Lies of Our Times magazine, Chomsky outlines the role of the media in justifying U.S. Government and corporate actions. The letters, written between 1990 and 1993, examine media coverage of events and issues ranging from the Middle East “peace process,” the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, the U.N., the Soviet Union, terrorism and democracy to the coup in Haiti. AK

Publisher: Common Courage
Paperback: 167 pages

Liberating Theory

Noam Chomsky et al.

In a landmark theoretical work which might influence progressive thinking, seven respected activist/scholars from various backgrounds and movements have collaborated to create a new theory of liberation. The authors combine various theories of history (Marxism, anarchism, feminism and nationalism) to develop an alternative conceptual framework that they call “complementary holism,” and apply this theory to questions of economics, politics, gender, race and culture. “Complementary holism” is intended to be used to understand society and create new strategies for its transformation. SC

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 197 pages

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman

“Analysis of the ways in which individuals and organizations of the media are influenced to shape the agendas of knowledge and, therefore, belief. Contrary to the popular conception of members of the press as hard-bitten realists doggedly pursuing unpopular truths, Chomsky and Herman prove conclusively that the free-market economics model of the media leads inevitably to normative and narrow reporting.”

Publisher: Pantheon
Paperback: 412 pages

Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies

Noam Chomsky

“In short, the major media are corporations ‘selling’ privileged audiences to other businesses. It would hardly come as a surprise if the picture of the world they present were to reflect the perspectives and interests of the sellers, the buyers and the product. Media concentration is high and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions in the media, or gain status with them as commentators, belong to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share the perceptions, aspirations and attitudes of their associates, reflecting their own class interests as well. Journalists entering the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the values; it is not easy to say one thing and believe another, and those who fail to conform will be weeded out by familiar mechanisms.”

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 422 pages

On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures

Noam Chomsky

Five lectures delivered at the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua on U.S. foreign policy, both global and specific to Central America. Exposes the distribution of power in our society and the place of Central America in U.S. objectives.

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 140 pages

Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World

Noam Chomsky

Illuminates the meaning of the concept of international terrorism in contemporary Western usage, and reaches to the heart of the frenzy over selected incidents of terrorism currently being orchestrated as a cover for Western violence.

Publisher: Black Rose
Paperback: 215 pages

Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977

Noam Chomsky and Bernard S. Herman

Analyzes the forces that have shaped U.S. international policy in Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as the role of the media in misreporting these policies and their motives.

Publisher: Random House
Paperback: 441 pages

Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order

Noam Chomsky

Chomsky’s first collection in recent years to address questions of linguistics, philosophy, ethics and international affairs. From language and human nature to the Middle East and East Timor, supported by a wealth of disturbing details and facts, Chomsky provides a scathing critique of government policy and media complicity, while offering an inspirational view of the potential for true democracy worldwide. AK

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 244 pages

Prospects for Democracy

Noam Chomsky

A broad review of democratic theory and political history, Chomsky argues that classical democrats such as Thomas Jefferson would be shocked at the current disrepair of American democracy. The enormous growth of corporate capitalism has already devastated democratic culture and government by concentrating power in the hands of the wealthy. And the future looks no brighter. 72 min. AK

Publisher: AK
Audio CD