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Propaganda and the Public Mind

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  799 ratings  ·  38 reviews
'To guide us all through the three-star disasters of the Bush years I can think of no better pilot.' Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2001 by Pluto Press (first published January 1st 1998)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  799 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally a man (and an intellectual) that really thinks with his head. Written as a series of interviews focusing mainly on the important events of the 90ties with just a bit of linguistics at the end, this book is mind-blowing. It goes strait to the point (or rather points since it deals with different problems and comments different events) and it is very easy to read.

There is so much information in it that I wasn't familiar with (and I thought I knew something about the topics covered). What I
Randall Wallace
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
kudos to any american taking any time to read anything by Noam Chomsky. there's probably no more important author to read than noam. also, few people who are totally committed to long term social change 24/7 have a photographic memory - noam can read something once and then may recall it in perfect detail years later - it's amazing. my mom also had it and was the first woman to get a phd from yale and got it in 2 years which was also unheard of - anyway - 1. noam has this photo memory and so rem ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Chomsky works I've read yet. The title is a bit misleading, since it's a collection of interviews that covers countless topics outside of propaganda, but I suppose that's an editorial decision. The book sort of catches Chomsky right at the point in time when he was courageously speaking out about the atrocities in East Timor (the late-90s atrocities, that is - he had also spoken out about the original mid-70s invasion and associated atrocities when they occurred), and thus it ser ...more
Fascinating as always, but with some repeated information. I took note of all the books mentioned and added them to my queue.
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
In a series of rambling and quite interesting interviews dating from the late 1990s through early 2000, Chomsky talks about East Timor, Colombia, the drug war vs. the tobacco-non-war, U.S.-sponsored violence in Central America, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, the Vietnam war, the Balkans, Iraq, nuclear proliferation, education, income and wealth inequality, protests against globalization, linguistic theory. Everything is related to propaganda and power. It's democratic societies that need prop ...more
May 09, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just remembered that I read a whole bunch of books by Chomsky when I was young and radical. Now I’m jaded and cynical and disenchanted with politics.

Chomsky could be the greatest living intellectual or the greatest living crackpot, depending on your political inclination. But I think at least some of the times he makes good points to anyone who reads him with fairness and open mind. Some other times, I myself find him downright annoying and irrelevant. Like him or not, he’s one of the top-10 m
John Diaz
Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I had to listen to this about 15 times to even begin to grasp some of the 500 topics covered by Noam in this two disc audio set. Narcotrafficking, terrorism, Clinton presidency analysis...there are a lot of areas covered. But it was incredibly interesting and enlightening to say the very least. I would recommend this to anyone.
Shereif Danial
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Plainly put: Chomsky is a genius. Many consider him to be way left. I consider him to be the most moderate of any living intellectual. His criticism of US and Western foreign policies are hard to argue against.
Noam Chommsky is a range of essays and interviews discusses the way governments including the United States of America use propaganda to influence public opinion and direct attention elsewhere. He points out how the American government criticized the Khmer Rouge for emptying out Phnom Phenh but overlooked the US bombed the city and drove residents out. He discusses other world wide incidents and American role in them as well. Interviews are from the 1990s through to the 2000s. Interesting stuff.
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world is a better place because it has Noam Chomsky and his books. And it’s in that spirit that Haymarket books has taken up the task of putting out a series of new Chomsky books and republishing and updating some new ones for our benefit. And Propaganda and the Public Mind is a good place as any to start with this collection.

Composed of his interviews with David Barsamian (who Chomsky calls his publicist), Propaganda and the Public Mind hits the sweet spot as far as Noam Chomsky books are c
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
Great book. Dr. Chomsky has a clear, intelligent speaking style. Unfortunately, I think his purpose of speaking out is misunderstood. I've had friends refer to him as "Anti-American" (something Noam addresses in this book) among other colorful "traitor" comparisons. He's nothing of the sort. In fact, exactly the opposite. If you think about the message that he's sending, it's that we have all of this information available, in a country where our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech - someth ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I picked up this book the first time - it felt very dry. All the chapters are the interviews Chomsky did with David Barsamian and I initially found it hard to connect with what he was talking about. I dropped it and picked it up after a while and then somehow magically I could connect with what he was trying to say. The interviews are done in 1998-99 and 2000 i.e before the dawn of the 21st century. Some of his predictions have turned out to be right - notably the privacy issue on the Web a ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Honestly speaking, I don't like dialogue books, even if the topic interests me, and Noam Chomsky is such an important person to know about, besides maybe Plato's Apology.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The most clear brain ever
Katrina Sark
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
For Reasons of State (February 2, 1999)

p.79 – D.B.: In your writing you rarely refer to literature. There is one major exception. In Necessary Illusion you cite “The Grand Inquisitor” chapter in the Brothers Karamazov. What was Dostoyevsky writing about that caught your attention?

N.C.: That’s a particularly striking passage. He’s talking about manufacture of consent. It’s a very dramatic and accurate presentation of the way mystery, ceremony, fear, and even joy are manipulated so as to make peo
Franco Romero
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enlightening and paradigm shifting. I wish everyone would read this.
Mugren Ohaly
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Several interviews that are about something bad happening in a faraway land in which America has played a part.
Ruy de Oliveira
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Yet another excellent, in depth analysis of the power and effects of propaganda.
Jian Xuan
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've always heard great things about American linguist/famed dissident Noam Chomsky, so I borrowed this book from the local library.

Granted that the interviews were given close to a decade ago, the material remains relevant to the modern-day social malaise afflicting countries all over the world. By asking simple questions, Chomsky skillfully dissects the concepts that we have taken for granted all this while, which makes for really thought-provoking reading.

For instance, the idea that uneducate
May 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Chomsky is always thought provoking, but this book seemed somewhat disjointed, with the interviewer introducing a variety of topics for Mr. Chomsky to discuss. I also found it somewhat off-putting hearing Mr. Chomsky's tendency to introduce many of his comments with phrases like "... well it's obvious", or "... anyone who's ever thought about this would know...", or "any thinking person would know...", etc. Maybe that's all true for people on his level, but I admit to thinking I would have benef ...more
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Excellent. What is so valuable about this book is the manner which David Barsamian picks Noam Chomsky's mind on a wide range of topics. Probably this book is more useful after you've already done some work to build up some historical understanding---otherwise so much of this information is going to be flying at you that it's going to be hard to make sense of it all (or, you'll *think* you're making sense of it all, but really important points will in fact be lost to you). So I recommend this as ...more
Noam Chomsky always speaks truth to power. This set of interviews does not disappoint. Much of what Chomsky does here is to explainshow language is manipulated in order to cast Western powers as 'humanitarian' when in fact they (in particular the U.S.) act as militarist, interventionist apologist for repressive regimes abroad. Special attention is paid to situations in Latin America, East Timor, and India.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Chomsky. Covers a wide range of his intellectual capabilities and a wide range of issues of society as a whole. Even though it was written 10 years ago, the topics are still quite relevant today. After having read much of Chomsky's work, this one goes down as a summary of sorts for my personal collection of Chomsky. I would recommend it highly to anyone who would like to get a broad introduction to the work of this invaluable political mind.
I started this book with high expectations. And it really met them but the late part of the interviews are kind of obvious. In other words, we are almost sure of Chomsky position on a certain topic. On the other hand; the last part about the education and competitiveness is very informative and useful for the daily life.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This is very much a business-run society. About one out of six dollars in the whole economy is spent on marketing. That's an extremely inefficient use of funds. Marketing doesn't produce any public goods. Marketing is a form of manipulation and deceit. It's an effort to create artificial wants; to control the way people think."
Apr 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Barsamian is remarkably inept as an interviewer, failing to pursue any meaningful line of questioning; Chomsky's commentary, while laudable, is better captured in other interview books (see especially, Understanding Power).
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-politics
Chomsky commentary pre-9/11 mostly on Clinton era.
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
citizens of the US should consider it something of a compliment that so much effort is expended to persuade them that the US is benevolent. they are not immune to the expenditure, poor things.
Stanley Lee
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
definitely learned more about how everyone lies
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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
“We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.” 84 likes
“My intellectual achievement was retarded when I went to high school. I sort of sank into a black hole because I had to go to the high-achieving, academic public high school.” 19 likes
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