Stuck in bed this weekend with a cold, Ariella bought me a copy of Introducing Chomsky, 2nd Edition. Between naps and feeling sorry for myself, I managed to read the entire book.
Since I’ve already read a few of Steven Pinker’s books, the first half of this book (Chomsky’s theories on linguistics) seemed a little redundant to me. However, since I had never before studied Chomsky the political/social theorist, the second half of the book was definitely enlightening.
Compared to my experience with other books in this series (Introducing Semiotics and Introducing Postmodernism in particular), I was a little disappointed with Introducing Chomsky. This one was not nearly as clear or entertaining as the others.
Still, I haven’t given up on Icon Books. I’m ordering a used copy of Introducing Einstein so it can sit on my shelf next to A Brief History of Time and the dozens of other books I’ll get around to reading “someday.”
Yes yes and yes! As lame as his linguistic stuff is, his policitical stuff kicks ass. I really recommend “Understanding Power”, which is a collection of lectures and talks he gave. It’s a lot easier to read than his books, which are pretty boring. An exception to this would be his brand new “Hegemony or Survival”, which is great. I talk about Chomsky to a ridiculous degree, annoying basically everyone around me. His analysis of politics is the only one that I’ve found that makes any sense whatsoever. Lots of people hate Chomsky, but it’s interesting– all of the criticisms of him that I’ve seen are basically name-calling, without any serious attempt to refute his arguments.