This is not a theoretical book; Chomsky does not see himself as an anarchist thinker but rather as a "fellow traveler" and so this collection of interviews, talks, and essays spaning from the early 1970s to 2004 contains no original theory from the man himself. Chomsky is as accessible as ever however and this book's interviews will give a reader new to anarchist thought a firm idea of what anarchists are against, and what they are for, with further elaboration of Chomsky's own critique of capitalism, state and government, and their alternatives in the essays and talks.
Do you like reading Chomsky? Interested in Anarchism?
Buy this book then.
It really is as simple as the title. Chomsky talks about Anarchism in a variety of interviews.
I hope through the reading of this book some respect will hopefully be generated for this much maligned and (very) often misunderstood system of thought based on nothing more than a desire for freedom and happiness.
It's simple. You learn more from Noam Chomsky (by peer review the world's greatest living intellectual), than anyone else. Even Chomsky's arch critics (Hitchens, CIA etc) read him for illumination. In `Chomsky on Anarchism', Chomsky in eleven chapters gives his personal views and eclectic understanding of this increasingly relevant political movement. The usual Chomskian analytical brilliance, research and full references are on display so readers won't be disappointed.
If this was intended to be a coherent argument, it failed miserably. This book is one of the laziest, and least persuasive I have ever read on the topic of anarchy as a viable political system. It was nothing more than a loosely connected collection of lecture Q&A transcripts, and essays on linguistics that contained long digressive passages on politics.
The only reason it gets three stars instead of two, is for the excellent research he did on the Spanish Civil War, and for a handful of interesting interpretations and insights into Rousseau and Humboldt.
Just an anthology of interviews and essays that are already available elsewhere. Half of it I swear had nothing to do with anarchism. Unless you're an ardent chomskyite and want to increase the size of your collection, I'd recommend giving this dull and overpriced book a miss. P.S, the interview at the end with Barry Pateman can be found on youtube.