Those who regard him as a “doom and gloom” critic will find an unexpected Chomsky in these pages. Here the world-renowned author speaks for the first time in depth about his career in activism, and his views and tactics. Chomsky offers new and intimate details about his life-long experience as an activist, revealing him as a critic with deep convictions and many surprising insights about movement strategies. The book points to new directions for activists today, including how the crises of the Coronavirus and the economic meltdown are exploding in the critical 2020 US presidential election year. Readers will find hope and new pathways toward a sustainable, democratic world.
Table of Contents
CHOMSKY FOR ACTIVISTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE OF ACTIVISM
1 How It All Got Started
2 Stories of Global Activism
- Coming Together: Organizing for Survival with Justice
- Enhanced Exploitation: The Neoliberal Project
- Identity Politics and Class Politics: Common Interests, Labor and Collective Action
- Activists and Evangelicals: Organizing Across the Cultural Divide
- Identity, Intersectionality and Universalizing Resistance
- Activism and Fascism: Then and Now
- Activists, Movements and Electoral Politics: The Critique of Anti-Trumpism
- Activism in the Age of Extinction
- The Movement and Third Parties
- Overcoming Isolation and Powerlessness: Movements and Community
PART III 100 SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT:
CONFRONTING CLIMATE CHANGE, WAR AND PANDEMICS IN THE TRUMP ERA
REFLECTIONS FROM ACTIVISTS
Noam Chomsky is one of the most cited scholars in history and among the best known public intellectuals in the world today. He is the author of more than 100 books; the most recent include Requiem for the American Dream, and The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power, Before coming to the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor of Linguistics in 2017, Chomsky taught linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 50 years.
Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology at Boston College is a noted public intellectual and author of twenty-five books, including several best-sellers reviewed in the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and other prominent media. His recent books include Welcome to the Revolution, Moving Beyond Fear, and Glorious Causes. Co-editor of the Routledge book series, Universalizing Resistance, Derber is a life-long activist for peace and justice.
Suren Moodliar is editor of the journal Socialism and Democracy and coordinator of encuentro5, a movement-building space in downtown Boston. He is a co-author of A People's Guide to Greater Boston (UC Press, 2020).
Paul Shannon worked for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) for 40 years where he ran the national film library and was active in various peace, union, prison reform, economic justice and international solidarity movements. Now retired, he serves as a volunteer with the AFSC, teaches courses on the Vietnam war, writes, and continues his intersectional organizing around the Yemen war, the military industrial complex, climate change, criminal justice issues, and regime-change wars. He is a board member of Mass. Peace Action and The Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security.
"It is heartening to hear Chomsky’s steady voice come through these interviews and writings — radical, analytic, and prophetic. Chomsky for Activists is the tonic we need in troubled times to peel away the illusions and fuel our fight for democracy, justice and economic equality."
Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies, author, The Wealth Hoarders and Born on Third Base.
"Some people get to know the thinking of Noam Chomsky by listening to his presentations. But in this book you, the reader, have the opportunity to get to know the thinking of Chomsky in a different way. Through interviews as well as his commentaries, the reader gets a sense of the 'comprehensive' Chomsky. It is not just what he thinks but how he approaches the challenges facing the contemporary Left and progressive movements in the USA that makes this a compelling volume. This book is of additional value in identifying where the reader may agree and disagree with Chomsky, but nevertheless appreciate his invaluable insight. It was both a great honor and opportunity to have been asked to preview this volume in order to suggest to you, the potential reader, my encouragement that you embrace this work. You will not regret it!"
Bill Fletcher, Jr., executive editor, globalafricanworker.com, former president of TransAfrica Forum.
"Could you benefit from a wise elder putting this present moment in historical perspective, explaining the gravity of today’s existential crises but showing how activism has--and can--change the course of history for the better? Then curl up with Uncle Noam to read Chomsky for Activists. Chomsky gives simplistically brilliant answers to such questions as 'Is Trump a fascist?' (his response might surprise you) and 'Should we change the Democratic Party from within or create an independent party?'. Chomsky for Activists is an uplifting gift for all of us who feel depressed or confused about the state of our nation and world. Read it and act."
Medea Benjamin, Author and Cofounder of CODEPINK