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The Essential Chomsky

Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
Length: 22 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Editor reviews

The works of leading modern philosopher, linguist and critic, Noam Chomsky, are examined and displayed in the incredible audiobook, The Essential Chomsky, written by Chomsky and compiled by Anthony Arnove, with an expert narration by Kevin Stillwell. Chomsky’s theories of analytic philosophy and groundbreaking research in the area of linguistics have had him internationally recognised as one of the world’s greatest intellectuals. Listeners now have access to his published research and theories in this fascinating book. Learn more about the brilliant man and his lifetime of work. Available now from Audible.

Summary

In a single volume, the seminal writings of the world's leading philosopher, linguist, and critic, published to coincide with his 80th birthday.

For the past 40 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 best-selling 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 40 years. Here is an unprecedented, comprehensive overview of Chomsky's thought.

©2008 Anthony Arnove (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Some of the Essays are very interesting

This work is collection of essays covering various areas of activism, philosophy and linguistics.

I found the essays on linguistics to be very heavy and difficult to follow, However anyone with a grounding in linguistics will probably be able to appreciate these essays.

His essays on various conflicts and current affairs are interesting.

12 people found this helpful

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Illuminating and exceptional

Great collection of Chomsky works! You can't go wrong with this if you want to understand how this world works.

37 people found this helpful

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What a banger!

Incredibly insightful in many aspects of intellectualism as always. From theory of mind to understanding US foreign policy, you'll learn from one of the smartest people to have ever walked this planet.

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Could not listen anymore.

Way too complicated, had to stop listening and delete. Difficult to get into. Relieved it is over for me and not required to listen to anymore..

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  • Thomas Dargan
  • 02-05-16

Hard to listen to after the first hour

Where does The Essential Chomsky rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

High

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Essential Chomsky?

Demolishing BF Skinner

Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Stillwell’s performances?

The reader goes off the rails. He gets sick, or bored, or tired, or something, and his tone and inflection stop matching the words and the ideas. The producer should have caught this. The reading perfomance is distracting, and makes it very difficult to follow Chomsky, who is a very dense and demanding writer.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Niny Pagan
  • 25-02-17

Better as book

this book is really a collection of two books one on linguistics (too dense for audio) and one on politics. The latter shows the range of Choamsk's writings from Vietnam to now.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 02-01-17

Noam is a true visionary humanitarian.

Loved it, was very eye opening as always. Plenty simple Noam genius chronicled! At least worth one read!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Customer 503
  • 13-06-17

unfortunate narration

Would you consider the audio edition of The Essential Chomsky to be better than the print version?

constantly distracted by the theatrically pretentious reading. akin to a subtle Snidely Whiplash reading of Noam Chomsky.

5 people found this helpful

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  • AA
  • 12-03-18

Great Read, Difficult Listen

Excellent set of essays. They feel more appropriate to read that to be listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JT
  • 21-09-17

Frequent French with no translations.

If you are offering an audio book where the author quotes French literature and you say the quote in French, TRANSLATE THE FUCKING QUOTE.

12 people found this helpful

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  • C. J. Vazquez
  • 15-06-20

Book repeats passages

Not sure why, but entire sections of the book are duplicated. Might be a compilation error.

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  • J. C. de Vrieze
  • 17-02-18

As insightful as cynical.

A must read for anyone who wants to understand what US foreign policy is about.

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  • CHET YARBROUGH
  • 04-08-14

NOAM CHOMSKY

Noam Chomsky is a brilliant intellectual and Socratic genius, but like most geniuses, he is a frustratingly inept political strategist and tactician. Chomsky is an impractical idealist.

Chomsky has been at the forefront of the battle against government control of human freedom–beginning, most famously, with the Vietnam antiwar movement but extending to present day conflicts in Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Chomsky argues that the underlying mechanism for all nation-state’ conflicts is imperialism. He strongly believes capitalism is the source of many of these conflicts because of America’s preeminent economic and political position in the world. Just as Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”–Chomsky views America as the world’s leading corrupter, with China nipping at its’ shirttail, and other post-industrial nations serving the same shirt maker.

Where Chomsky frustrates his audience is when the question is asked, “What can we do?” Chomsky does a magnificent job of analyzing the problem. But, his solution is to politically organize based on ideals; then, raise hell with the establishment.

Without addressing the nature of human beings, nothing will change. Capitalism, with all its’ faults, is the best system of community that takes the nature of human beings into consideration. Geniuses like Chomsky need to address ideas that can take the place of capitalism; that offer a better way of life, without ignoring the nature of human beings. The inchoate ideas of more freedom, marching on Washington, or “Occupy Wall Street” do not offer alternatives to capitalism; they offer only twittered and tweaked capitalism.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Kaschel
  • 19-11-15

Ended my enamoration with Chomsky

While I love some of his ideas, this showed how petty and self-involved Chomsky is, often resulting in the subtle intellectual dishonesty of failing to hold his own statements to the same level of scrutiny that he so readily applies to everyone else.

9 people found this helpful