‘The future is not a pretty picture’.
American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political critic and activist, he is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where he has worked for over 50 years. In addition to his work in linguistics he has written on war, politics and mass media, and is the author of over 100 books, including the influential ‘Manufacturing consent: The political economy of the mass media’ with Edward S. Herman in 1988. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source overall. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and he was voted the ‘World’s top public intellectual’ in a 2005 poll. Chomsky has been described as the ‘father of modern linguistics’ and a major figure of analytic philosophy. His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics and psychology. He is credited as the creator of the Chomsky hierarchy, the universal grammar theory, and co-creator of the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem. After the publication of his first book on linguistics, Chomsky became a prominent critic of the Vietnam War, and since then has continued to publish books of political criticism. He has become well known for his critiques of US foreign policy, state capitalism and the mainstream news media. He describes his views as ‘fairly traditional anarchist ones, with origins in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism’, and often identifies with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. He is a member of the union IWW, Industrials Workers of the World.