Noam Chomsky

Readings and photos from the student uprising at Chomsky’s university, MIT, 1967-1972

1969 student protest at Chomsky's university, MIT

The protests that erupted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1960s were an important part of the student unrest that shook the US in this period.

Noam Chomsky has talked sympathetically about these protests, which focused on MIT's development of both nuclear weapons and weapons used in the Vietnam war. However, Chomsky also has a strong loyalty to MIT – at one point describing the university as ‘the freest and the most honest and has the best relations between faculty and students than any other ... [with] a good record on civil liberties’ – and it seems this loyalty has prevented him from giving a full account of these events.

Chomsky at MIT: Between the war scientists and the anti-war students, by Chris Knight

Noam Chomsky and police confronting students at MIT, November 1969

It is now fifty years since Noam Chomsky published his celebrated article, 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals'.* Few other writings had a greater impact on the turbulent political atmosphere on US campuses in the 1960s. The essay launched Chomsky's political career as the world's most intransigent and cogent critic of US foreign policy - a position he has held to this day.

Chomsky on War Research at MIT

Noam Chomsky's 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals', 50 years on, UCL 25/2/17

On 25 February 2017, a conference was held at University College London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Noam Chomsky's landmark article, 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals'.[1]

During the conference, Noam made the following statement about the military research that was going on at his university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, around the time when the article was published:

Rogue states: the rule of force in world affairs

NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia

Book from 2000 by Noam Chomsky where he argues that, contrary to popular perception, the real 'rogue' states in the world today are not the dictator-led developing countries we hear about in the news, but the United States and its allies.

Noam Chomsky: A Brief History of America's Cold-Blooded, Terroristic Treatment of Cuba

2015 article giving a brief overview of US/Cuban relations. "The imperial mentality is wondrous to behold."

Chomsky responds to Chris Knight's book, 'Decoding Chomsky'

Chomsky responds to Chris Knight's book, 'Decoding Chomsky'

In a British Columbia university radio show, Chomsky has now responded to Chris Knight’s new book, 'Decoding Chomsky, science and revolutionary politics'.

John Deutch - Chomsky's friend in the Pentagon and the CIA

John Deutch - Chomsky's friend in the Pentagon and the CIA

A look at Chomsky's support for the appointment of John Deutch as head of the CIA in 1995.

The two Noam Chomskys: the military-sponsored scientist and the anarchist activist

The Two Noam Chomskys: the military-sponsored scientist and the anarchist activi

A critical look at two conflicting aspects of leading left-libertarian intellectual Noam Chomsky.

Understanding the Labyrinth: Noam Chomsky's science and politics - Bruce Nevin

A review of Chris Knight, ‘Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics’. Yale University Press, to be published on September 15, 2016

Noam Chomsky: reading guide

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is such a prolific writer that it is hard to know where to start when reading his writings. What’s more, useful criticisms of these writings can be difficult to find among all the largely useless right-wing comments on the internet. So here is a list of Chomsky’s major - largely political - writings followed by a list of the more useful critiques of his thought. Please suggest any others that we've missed.