Noam Chomsky. Interventions

Noam Chomsky. Interventions. City Lights Books, 2007.

Noam Chomsky’s political analyses and commentary are always worth reading–including this collection of short opinion pieces. Chomsky regular has written short op-ed essays that are distributed internationally through the New York Times Syndicate (though never published in the Times itself–and rarely published in other American papers). One reason to read this collection is to ask why is it that Chomsky’s writings are considered to be so out of the mainstream. I don’t know the answer.

Chomsky does ask challenging questions and refuses to accept conventional wisdom–but he is clear, analytical, carefully reasoned, and discusses issues of great interest to a wide variety of people. One of his great virtues is to help us remember inconvenient truths, facts, and past actions in an age of all-too-easily sweeping things under the carpet (such as, for example, the democratic election of Hamas into power in Gaza).

I don’t think these 44 pieces are Chomsky at his best–I prefer his longer books that allow him more elbow room and the ability thoroughly to document his points. Plus, these articles are all occasional and hence a bit dated (the earliest essay is from September 2002). However, they do provide a fascinating chronicle of American foreign policy during the Bush administration–thereby reminding us of many things too easily forgotten.

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