For the past forty years Noam Chomsky's writings on politics and language have established him as a preeminent public intellectual and as one of the most original and wide-ranging political and social critics of our time. Among the seminal figures in linguistic theory over the past century, since the 1960s Chomsky has also secured a place as perhaps the leading dissident voice in the United States.
Chomsky's many bestselling works-including Manufacturing Consent, Hegemony or Survival, Understanding Power, and Failed States-have served as essential touchstones for dissidents, activists, scholars, and concerned citizens on subjects ranging from the media to human rights to intellectual freedom. In particular, Chomsky's scathing critiques of the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East have furnished a widely accepted intellectual inspiration for antiwar movements over nearly four decades.
The Essential Chomsky assembles the core of his most important writings, including excerpts from his most influential texts over the past forty years. Here is an unprecedented, comprehensive overview of Chomsky's thought.
Analysis of America's political actions. Using secret National Security Council planning documents and taking post-war Europe and Central America as paradigms, this book examines America's aggressive colonialist policy. It draws alarming connections between its repression of information inside the US and its aggressive empire-building abroad.
We normally think that the press are cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in its search for truth. In Manufacturing Consent Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky show how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets of the news. Far from challenging established power, the media work hard to discover and mirror its assumptions. The authors skilfully dissect the way in which the marketplace and the economics of publishing significantly shape the news. They reveal how issues are framed and topics chosen, and contrast the double standards underlying accounts of free elections, a free press, and governmental repression. The authors conclude that the modern mass media can best be understood in terms of a 'propaganda model'. News and entertainment companies dedicate themselves to profit within the established system. Their interests require that they support the governing assumptions of state and private power. The propaganda model provokes outrage from journalists, editors and broadcasters, but twenty years after first publication, Manufacturing Consent remains the most important critique of the mass media.