Noam Chomsky, Penguin, $24.95

Noam Chomsky is “the world’s greatest public intellectual” (The Observer), “America’s leading voice of dissent” (back cover), and “perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet” (NY Times Book Review).

Here are 44 short essays on the burning issues for the post 9/11 world, written between 2002-2007, for the not-quite-mainstream American press.
I’ve just read it twice and it got better the second time.

Peter Hart, director of FAIR, a national US media watchdog, writes a scintillating forward, castigating major US newspapers and other media for their pro-conservative right-wing bias.

Chomsky’s main thesis: US foreign and domestic policy is determined by a cabal of powerful elites, mostly ignoring majority popular opinion in the US and virtually the entire rest of the world. If I’d wanted a snappy title for this review-summary, I couldn’t improve on Chomsky’s “Invasions and Evasions”: his most-repeated refrain. Ninety-five per cent of the “bad guys” waging wars in Latin America, the Middle East, Vietnam, you-name-the place, are American or US-sponsored.

Acerbic, prophetic, invective, prescient, arrogant: my only reservation about radical thinkers like Chomsky is that they don’t do themselves or their ideas any favours if they come across as uneven-handed. Surely the US has done just a little good, somewhere (Peace Corps?).

Rowland Croucher


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