Was There an Alternative?
By Noam Chomsky
(Seven Stories Press, Paperback, 9781609803438, 176pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
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In 9-11, published in November 2001 and arguably the single most influential post 9-11 book, internationally renowned thinker Noam Chomsky bridged the information gap around the World Trade Center attacks, cutting through the tangle of political opportunism, expedient patriotism, and general conformity that choked off American discourse in the months immediately following. Chomsky placed the attacks in context, marshaling his deep and nuanced knowledge of American foreign policy to trace the history of American political aggression--in the Middle East and throughout Latin America as well as in Indonesia, in Afghanistan, in India and Pakistan--at the same time warning against America’s increasing reliance on military rhetoric and violence in its response to the attacks, and making the critical point that the mainstream media and public intellectuals were failing to make: any escalation of violence as a response to violence will inevitably lead to further, and bloodier, attacks on innocents in America and around the world. This new edition of 9-11, published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks and featuring a new preface by Chomsky, reminds us that today, just as much as ten years ago, information and clarity remain our most valuable tools in the struggle to prevent future violence against the innocent, both at home and abroad.
NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings, as well as for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky first gained recognition for his theory of generative 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. He is the author of Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, 9-11: Was There an Alternative? and over forty other books. To this day Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent.
• "9-11 was practically the only counter-narrative out there at a time when questions tended to be drowned out by a chorus, led by the entire United States Congress, of ‘God Bless America.’ . . . it is possible that, if the United States goes the way of nineteenth-century Britain, Chomsky's interpretation will be the standard among historians a hundred years from now." --New Yorker
• "A badly needed corrective to news coverage of the present-day ‘war on terrorism.’"
--Norman Solomon, San Francisco Chronicle Review
• "Every word of 9-11 is more relevant than ever." --Amnesty International Journal (Ireland)
• "Chomsky laments that the U.S. government largely dismissed these human rights problems in its quest to “secure our interests.” The invasion of Afghanistan was far from the first time NATO overran unstable civilian populations in the search for terrorists (Chomsky offers several examples in the book) and, as we now know, it was not the last."
--Foreign Policy in Focus