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The Chomsky Reader

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
At the centre of pratically every major debate over America?s role in the world, one finds Noam Chomsky?s ideas - sometimes attacked, sometimes studiously ignored, but always a powerful presence. Drawing from his published and unpublished work, The Chomsky Reader reveals the awesome range of this ever-critical mind - from global questions of war and peace to the most intri ...more
Paperback, 492 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Serpent's Tail (first published September 12th 1987)
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Markus
Mar 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Everything about Chomsky is so cool and interesting except actually reading him. I mean its ok but I have a hard time getting into the mid 80's political lanscape of Nicaragua right now. So I tried his linguistics stuff, oh brother...
Whatever, he's still a fucking genius.
blakeR
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
In all the reviews I've read of Chomsky's work I have yet to see a valid rebuttal of any of his points, which corroborates all of the fury, outrage and shame I always feel upon reading him. There's simply no refuting the facts he lays bare through his tireless research and exhaustive articles/books.

"Vital" is the word that most comes to mind to describe the man and his work. It is absolutely vital to us as U.S. citizens firstly, and secondarily to the rest of the world's inhabitants. The man is
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Karen Mead
I've seen Chomsky's name come up in all kinds of discussions, so I figured it was time to actually find out why everyone loves to namedrop him. After reading this book, I understand why.

This book is basically The Emperor's New Clothes for adults, blowing away your illusions about American Foreign Policy, academia, the press, and so on. It does get a bit repetitive at times (since Chomsky applies the same basic logic to most of the situations presented in the book), but still; once you've read it
...more
Zac
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: political junkies of all stripes
Shelves: political, radical
An interesting fellow. Some topics I'll have to study more (I have a page of titles lifted from the notes section, and a bookmark in the notes section that just says "everything on this chapter.")

Very interesting examination of twentieth century events, particularly involving U.S. wars and indigenous economic improvement. Also a couple chapters on mind and language.

If you're not firmly welded to the idea that your own country has to be seen as the great Goodguy by all, it's quite illuminating. R
...more
Spicer
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody
I'm finding it very difficult to read any contemporary, non-fiction works. Despite the potential subject matter being so ripe, most of what I've read can only be described as variations on howling, regardless of socio-political persuasion. Am I sounding cynical?

Therefore, I've re-embarked on the wonderful (though disturbing) journey of "The Chomsky Reader." I cannot adequately expresss how refreshing (though disturbing) it is to read works that are so well thought out and articulate. For the tim
...more
Adam
Oct 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: lefty
You know, I hate to say it, but Chomsky's a bore of a read. Sure, it's hard to argue with his tirelessly researched positions, but he doesn't command engagement from the reader, either. I feel like Chomsky's theses are rehashed in response to each new current event, compiled in each new book. I might like to read a book by another author discussing his positions, just to read his ideas from a different voice, you know what I mean?
Susannah
"If men were angels there would be no need of laws." Americans never claimed to be angels and he is just another person disappointed in the reality separating ideology from its makers and exposing them as just more erring human beings.
I think Chomsky knows how to think, speak, and analyze brillliantly and incisively - though if he doesn't I'm not finishing this thing - but if all he does is publicly nag on the US and people, standing apart and judging, then of course he is able to remain "relen
...more
Devon  Start
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
seriously not a fan of this guy. i think i like his politics, but i am not sure. but he is also like mike moore and abit sensational and to get that he plays fast and loose with the facts.
he qoutes the bayonet as the number one killer in ww1. the bayonets effect is largely phsycological, you run before you stand around to get speared in the gut with it. anyway his facts are verifiably wrong on this, and if these facts are off, well everyting else is now suspect.
Jane
Apr 28, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far about 60% through this book which is very good at explaining the political thinking behind eg the Vietnam War. It is really changing my perception! In some ways it would be more comfortable not to think about these issues, but he really helps explain the complex modern world of aggressive capitalism.
Joachim
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly lucid and well-documented analysis of state systems and their complete blindness to their own bias, propaganda and hypocrisy.

People often label Chomsky as a lefty, but his books are a must for anyone interested in critical thinking, skepticism and honesty.
Tim
Sep 09, 2008 added it
This is one of those that I keep returning to time and time again. "The Responsibility of the Intellectuals" is just as important now as when it was originally written.
Kent
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chomsky
This has an awesome essay about the Spanish revolution and liberals who don't really believe in democracy.
Rebecca
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This heavily footnoted book contains excerpts from Chomsky's writings on various issues, especially American foreign affairs. He focuses on Southeast Asia, Central America and the Middle East, particularly Israel and the adjacent Arab nations. His arguments, which were very persuasive, is that American foreign policy is founded almost exclusively on its insistence that underdeveloped countries be open to American economic exploitation of their people, markets and resources. The primary source of ...more
Daniel
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A friend wrote in the first page of their diary "Stay critical. Stay radical." I would replace the second with "Stay balanced". Chomsky manages to do all three. Would love to see a good critique/response to his foreign policy arguments.
D.B. Buzzkill
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's Chomsky, so you roughly know what to expect. This book -- or rather, this collection of essays -- is chewy and hasn't aged well. Chomsky is mostly arguing against mainstream positions at the time of writing, without really explaining what these mainstream views are. So this book consists mostly of rebuttals, but there is no clear explanation of what exactly the views are that need rebutting. You're apparently supposed to know that, and I don't.

Chomsky also refers to many minor political fig
...more
Ben Matney
Contains such influential essays as "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" (1967) and "The Manufacture of Consent" (1984), the latter being the most essential. Concerning the insidious nature of what he labels "democratic systems of thought control," Chomsky writes: "...this system... was not perceived by Orwell, and is never understood by dictators who fail to comprehend the utility for indoctrination of permitting a class of critics who denounce the errors and failings of the leadership while t ...more
CJ
Jun 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who need a dose of cynicism about US foreign policy
Chomsky is an understandably upset man. Universal grammar is lame, but worse yet the Western academics, American Press, and the American government practice significant amounts of disinformation among themselves and the American people. This book is a collection of essays that does a pretty good job of hitting highlights of U.S. support for human rights abusing regimes and pointing out some likely points of hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. and mainstream academics. The cynicism clouds believabi ...more
Michael
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology-esque
One of about five books I've really taken a lot of pride in reading, but not fully appreciating. Lots and lots of information, lots and lots of accusations and some evidence. difficult to read only because it flies in the face of everything you already know, accept and think of as American foreign policy...at least that's how it went for me. Read in conjunction with What's the Matter with Kansas?
Julian Munds
Chomsky's perspectives seek to destroy establishment historical thinking. This collection contains a brilliant essay on intellectualism, a good interview, some neat contemporary stuff about cold war thinking and other issues. At times concerned more with minutiae then macrocosm, the reader can get bogged down in analyses. But there is some real pearls amongst the complex dirt.
James
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, history
This book is exrtremely eye-opening, but not very readable. Chomsky is brilliant and this book is filled with information about the world. Since it is a collection of older articles, a lot of the material is out-of-date but interesting in a historical perspective. However, I think his newer writings are much more approachable than the older stuff.
Clint
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This is a great introduction to Chomsky's early(ish) political commentary. That is, it's mostly his commentary on U.S. use of political and military power in the 60's. Though the specific subject matter is dated, it's still a worthy contribution.
dario
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
In iddle times, it quits from the usual point of view. Of course, Noam likes those savages points of views.
But at the end, it lays a lot of layers of data, misconceptions, beliefs and truths that is overwhelming.
Period!
Angie
Feb 21, 2008 added it
There's a lot of information and history here. If I do my homework, I'll understand it a little more.
Ahimsa
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the most depressing book ever written.
Thomas
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology


Great stuff. Though most of the content is available online (see www.chomsky.info)
Ruby Pham
Mar 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Always rereading this book... and I reread it when I recommend it to somebody.
Michelle
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ages-ago
almost a necessity for any of us who work in and study Mass Communications.
Pamela
Aug 09, 2007 marked it as to-read
Scary.
Pippa
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, anarchism
This is incredibly valuable work.
Hudi
Dec 17, 2007 added it
Buku yang wajib dibaca bagi siapa yang ingin mengenal Chomsky. Buku membahas beberapa pokok-pokok pikiran Chomsky mengenai linguistik, politik internasional, dan media.
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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. H
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“One of the functions that things like professional sports play, in our society and others, is to offer an area to deflect people's attention from things that matter, so that the people in power can do what matters without public interference.” 3 likes
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