vii, 143 pages ; 19 cm
Originally published as a special supplement by The New York Review of Books on the 23 February 1967. Includes second essay: The responsibility of intellectuals, redux.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-142).
"As a nineteen-year-old undergraduate in 1947, Noam Chomsky was deeply affected by articles about the responsibility of intellectuals written by Dwight Macdonald, an editor of Partisan Review and then of Politics. Twenty years later, as the Vietnam War was escalating, Chomsky turned to the question himself, noting that "intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments" and to analyze their "often hidden intentions." Originally published in the New York Review of Books, Chomsky's essay eviscerated the "hypocritical moralism of the past" (such as when Woodrow Wilson set out to teach Latin Americans "the art of good government") and exposed the shameful policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying it. Also included in this volume is the brilliant The Responsibility of Intellectuals Redux, written on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, which makes the case for using privilege to challenge the state. As relevant in 2017 as it was in 1967, The Responsibility of Intellectuals reminds us that "privilege yields opportunity and opportunity confers responsibilities." All of us have choices, even in desperate times."--Dust jacket.
Chomsky is a rock star: Bono called him the "Elvis of academia." Recently featured by the NYT Education Life section (11/6/16), Chomsky is frequently in the news and has recently debunked critiques by the right-winger Tom Wolfe in The Kingdom of Speech (Little, Brown) and by the anthropologist Chris Knight in Decoding Chomsky (Yale). Profile: Chomsky has such a significant public profile that there is now Chomsky merch available, from mugs to T-shirts and luggage tags (!) to a ceramic garden gnome marketed as "Gnome Chomsky." He supported Bernie Sanders and predicted the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump long before Trump came on the scene. Still speaking out: Now 87, Chomsky continues to speak publicly and to publish books and opinion pieces. Asked how he accounts for his amazing energy levels, he credits the "bicycle theory" that "as long as you keep riding you don't fall.