By Peter Collier
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Extra info for Anti Chomsky Reader
The most widely acclaimed work on the Cambodian regime, in terms of its popular reception within the American liberal press, was the account of the French priest François Ponchaud. His much-cited Cambodia: Year Zero, in its 1977 French edition, was reviewed with disdain in The Nation by Chomsky and favorably in the New York Review of Books by Jean Lacouture. An English edition was published in 1978. In The Political Economy of Human Rights, Chomsky returned to offer a detailed critique of the book, sometimes damning it with faint praise, other times damning it with vile ad hominem abuse.
S. policies aimed at fighting and winning the Cold War. This sweeping dismissal of the Soviet worldview as a mere façade was always wrong, and demonstrably so after 1991. Revelations since the fall of the Berlin Wall stubbornly refuse to conform to Chomsky’s dogmatic view of Soviet ideology, and it is now plain that Soviet leaders did, in fact, take Communism seriously. Even someone as palpably unintellectual as Leonid Brezhnev retained an abiding belief in Communism as the foundation of the Soviet state.
He has no evident background in historical research and no particular knowledge of, or training in, Soviet or American politics (or any other politics, for that matter). The copious citations that clutter his books are typically secondary sources that in the main amount to little more than newspaper clippings and magazine articles, “research” for which even beginning graduate students would be given poor grades. And while he has a dedicated following as a supposed scholar of American foreign policy, Chomsky writes far afield from his own scholarly training and expertise in linguistics.