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Noam Chomsky - Critical Lives

by Wolfgang B. Sperlich - £11.99  Reaktion Books (2006)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781861892690 | ISBN 10: 1861892691

'The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.'
This declaration by Noam Chomsky exemplifies the uncompromising radicalism that has long defined his life and work. A linguist, philosopher, prolific author and political activist, Chomsky is one of the most influential thinkers of the last fifty years. Yet it is Chomsky's very capaciousness - the complex nature of his work in linguistics; his radical stance in international politics - that biographers and interpreters have struggled with. As a result, it is hard to find readable biographical accounts of Chomsky that bring together his contributios to political activism, to thinking about media use and abuse, and to language theory.
Wolfgang B. Sperlich explores Chomsky's formative years and his main intellectual influences, and charts his strained relationship with mainstream American academia. He also offers an informed overview of Chomsky's landmark linguistics contributions as an introduction to his work, and he explains the latest developments in Chomskyan linguistics and how they influence research in fields as varied as neuroscience, biology and evolution. Sperlich is equally attentive to Chomsky's political activism - from the pacifist-anarchist lectures and writings of the 1950s and '60s to his recent book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, a chilling interpretation of an American foreign policy that is determined to achieve 'unilateral world domination through absolute military superiority'. Sperlich's Noam Chomsky is the perfect introduction to one of the most profound thinkers of our time.

(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)

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In booklists: Noam Chomsky, Writers and Poet's Lives and Works,
In categories: Politics & Philosophy, Peace & Human Rights, World - North America, Anti-Capitalism & Global Inequality, History & Biography, Poetry & Writing,

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