Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower

reviewed by Neil Smith - January 28, 2008

coverTitle: The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower
Author(s): Robert F. Barsky
Publisher: MIT Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0262026244, Pages: 381, Year: 2007
Search for book at Amazon.com

Chomsky polarizes people. He attracts vitriolic abuse and sycophantic adulation in equal measure; he is “the most important intellectual in the world” and “the great American crackpot”; his intellectual status is “on a par with that of Darwin or Descartes,” but “everything he says is false.” These conflicting judgements cover all domains: linguistics, philosophy, literary theory, psychology ... but above all politics and international affairs. So there is need for dispassionate analysis, even for passionate analysis if the passion is transparent, and Barsky’s new book promises to provide it: to explain this “Chomsky effect.” At this point I should declare an interest. I too wrote a book about Chomsky (Smith, 1999/2004) and it is clear there that, while occasionally critical, both Barsky and I are basically favourably inclined. It also means that I have read the majority of Chomsky’s enormous output: a hundred books, and innumerable articles, blogs, interviews, letters, recordings... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 28, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14937, Date Accessed: 2/23/2020 7:01:31 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Neil Smith
    University College London
    E-mail Author
    NEIL SMITH is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at University College London, where he was head of the linguistics department for 34 years. He has published on most areas of linguistics, including a book about Chomsky.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue