Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hugo's book club

I was watching my daily dose of over-the-internet news bulletins (MSNBC,CNN) and thought I saw footage of Hugo Chavez holding up a book by Chomsky during a UN speech. The reporters didn't mention it and were more focused on his "Diablo" line, and so I figured that it was old footage. But today I find out on Democracy Now, that he did in fact do what I thought he did.

And then from Google News/CBC I read the following. "Hugo's book club? Chavez speech sparks sales for Chomsky"

Author Noam Chomsky got an unexpected boost in sales after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cited one of his books in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
At the start of his talk Wednesday, Chavez held up a book by Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, and recommended it to everyone in the General Assembly, as well as to the American people.

"The people of the United States should read this ... instead of … watching Superman movies," the long-time critic of U.S. foreign policy later told reporters.

The unexpected promotion had a surprising effect on online bestseller lists.

Hegemony or Survival, originally published in 2003, had jumped into the top 10 of Amazon and Barnes & as of Thursday afternoon.

A deeper look at the Amazon results shows an even more profound impact. The online bookseller also charts what it calls "Movers & Shakers," books that have seen a sudden rise in popularity in the last 24 hours.

At the moment the two versions of the book are ranked #2 and #19. This reminds me of the report of the Iraqi prime-minister also being a Chomsky fan (atleast according to Tim Russert).


Blogger Saheli said...

Of course it will be held against Chomsky like every other time someone waves his books around. :/ So much for the free marketplace of ideas.

9/21/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger ashvin said...

Sure, his detractors will probably use it against him. But this boost in book sales (#1 on Amazon at the moment) can't be a bad thing.

9/22/2006 09:42:00 AM  

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