I read Chomsky through this article by Aaron Swartz on the book that changed his life. So I did what Aaron did, and picked up Understanding Power. Everything about that book is as crushingly world-changing as he describes.
Conspiracy theorists are stupid. Dark, dystopian dreams of corporations and Military Industrial Complexes running the world are good material for story books. But the world Chomsky opens your eyes to is in a way, worse. He lifts the veils on atrocities that have been happening over the past few decades, meticulously referenced with proof after bitter proof.
Considering his subject material and how challenging it must be to communicate his world-view to others, he does a phenomenal job of it. He never raises his voice, resorts to ad-hominems, or loses his calm.
Chomsky has lived a long and productive life as a linguist, historian, and activist. If you're the type who underlines important bits in a book, chances are you'll end up underlining almost every line in his books. Among the ones I've read, I recommend the following:
- Understanding Power
- The Essential Chomsky