Noam Chomsky
#45 Overall Influence

Noam Chomsky

American linguist, philosopher and activist


Why is this person notable and influential?

Noam Chomsky currently holds joint appointments at MIT as Institute Professor Emeritus, and the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor. Chomsky completed his university studies between the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

The influence of Chomksy in both linguistics and political discourse cannot be overstated; regardless of what aspect of his work you are discussing, his name always perks a few ears. Depending on who is describing him, Chomsky is either one of the most important linguists in modern times, one of the most important political thinkers, or (most often) both. Chomsky began his career squarely in academia as a professor of linguistics at MIT. Most of Chomsky’s earliest books focus on biolinguistics (language as a biologically rooted phenomenon in humans), with titles such as Syntactic Structures (1957), Current Issues in Linguistic Theory (1964), and Language and Mind (1968). In these texts, Chomksy advanced his notion of “universal grammar.”

Chomsky’s role in modern linguistic philosophy is enough to make him well known and influential in academia. However, Chomsky is perhaps better known to the general public as a major political thinker and dissident. Chomsky’s involvement in the political discourse of the US began with participation in protests of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s. Since then, he has published numerous books and given countless talks on subjects such as American Imperialism and US foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and media and propaganda.

For his work, Chomsky has received many awards and honors, including honorary doctorates from the University of London and the University of Chicago, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Sydney Peace Prize.

Academic Website

Professional Website

Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?
Harvard University
Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

Private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?
  • Class Warfare
  • Middle East Illusions
  • Syntactic Structures
  • Why Only Us
  • Les dessous de la politique de l'Oncle Sam
  • American Power and the New Mandarins
  • Ilusionistas
  • Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship
  • The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many
  • Occupy
  • Understanding Power
  • World Orders Old and New
  • Propaganda and the Public Mind
  • Necessary Illusions
  • De l'espoir en l'avenir
  • Imperial Ambitions
  • Hegemony or Survival
  • Deux heures de lucidité : entretien avec Noam Chomsky
  • Pirates and Emperors, Old and New
  • Interventions
  • Hay alternativas
  • Who Rules the World?
  • Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact & Propaganda
  • Gaza in Crisis
  • Current Issues in Linguistic Theory
  • Cartesian Linguistics
  • Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
  • The Chomsky Reader
  • The Sound Pattern of English
  • Deterring Democracy
  • Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
  • Making the Future
  • Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures
  • Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
  • Requiem for the American Dream
  • Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup
  • Knowledge of language: its nature, origin, and use
  • Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
  • Year 501
  • The Responsibility of Intellectuals
  • The Fateful Triangle
  • Because We Say So
  • The Political Economy of Human Rights
  • Optimism over Despair: On Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change
  • Midnight on the Mavi Marmara
  • 9-11: Was there an alternative?
  • Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
  • Hopes and Prospects

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#1 World Rank #1 USA Rank
Political Science
#1 World Rank #1 USA Rank
#15 World Rank #9 USA Rank
#19 World Rank #11 USA Rank
Computer Science
#72 World Rank #25 USA Rank
#85 World Rank #15 USA Rank
#157 World Rank #24 USA Rank
#465 World Rank #102 USA Rank