9-11: Was There an Alternative?
In 9-11, published in November 2001 and arguably the single most influential post-9/11 book, internationally renowned thinker Noam Chomsky bridged the information gap around the World Trade Center attacks, cutting through the tangle of political opportunism, expedient patriotism, and general conformity that choked off American discourse in the months immediately following. Chomsky placed the attacks in context, marshaling his deep and nuanced knowledge of American foreign policy to trace the history of American political aggression—in the Middle East and throughout Latin America as well as in Indonesia, in Afghanistan, in India and Pakistan—at the same time warning against America's increasing reliance on military rhetoric and violence in its response to the attacks, and making the critical point that the mainstream media and public intellectuals were failing to make: any escalation of violence as a response to violence will inevitably lead to further, and bloodier, attacks on innocents in America and around the world.
9-11: Was There an Alternative? includes the entire text of the original book, 9-11, together with a new essay by Chomsky, "Was There an Alternative?" This new edition, published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, reminds us that today, just as much as ten years ago, information and clarity remain our most valuable resources in the struggle to prevent future violence against the innocent, both at home and abroad.
"9-11 was practically the only counter-narrative out there at a time when questions tended to be drowned out by a chorus, led by the entire United States Congress, of ‘God Bless America.’ . . . it is possible that, if the
"A badly needed corrective to news coverage of the present-day ‘war on terrorism.’" —Norman Solomon, San Francisco Chronicle Review
"Every word of 9-11 is more relevant than ever." —Amnesty International Journal (
About Noam Chomsky
NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings as well as for his groundbreaking linguistics work. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 and remains one of America's most uncompromising voices of dissent.