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OTHER ITA SITES:
Noam Chomsky Gets A Bestseller The Incriminating Way
Noam Chomsky, the innovative linguist on the left, went from the relatively placid life of a leading scholar to a major presentation by Hugo Chavez at the UN, who held up as recommended reading one of his many books, with the hefty title, “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance.”
Apparently, Chavez has as much influence as Oprah. The book, though published in 2003, shot to the bottom of the NY Times Bestseller List – ten out of a possible ten, but still a rather astounding up-tick for any serious work in poli-sci.
Chavez did make one discomfiting mistake; he said he wished he had met the author while he was still alive. Chomsky, reached in Lenox, MA, affirmed, as Mark Twain did under similar circumstances, that the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated, saying simply, “I continue to work and write.”
He also noted that he was in the middle of answering some 10,000 emails, which is enough to keep any living person busy.
The unaccustomedly spotlighted author distanced himself a bit from the incriminating flattery from one of the rudest troublemakers on the world stage. He commented, with easygoing ambiguity, “We should look at ourselves through our own eyes and not other people’s eyes.”
He didn’t, however, hesitate to defend the bluster of his big Venezuelan fan, saying, “The Bush administration backed a coup to overthrow his government. Suppose Venezuela supported a military coup that overthrew the government of the United States? Would we think it was a joke?”
Then he turned the dilemma into a bit of a mutual admiration society, saying, “I have been quite interested in his policies. Personally, I think many of them are quite constructive.” He also noted that Venezuela seems to like their brash leader. “He has gone through six closely supervised elections.”
He also commented, as part of being still alive, “I would be happy to meet him.”
Sometimes, it’s surprising what bedfellows one’s writing makes.
But Chomsky knows one thing for certain. Given the staging Chavez gave his book, he is unlikely to find President Bush among his avid readers.
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