Noam Chomsky

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, Jun 1, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages
1 Review
“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 Western intellectuals of the last half-century. Yet it is this very capaciousness that biographers and interpreters have struggled with, and as a result, there are very few readable accounts of Chomsky and his project. Wolfgang B. Sperlich surmounts this challenge with his succinct yet in-depth introduction to the thinker in Noam Chomsky, one of the new titles in the acclaimed Critical Lives series. 

Beginning with Chomsky’s formative years as a sixteen-year-old student at the University of Pennsylvania, Sperlich traces his education in linguistics and politics in its rich historical context. He explores Chomsky’s main intellectual influences, particularly in language studies, and charts his strained relationship with mainstream American academia. Sperlich also offers an informed overview of Chomsky’s landmark linguistic contributions as a comprehensive 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: through Sperlich’s account we follow Chomsky from his pacifist-anarchist lectures and writings of the 1950s and 1960s to his seminal 1988 treatise, Manufacturing Consent, and his relentless criticism of the American government over two decades. 

A compact and rich biographical study, Noam Chomsky is a brilliant introduction to one of the most polarizing intellectuals of our time, a thinker whose words continue to pierce the heart of public discourse.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Related books


A Working Life
Linguist and Philosopher
Political Activist
Reading the Newspapers

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References from web pages

Noam Chomsky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia entry focusing on his contributions to politics and linguistics wiki/ Noam_Chomsky

Noam Chomsky: Biography and Much More from
Noam Chomsky , Writer / Linguist / Political Figure Born: 7 December 1928 Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Best Known As: Creator of the theory. topic/ noam-chomsky

Resurgence Issue 240 - NOAM CHOMSKY by Wolfgang B. Sperlich
Professor Noam Chomsky Photograph: Philip Jones Griffiths/Magnum ... BORN IN 1928 in Philadelphia, to Russian immigrant parents, Noam Chomsky was brought up ... 2007/ sperlich240.htm

truthforce! | Noam Chomsky: The radical intellectual
Editorial Comment: Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT but is perhaps better known for his sharp political commentaries. ... ?q=node/ view/ 2146

Sperlich, Wolfgang B.: Noam Chomsky
Sperlich, Wolfgang B.: Noam Chomsky, university press books, shopping cart, new release notification. cgi-bin/ hfs.cgi/ 00/ 187224.ctl

Noam Chomsky has become the acknowledged supreme anti-authoritarian figure of our age. A prolific writer, researcher and critical thinker, he has shaped ... book.html?id=42

Born in 1928 in Philadelphia, to Russian immigrant parents, Noam Chomsky was brought up in a tough Irish and German neighbourhood. ... 2007/ 12/ noam-chomsky.html : Writings on Chomsky
Why Do Historians Ignore Noam Chomsky? By John H. Summers. ... Noam Chomsky and ‘Left’ Apologetics for Injustice in Palestine. By Noah Cohen. ... onchomsky.htm

Noam Chomsky - Vikipedi
Noam Chomsky on The Generative Enterprise, A discussion with Riny .... Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, Director: Mark Achbar and Peter ... wiki/ Noam_Chomsky

Noam Chomsky - Wikipedia
Avram Noam Chomsky (Philadelphia, 7 dicembre 1928) è uno scienziato e teorico della comunicazione statunitense. Professore emerito di linguistica al ... wiki/ Noam_Chomsky

About the author (2006)

Wolfgang B. Sperlich is a linguist, education consultant, activist, and writer based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has written widely on Oceanic linguistics and education development in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.