Noam Chomsky dedicates these essays “to the brave young men who refuse to serve in a criminal war.” This dedication reflects the tone and mood of the entire book, which is a record of Chomsky’s increasingly outraged response to the Vietnam war. Most of the book consists of articles denouncing official justifications of the war and those scholars and intellectuals who either supported it, failed to oppose it with sufficient indignation, or opposed it on grounds other than outright moral condemnation. The longer essays amount to a backward look at American foreign policy in this century and the role of intellectuals in relation to government—all in the light of Vietnam, which is seen as the unspeakable climax of modern ...
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