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Understanding Power

78 ratings

Summary

A major new collection from "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times). Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sold-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's recent talks on the past, present, and future of the politics of power. In a series of enlightening and wide-ranging discussions, all published here for the first time, Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during Vietnam to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America's imperialistic foreign policy and the decline of domestic social services, Chomsky also discerns the necessary steps to take toward social change. With an eye to political activism and the media's role in popular struggle, as well as U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power offers a sweeping critique of the world around us and is definitive Chomsky. Characterized by Chomsky's accessible and informative style, this is the ideal book for those new to his work as well as for those who have been listening for years.

©2002 Noam Chomsky, Peter Rounds Mitchell, and John Schoeffel (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Available on Audible
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Manufacturing Consent

61 ratings

Summary

In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order. Based on a series of case studies - including the media's dichotomous treatment of "worthy" versus "unworthy" victims, "legitimizing" and "meaningless" Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the US wars against Indochina - Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media's behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications.

©2002 Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky (P)2017 Tantor

Narrator: John Pruden
Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
Available on Audible
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The Brightest Night

32 ratings

Summary

The Dragonets struggle to fulfill the prophecy and - somehow - end the war in this thrilling new installment of the best-selling Wings of Fire series! It all comes down to this: The Dragonets of Destiny must finally bring the epic war to an end, reconcile the seven tribes, choose the next queen of Pyrrhia, and make it out alive.

©2014 Tui T. Sutherland (P)2016 Scholastic Inc.

Available on Audible
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Who Rules the World?

16 ratings

Summary

The world's leading intellectual offers a probing examination of the waning American century, the nature of US policies post-9/11, and the perils of valuing power above democracy and human rights. In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe and wrecking the global commons. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the expanding drone assassination program to the threat of nuclear warfare as well as the flashpoints of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine, he offers unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. In the process Chomsky provides a brilliant anatomy of just how US elites have grown ever more insulated from any democratic constraints on their power. While the broader population is lulled into apathy - diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable - the corporations and the rich have increasingly been allowed to do as they please. Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central conflicts and dangers of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky.

©2016 Valeria Wasserman-Chomsky (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

Narrator: Brian Jones
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
Available on Audible
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Global Discontents

15 ratings

Summary

This program is read by the authors In a compelling new set of interviews, Noam Chomsky identifies the "dry kindling" of discontent around the world that could soon catch fire. In wide-ranging interviews with David Barsamian, his longtime interlocutor, Noam Chomsky asks listeners to consider "the world we are leaving to our grandchildren": one imperiled by the escalation of climate change and the growing potential for nuclear war. If the current system is incapable of dealing with these threats, he argues, it's up to us to radically change it. These 12 interviews, conducted from 2013 to 2016, examine the latest developments around the globe: the devastation of Syria, the reach of state surveillance, growing anger over economic inequality, the place of religion in American political culture, and the bitterly contested 2016 US presidential election. In accompanying personal reflections on his Philadelphia childhood and his 87th birthday, Chomsky also describes his own intellectual journey and the development of his uncompromising stance as America's premier dissident intellectual. Global Discontents is the perfect audiobook for politically engaged listeners interested in the future of America and the world. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Available on Audible
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On Anarchism

15 ratings

Summary

On Anarchism provides the reasoning behind Noam Chomsky's fearless lifelong questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. In these essays, Chomsky redeems one of the most maligned ideologies, anarchism, and places it at the foundation of his political thinking. Chomsky's anarchism is distinctly optimistic and egalitarian. Moreover, it is a living, evolving tradition that is situated in a historical lineage; Chomsky's anarchism emphasizes the power of collective, rather than individualist, action. The collection includes a revealing new introduction by journalist Nathan Schneider, who documented the Occupy movement for Harper's and The Nation, and who places Chomsky's ideas in the contemporary political moment. On Anarchism will be essential listening for a new generation of activists who are at the forefront of a resurgence of interest in anarchism - and for anyone who struggles with what can be done to create a more just world.

©2013 Noam Chomsky; Introduction 2013 Nathan Schneider (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Available on Audible
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How the World Works

8 ratings

Summary

According to The New York Times, Noam Chomsky is "arguably the most important intellectual alive." But he isn't easy to read...or at least he wasn't until these books came along. Made up of intensively edited speeches and interviews, they offer something not found anywhere else: pure Chomsky, with every dazzling idea and penetrating insight intact, delivered in clear, accessible, listener-friendly prose.   Published as four short books in the famous Real Story series - What Uncle Sam Really Wants; The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy; and The Common Good - they've collectively sold almost 600,000 copies. And they continue to sell year after year after year because Chomsky's ideas become, if anything, more relevant as time goes by. For example, 20 years ago, he pointed out that "in 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment - more or less productive things - and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed." As we know, speculation continued to increase exponentially. We're paying the price now for not heeding him them.

©1986, 2011 Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian, and Arthur Naiman (P)2020 Tantor

Available on Audible
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Consequences of Capitalism

7 ratings

Summary

Is there an alternative to capitalism? In this landmark text Chomsky and Waterstone chart a critical map for a more just and sustainable society. “Covid-19 has revealed glaring failures and monstrous brutalities in the current capitalist system. It represents both a crisis and an opportunity.... Everything depends on the actions that people take into their own hands.” - From the afterword How do politics shape our world, our lives, and our perceptions? How much of “common sense” is actually driven by the ruling class’ needs and interests? And how are we to challenge the capitalist structures that now threaten all life on the planet? Consequences of Capitalism exposes the deep, often unseen, connections between neoliberal “common sense” and structural power. In making these linkages, we see how the current hegemony keeps social justice movements divided and marginalized. And, most importantly, we see how we can fight to overcome these divisions. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Valeria Chomsky and Marv Waterstone (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

Available on Audible
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Requiem for the American Dream

6 ratings

Summary

Noam Chomsky is widely regarded as the most influential thinker of our time, but never before has he devoted a major book to one topic: income inequality. "During the Great Depression, things were much worse than they are today, but there was an expectation that things were going to get better. There was a real sense of hopefulness. There isn't today.... Inequality is really unprecedented. In terms of total inequality, it's like the worst periods in American history. But if you refine it more closely, the inequality comes from the extreme wealth in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1 percent.... Not only is it extremely unjust in itself, inequality has highly negative consequences on the society as a whole because the very fact of inequality has a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy."(Noam Chomsky, in Requiem for the American Dream) Requiem for the American Dream is not an essay collection but an entire work of some 70,000 words, based on four years of interviews with Chomsky by the editors. Chomsky considers these to be his final, long-form documentary interviews. It is a book that makes Chomsky's breadth and depth accessible and at the same time gives us his most powerful political ideas with unprecedented, breathtaking directness. It will go down as one of his greatest and most lasting contributions. Requiem for the American Dream is being produced in tandem with the film of the same name that was recently released in selected theaters to rave reviews and standing ovations. It will be on Netflix and touring colleges prior to the book's release.

©2017 Valeria Chomsky (P)2017 Recorded Books

Narrator: Donald Corren
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
Available on Audible
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Hegemony or Survival

6 ratings

Summary

For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing, as in the Cuban missile crisis, to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward the final frontiers of imperial control, toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and a livable Earth. Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species. Lucid, rigorous and thoroughly documented, Hegemony or Survival is Chomsky's most urgent and sweeping work in years. Certain to spark widespread debate, it is a definitive statement from one of the world's most influential political thinkers.

©2003 Aviva Chomsky, Diane Chomsky, Harry Chomsky (P)2003 Audio Renaissance

Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
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Media Control

6 ratings

Summary

Noam Chomsky’s backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control begins by asserting two models of democracy - one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky, "propaganda is to democracy as the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state", and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States. From an examination of how Woodrow Wilson’s Creel Commission "succeeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, war-mongering population", to Bush Sr.'s war on Iraq, Chomsky examines how the mass media and public relations industries have been used as propaganda to generate public support for going to war. Chomsky further touches on how the modern public relations industry has been influenced by Walter Lippmann’s theory of "spectator democracy," in which the public is seen as a "bewildered herd" that needs to be directed, not empowered; and how the public relations industry in the United States focuses on "controlling the public mind," and not on informing it. Media Control is an invaluable primer on the secret workings of disinformation in democratic societies.

©2002 Noam Chomsky (P)2013 Random House Audio

Narrator: Noam Chomsky
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
Available on Audible
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Fateful Triangle

5 ratings

Summary

From its establishment to the present day, Israel has enjoyed a special position in the American roster of international friends. In Fateful Triangle, Noam Chomsky explores the character and historical development of this special relationship.

©1999 Noam Chomsky. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Brian Jones
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 30 hrs and 6 mins
Available on Audible
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Profit Over People

5 ratings

Summary

Why is the Atlantic slowly filling with crude petroleum, threatening a millions-of-years-old ecological balance? Why did traders at prominent banks take high-risk gambles with the money entrusted to them by hundreds of thousands of clients around the world, expanding and leveraging their investments to the point that failure led to a global financial crisis that left millions of people jobless and hundreds of cities economically devastated? Why would the world's most powerful military spend 10 years fighting an enemy that presents no direct threat to secure resources for corporations? The culprit in all cases is neoliberal ideology - the belief in the supremacy of "free" markets to drive and govern human affairs. And in the years since the initial publication of Noam Chomsky's Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order, the bitter vines of neoliberalism have only twisted themselves further into the world economy, obliterating the public's voice in public affairs and substituting the bottom line in place of people's basic obligation to care for one another as ends in themselves. In Profit Over People, Chomsky reveals the roots of the present crisis, tracing the history of neoliberalism through an incisive analysis of free trade agreements of the 1990s, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund - and describes the movements of resistance to the increasing interference by the private sector in global affairs. In the years since the initial publication of Profit Over People, the stakes have only risen. Now more than ever, Profit Over People is one of the key texts explaining how the crisis facing us operates - and how, through Chomsky's analysis of resistance, we may find an escape from the closing net.

©1999 Noam Chomsky; 1998 Introduction copyright by Robert W. McChesney (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Brian Jones
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
Available on Audible
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Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal

5 ratings

Summary

An engaging conversation with our most respected public intellectual around how a global Green New Deal has the potential to save humanity and the planet The environmental crisis under way is unique in human history. It is a true existential crisis. Those alive today will decide the fate of humanity. Meanwhile, the leaders of the most powerful state in human history are dedicating themselves with passion to destroying the prospects for organized human life. At the same time, there is a solution at hand, which is the Green New Deal.  Putting meat on the bones of the Green New Deal starts with a single simple idea: We have to absolutely stop burning fossil fuels to produce energy within the next 30 years at most; and we have to do this in a way that also supports rising living standards and expanding opportunities for working people and the poor throughout the world. This version of a Green New Deal program is, in fact, entirely realistic in terms of its purely economic and technical features. The real question is whether it is politically feasible.  Chomsky and Pollin examine how we can build the political force to make a global Green New Deal a reality.

©2020 Noam Chomsky, Robert Pollin, C. J. Polychroniou (P)2020 Tantor

Available on Audible
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Failed States

3 ratings

Summary

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated sequel to his international best seller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state", and therefore a danger to its own people and the world. "Failed states", Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit', having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of nuclear risks; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and Americas' self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy. Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices recklessly place the world on the brink of nuclear and environmental disaster. Systematically dismantling America's pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused, and urgent, critique to date.

©2006 Harry Chomsky, as Trustee of Chomsky Grandchildren Nominee Trust (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Narrator: Alan Sklar
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
Available on Audible
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Necessary Illusions

3 ratings

Summary

In his 1988 CBC Massey Lecture, Noam Chomsky inquires into the nature of the media in a political system where the population cannot be disciplined by force and thus must be subjected to more subtle forms of ideological control. Specific cases are illustrated in detail, using the U.S. media primarily but also media in other societies. Chomsky considers how the media might be democratized (as part of the general problem of developing more democratic institutions) in order to offer citizens broader and more meaningful participation in social and political life.

©1989 Noam Chomsky (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Narrator: Kevin Stillwell
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 18 hrs and 12 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for On Western Terrorism - New Edition: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare (Chomsky Perspectives)

On Western Terrorism - New Edition: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare (Chomsky Perspectives)

2 ratings

Summary

Admired by some, condemned by others, and feared by all - the military might of the West is undeniably colossal. In On Western Terrorism, world-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky discusses Western power and propaganda with filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek. It offers the perfect introduction to Chomsky’s significant political thought and provides an accessible approach for anyone who wishes to better understand the West’s fraught role in the world. Beginning with stories of the New York newsstand where Chomsky started his political education as a teenager, the discussion broadens out to encompass colonialism, imperial control, propaganda, the Arab Spring, and drone warfare. Chomsky and Vltchek offer a powerful critique of the legacy of colonialism, touching upon many countries including Syria, Nicaragua, Cuba, China, Chile, and Turkey. Updated with a new foreword by Chomsky, On Western Terrorism remains an influential and powerful critique of the West’s role in the world, inspiring all who listen to it to think independently and critically.

©2013, 2017 Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek (P)2018 Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek

Narrator: Margy Stein
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
Available on Audible
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The Essential Chomsky

2 ratings

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.

Available on Audible
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Internationalism or Extinction

2 ratings

Summary

In his new book, Noam Chomsky writes cogently about the threats to planetary survival that are of growing alarm today.  The prospect of human extinction emerged after World War II, the dawn of a new era scientists now term the Anthropocene. Chomsky uniquely traces the duality of existential threats from nuclear weapons and from climate change - including how the concerns emerged and evolved and how the threats can interact with one another.  The introduction and accompanying interviews place these dual threats in a framework of unprecedented corporate global power which has overtaken nation states’ ability to control the future and preserve the planet. Chomsky argues for the urgency of international climate and arms agreements, showing how global popular movements are mobilising to force governments to meet this unprecedented challenge to civilisation’s survival.

©2019 Noam Chomsky (P)2020 Taylor & Francis

Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
Available on Audible
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Long, Hot, Witchy Summer

1 rating

Summary

Life couldn’t be going much better for Hadley Hunter. She’s living the dream on Moonstone Bay with her boyfriend, Galen Blackwood, plotting her next move as a witch for hire, and basically basking in happiness.   That all changes when a summer afternoon on the beach turns into a nightmare, an odd creature from the depths of the ocean surfacing and attacking Hadley on the beach. Her friend Lilac, a demon with a few issues, fights it off but it escapes...and becomes a problem for an island that bases its entire economy on tourism.  The all-powerful DDA isn’t happy. Lilac’s hair refuses to stop glowing red. Booker is struggling to help all his friends. Essentially, things turn messy quickly.  On top of that, Hadley’s father drops in out of nowhere and demands she return home. He’s not happy with what he hears about the island and decides it’s too dangerous for her to say. Hadley, of course, has other ideas and is determined to bring her father around to her way of thinking.  Between monsters popping up out of nowhere and her father’s inability to stop freaking out, Hadley has her hands full. The monsters keep popping up in the oddest places, and always their attention is on Hadley.  Monsters are nothing new for Hadley but the ones attacking now seem to be different. It’s up to Moonstone Bay’s newest witch and her motley crew of paranormal colleagues to solve a mystery and save the day. Again.  They just have to survive to do it.

©2021 Amanda M. Lee (P)2020 Amanda M. Lee

Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
Available on Audible
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What Kind of Creatures Are We?

Summary

Noam Chomsky is widely known and deeply admired for being the founder of modern linguistics, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science, and perhaps the most avidly read political theorist and commentator of our time.  In these lectures, he presents a lifetime of philosophical reflection on all three of these areas of research to which he has contributed for over half a century. In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on 50 years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis.  He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding.  Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present.

©2016 Noam Chomsky (P)2018 Tantor

Narrator: John Pruden
Author: Noam Chomsky
Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
Available on Audible
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On Language

Summary

Described by the New York Times as "arguably the most important intellectual alive," Noam Chomsky is known throughout the world for his highly influential writings on language and politics. Featuring two of Chomsky's most popular and enduring books in one omnibus volume, On Language contains some of the noted linguist and political critic's most informal and accessible work to date, making it an ideal introduction to his thought. In Part I, "Language and Responsibility" (1979), Chomsky presents a fascinating self-portrait of his political, moral, and linguistic thinking through a series of interviews with Mitsou Ronat, the noted French linguist. In Part II, "Reflections on Language" (1975), Chomsky explores the more general implications of the study of language and offers incisive analyses of the controversies among psychologists, philosophers, and linguists over fundamental questions of language.

©1977 Language and Responsibility Flammarion; English translation and revisions of Language and Responsibility 1979 Noam Chomsky; Reflections on Language 1975 Noam Chomsky (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Fajer Al-Kaisi
Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
Available on Audible
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After the Cataclysm

Summary

Dissects the aftermath of the war in Southeast Asia, the refugee problem, the Vietnam/Cambodia conflict, and the Pol Pot regime.

©1979 Noam Chomsky (P)2015 Audible Inc.

Narrator: Brian Jones
Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
Available on Audible