PODCAST INTERVIEW: New York Public Library: Noam Chomsky and Wallace Shawn

MIT linguist, philosopher, and political theorist Noam Chomsky, in conversation with actor Wallace Shawn. For those who only know Shawn as perhaps Vizzini from The Princess Bride or Mr. Hall in Clueless, don’t forget that he is also the son of famed New Yorker editor William Shawn, an accomplished playwright, has at times written political commentary for The Nation, and once even did a translation of Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. Among his intellectual heroes? Noam Chomsky. (Feat. Photo Credit: NYPL)

Noam Chomsky, who is now 88 years old, began reading political pamphlets in bookshops on the Lower East Side of Manhattan when he was 14 years of age. He experienced the Great Depression, and he was immersed in the momentous events of the 20th century as they occurred. Thus Chomsky sees history not only from the standpoint of others, but of “being there” and “being other”. 

At Garn Press we look to Chomsky for perspectives on human troubles that powerful elites would keep from us. He constantly reminds us of the empirical evidence of lived experience. From him we learn about people who have been dismissed, accounts of events that have been redacted, or PR rewritten. He insists that we challenge the officially sanctioned accounts of the political events that negatively position and shape us. He constantly reminds us to question what we know and what we do not know.

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