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Review: Chomsky on Anarchism


As tall as the figure of Noam Chomsky stands in the tradition of Western political activism and the counterculture at large, recent releases have met with criticism in some quarters on the grounds that they contribute little more than the rehashing of spent critiques. Chomsky on Anarchism neatly dodges this charge by delving into a canon spanning five decades, tracing a string of foundational texts and interviews which outlay the hinted-at–but rarely cited–role of anarchist philosophy as a starting point for his seminal political and social narratives. While the appeal of some of the older selections might be largely restricted to committed academics (or Chomsky completists), several relatively obscure interviews contained in the volume prove profitable in their own right, moving beyond the illumination of Chomsky’s intellectual roots to tackle pressing questions in the discourse of contemporary anarchism.

This article appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Canadian Dimension (The New Feminism).


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