Noam Chomsky - The Essential Chomsky (3 stars)

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

For over 40 years, ‘the world’s greatest public intellectual’ has been not so much a thorn in the side of the West’s establishment structures as a battering ram to everything held dear by liberals and conservatives alike. Now fast approaching his 80th birthday, his current ire is no less biting as the one that he initially wielded during the Vietnam War, when this seemingly meek and mild linguist and psychologist rushed to the forefront of the movement against US imperialist policies, a stance which has led to death threats and even being named as a potential target for the Unabomber. This year alone, he has spoken out and written about the lack of debate on Iraq in the race for the White House, the global financial catastrophe and the Russia/Georgia conflict.

This collection of writings from his career contains mind-spinning chapters on language and predictable yet acute dismantlings of US foreign policy. Presidents of the right (Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon) are given just as much sympathy (ie. very little) as those of the centre-left (Carter and Clinton), even quoting John McCain as part of his analysis of the real reasons behind the US/NATO assault on Kosovo. Anyone who has read a single line of Chomsky’s libertarian socialist worldview will discover little to be astonished by within these essays. Those opening themselves up to his anarchist dogma for the first time are in for a treat laid on by the commander in chief of the US awkward squad.

The Essential Chomsky is published by Bodley Head

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