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


The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Noam Chomsky

A wide-ranging, state-of-the-world report from America’s most influential intellectual. Recent interviews with David Barsamian cover everything from Bosnia to NAFTA. AK

Publisher: Odonian
Paperback: 111 pages

Secrets, Lies and Democracy

Noam Chomsky

The latest collection of interviews with David Barsamian, focusing on the domestic scene—how is our claim to democracy limited and defective? What does the term “democracy” describe in the real world? As ever, perceptive and provocative. AK

Publisher: Odonian
Paperback: 128 pages

World Orders Old and New

Noam Chomsky

ATTENTION! THIS IS THE NEW WORLD ORDER: “The rich men of the rich societies are to rule the world, competing among themselves for a greater share of wealth and power and mercilessly suppressing those who stand in their way, assisted by the rich men of the hungry nations who do their bidding. The others serve, and suffer.”
In other words, a world dotted with gleaming islands of First World capitalism, floating over and shadowing Third World graveyards of the living. “The Left’s leading critic of government policy, power and language takes on the international scene since 1945, devoting particular attention to events following the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Clinton’s “empty promises to the poor,” and various Middle Eastern/Central American/Eastern European hotspots. The author, professor of modern languages and linguistics at MIT, “focuses his no-hold-barred attention once more on the powerless, the power-hungry and the powermongers in our increasingly global community.” And what of the New World Order that the militias speak of? With the black helicopters and the taking of guns? It’s the same one, really—only theirs is a mythological panic reaction. It represents their gut feeling toward world events, which is fear. GR

Publisher: Columbia University
Hardback: 311 pages

Year 501: The Conquest Continues

Noam Chomsky

Although Chomsky’s influence over the field of linguistics has been unrivaled by any other living scholar, he is more widely known for his writings on political issues. Published 501 years after Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas, this book delineates the hidden history of the U.S., the story of “Europe’s conquest of the world” and its “great work of subjugation.” Tracing the contours of neocolonialism to its roots in the old world order, Chomsky maps the faultlines between geopolitical blocs (north/south, east/west), and develops pointed insights and damning critiques of Western culture. The volume shines brightest in its examination of the vast gulf between the idealistic language of American democracy and to such social realities as the “free” market and human-rights abuses, indeed all of present-day imperialist exploitation and murder. Year 501 closes with Chomsky’s continuing condemnation of the news media: its misrepresentations, its “murder of history,” and subsequent widespread loss of hope. Not a light read. HS

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 332 pages