Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Power and Terror

Post-9/11 Talks and Interviews

by Noam Chomsky


Edited by John Junkerman and Takei Masakazu

In Power and Terror, his first new book following his runaway bestseller 9-11, Noam Chomsky presents his latest thinking on terrorism, U.S. foreign policy, and the meaning and true impact of militarism in the world today—based on a series of talks and conversations in March and May of 2002 in California, Cambridge, Mass., and New York. Beginning with the fundamental principle that the exercise of violence against civilian populations is terror, regardless of whether the perpetrator is an underground network of Muslim extremists or the most powerful state in the world, Chomsky, in stark and uncompromising terms, challenges the United States to apply to itself the moral standards it demands of others.

Chomsky reviews the history of war crimes and delivers his now-famous analysis of the double-standards and hypocrisy of Western governments, and the role of the media and intellectuals. Power and Terror is an uncompromising critique of American power. With clarity and forc, he places terrorist acts in the context of American foreign intervention throughout the postwar decades—in Vietnam, Central America, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Power and Terror also includes personal reflections by Chomsky on the sources of his optimism, and the connection, if any, between his work in linguistics and his political activism. He credits the dedicated, painstaking, often unacknowledged but brave participation of ordinary citizens with making the world a more just place now than it was decades ago. It is perhaps this optimism that sustains his life-long mission: to bring facts to the public in the faith that, armed with information, people will use that knowledge to demand peace, democracy, and social justice.


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Born in Philadelphia in 1928, NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political writings, activism, and for for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky gained recognition in academic circles for his theory of transformational grammar, which drew attention to the syntactic universality of all human languages. But it is as a critic of unending war, corporate control, and neoliberalism that Chomsky has become one of the country’s most well known public intellectuals. The 1969 publication of American Power and the New Mandarins marked the beginning of Chomsky’s rigorous public criticism of American hegemony and its lieges. Since then, with his tireless scholarship and an unflagging sense of moral responsibility, he has become one of the most influential writers in the world. Chomsky is the author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (with Edward S. Herman), Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, and over one hundred other books. To this day Noam Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent.

Other books by Noam Chomsky