Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent

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MIT Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 237 pages
4 Reviews
"For over thirty years Noam Chomsky has been a pathbreaking linguist and a controversial critic of American policies and politics. Indeed, the world seems to divide between those who revere and those who revile Chomsky. Both groups would find valuable Robert F. Barsky's appreciative biography; he recounts (the known and the little known) facts of Chomsky's life, evaluates his linguistic contribution and surveys the main quarrels. This is an essential book not only for Chomsky affecionados and adversaries, but for all students of American political and intellectual life."
-- Russell Jacoby, UCLA This biography describes the intellectual and political milieus that helped shape Noam Chomsky, a pivotal figure in contemporary linguistics, politics, cognitive psychology, and philosophy. It also presents an engaging political history of the last several decades, including such events as the Spanish Civil War, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the march on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. The book highlights Chomsky's views on the uses and misuses of the university as an institution, his assessment of useful political engagement, and his doubts about postmodernism. Because Chomsky is given ample space to articulate his views on many of the major issues relating to his work, both linguistic and political, this book reads like the autobiography that Chomsky says he will never write.

Barsky's account reveals the remarkable consistency in Chomsky's interests and principles over the course of his life. The book contains well-placed excerpts from Chomsky's published writings and unpublishedcorrespondence, including the author's own years-long correspondence with Chomsky.
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Noam Chomsky: a life of dissent

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Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) is best known for his important contributions to linguistics, cognitive psychology, and contemporary politics. This new biography examines Chomsky's intellectual development ... Read full review

Review: Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent

User Review  - Shane Groff - Goodreads

I love Noam Chomsky, although it creates a certain kind of cognitive dissonance at times to read someone who is clearly so intelligent, and compassionate about helping people create a better world ... Read full review

Contents

Zellig Harris Avukah and Hashomer Hatzair
47
Humboldt and the Cartesian Tradition
95
The Milieu Chomsky Helped to Create
117
The Intellectual as Commissar
165
Conclusion
201
Afterword
219
Index
237
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About the author (1998)

Robert F. Barsky is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, French, and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent (MIT Press, 1997).

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