For Reasons of State

An essential record of Chomsky’s political and social thought as it was sharpened during the upheavals in domestic and international affairs of the early 1970s, For Reasons of State includes articles on the war in Vietnam and the “wider war” in Laos and Cambodia, an extensive dissection of the Pentagon Papers, reflections on the role of force in international affairs, essays on civil disobedience and the use of the university, and a now-classic introduction to anarchism. These essays reveal very different facets of Chomsky’s power as a thinker, from his uncanny ability to join abstract philosophical considerations with the concrete political realities of his time, to his singular capacity to mount withering, fact-based critiques of American foreign policy. Following The New Press’s reissue of American Power and the New Mandarins, For Reasons of State is a major addition to the intellectual history of the Vietnam era.


“Those who have waited eight years for Congress to do something about the bombing of Indochina must have a nagging suspicion that things may go on much as before. They will find little comfort in Chomsky’s book.”
New York Review of Books
“Here Chomsky displays those qualities which exemplify the finest traditions of intellectual responsibility and which have rightly earned for him the gratitude of those who have long regarded the Vietnam War as an abomination.”
The New York Times Book Review

Books by Noam Chomsky

The Essential Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, Anthony Arnove

American Power and the New Mandarins
Historical and Political Essays

Noam Chomsky

Towards a New Cold War
U.S. Foreign Policy from Vietnam to Reagan

Noam Chomsky

Goodreads Reviews