Avram Noam Chomsky (/ˈnoʊm ˈtʃɒmski/; born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist,logician, political commentator and activist. Sometimes described as the “father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy. He has spent most of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is currently Professor Emeritus, and has authored over 100 books. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and was voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll. In the 1990s, Chomsky embraced political activism to a greater degree than before.[113 His far-reaching criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and the legitimacy of U.S. power have raised controversy. Chomsky has received death threats because of his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy. He has often received undercover police protection at MIT and when speaking on the Middle East, although he has refused uniformed police protection. The Electronic Intifada website claims that theAnti-Defamation League “spied on” Chomsky’s appearances, and quotes Chomsky as being unsurprised at that discovery or the use of what Chomsky claims is “fantasy material” provided to Alan Dershowitz for debating him. Amused, Chomsky compares the ADL’s reports to FBI files.
Chomsky resides in Lexington, Massachusetts, and travels, giving lectures on politics and linguistics.