rivercoil: But that is the problem I have with Chomsky: I love hearing him speak but have a hard time reading his works.
My experience is similar. I've found his interviews to be far more accessable, as are the hundreds of letters he's kept in correspondence over the years with critics and fellow travellers across the planet. I think his lectures (from which many of his books are transcripted) can be overfull of minutiae: names, dates, events, major and minor players, statements and quotations, references from state documents, journal articles, newspapers and other media outlets...the history of the event is hyper-documented with Chomsky. Perhaps this is in response to the "memory hole" process in which the unwanted, disturbing, incriminating and otherwise essential data of the past are flushed away. Chomsky is a protector of memory: his books might be seen as attempts at saving the memories of those details deemed dangerous by elites and their allies.
After carefully, and perhaps painfully, exploring his arguments of politics and history...it becomes overwhelmingly clear that his narratives are firmly rooted in the facts, supported by massive data both official and otherwise, and the result of meticulous attention to detail...his is the science of defending democracy.
Of course Chomsky always expects his readers to draw their own conclusions and examine the data with their own eyes. He is no oracle. Perhaps his less-than enjoyable reading style is one way to ward off the acolytes and disciples of the world hungry for yet another guru to explain everything?
In any case, I think Interventions
is by far his most accessable to date. He doesn't waste a word and the arguments are pinpoint direct.
By the way, I think the most enjoyable read I've discovered regarding Chomsky has been UNDERSTANDING POWER: The Indispensable Noam Chomsky
. This book assembles transcripts from multiple seminars and group discussion with Chomsky from over a number of years. Chomsky in conversation and give and take with students and comrades discussing what is always on his list of concerns: who has the power and how are they abusing it?Interventions
is Chomsky at his best. Don't let earlier experiences keep you away.