Biographer to speak at Vanderbilt about Noam Chomsky on Oct. 11; Robert Barsky has new book The Chomsky Effect

The biographer of Noam Chomsky has written a new book on the linguist and political dissenter and will speak about it on Oct. 11 at Vanderbilt University.

Robert Barsky, professor of French and comparative literature, is the author of Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent and the new The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower.

The 4:30 p.m. lecture at the Hyatt Room of Vanderbilt Law School is free and open to the public. The topic is “The Chomsky Effect: A Catalyst for Social Justice Beyond the Ivory Tower.”

“Whether you revere or revile him, no one can doubt that Noam Chomsky has been roiling more waters than any other intellectual activist on the globe for well over four decades,” said Martin Jay, the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. “Robert Barsky provides ample ammunition for both sides of the debate over the effectiveness of the Chomsky effect.”

Chomsky has been both highly praised – by Bono and Hugo Chávez, among others – and damned by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Alan Dershowitz. In The Chomsky Effect, Barsky examines Chomsky’s positions on a number of issues including Vietnam, Israel, East Timor and linguistics, to illustrate how Chomsky approaches issues and his subsequent influence on them.

The lecture will be recorded for of podcast on VUCast, the website of Vanderbilt News Service, at

Media Contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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