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On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice

Noam Chomsky’s Critical Intervention- Foreword by Peter McLaren- Afterword by Pepi Leistyna


Pierre W. Orelus and Noam Chomsky

Every century has witnessed the birth of a few world-transcending intellectuals as well as talented emerging scholars. Noam Chomsky and Pierre W. Orelus are no exception. Using dialogues exchanged over the course of nine years, combined with heartfelt critical essays, Chomsky and Orelus analytically examine social justice issues, such as unbalanced relationships between dominant and subjugated languages, democratic schooling, neoliberalism, colonization, and the harmful effect of Western globalization on developing countries, particularly on the poor living in those countries. On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice offers a unique perspective on these issues. Educators and scholar-activists interested in challenging the long-standing status quo to inspire transformative social, educational, and political change must read this book.
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Before talking about the overarching goals of this book, it is important to situate it contextually. Parts of the book demonstrate the ways and the extent to which Noam Chomsky’s work has profoundly influenced the academic, political, and activist world. Particularly, the second chapter focuses on the way Chomsky’s work has inspired many activists, activist-scholars, and public intellectuals, including myself. In my own case, it was my early exposure to Chomsky’s work that stirred my intellectual curiosity to reach out to him, engaging him in several dialogues over the course of 8 years.

Many scholars and activist intellectuals have inspired me and influenced my scholarly work. Noam Chomsky is one of the few I have had the honor of meeting and developing a professional relationship with. This factor alone, I feel, makes a great difference in terms of how I see Noam Chomsky and his scholarly and activist work. Meeting and interacting with him on numerous occasions has heightened my respect for him both as a person and a dissident intellectual.

Chomsky’s scholarly, activist, and political work has had a tremendous impact on the world. However, not many books have specifically analyzed the extent to which his work—along with his humility, kindness, and compassion for the weak and the poor—has profoundly influenced and inspired individuals who have had the privilege of knowing him. Hence, in the first chapter I use narratives stemming from professional and personal encounters with him to draw attention...

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