The following book review, under the Fair Use Doctrine, is posted on PNEWS for educational purposes and may not be reproduced for commercial uses. It is hoped PNEWS- listers will find this book review of interest. rmcb ========================================================== LINGUIST List: Vol-8-673. Wed May 7 1997. ISSN: 1068-4875. Review: Barsky, R.: Chomsky Biography =========================================================== _Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent_ By Robert F. Barsky, MIT Press, 1997, Pp. 237, ISBN 0-262-02418-7. $27.50 Reviewed by Fergal Murphy, University College Dublin <MURPC88@macollamh.ucd.ie> [As the book comes essentially two forms - a paper version and a hypertext version - <http://www-mitpress.mit.edu/chomsky> - I will deal with the content of the book first before going on to talk about the web site for the book. Page numbers indicate Barsky's book unless otherwise indicated.] In this very readable book, Barsky presents a view of Chomsky's life through "The Milieu that Formed Chomsky" and "The Milieu that Chomsky helped to Create". Chomsky's Politics and Linguistics are presented as derived from essentially the same philosophical traditions, with an interest in the uniqueness and creativity of each individual at the heart of Chomsky's concerns. The author points out that the main focus of the biography he has written "is the political milieus that provide a context for understanding [Chomsky's] approach to societal relations and the structures that regulate them" (p.6). The author has previously showed his liking for Chomsky's politics in the documentary "Manufacturing Consent" and this book again portrays Chomsky as being on the side of the angels. The book provides us with some new information and photographs and brings together many of the strands in Chomsky's life and work. A full analysis of Chomsky would take more than the 237 pages in Barsky's book but the book is a solidly researched analysis of the basis of Chomsky's main philosophical concerns that can be read with profit no matter what one's interest in Chomsky derives from. As with any book on Chomsky, this biography will generate heated discussion. Chomsky always provokes strong and divergent reactions but, as the author points out, Chomsky is undeniably one of the most important figures in modern thought (p.1). The first section of the book - dealing with the milieu that formed Chomsky - covers Chomsky's family and his education (both formal and informal). The anecdotes about Chomsky's childhood show a serious, quiet but competitive child who was used to intellectual and well-informed debate about a wide range of topics at home. Some of the details are already available to us from other sources but some of them are new and [212 lines left ... full text available at <url:http://www.reference.com/cgi-bin/pn/go?choice=message&table=05_1997&mid=1647517&hilit=CHOMSKY> ] -------------------------------- Article-ID: 05_1997&1712338 Score: 93 Subject: Re: [CHOMSKY] Chomsky FAQ?