This collection of essays celebrates Noam Chomsky's 70th birthday (December 7, 1998). Because Noam is known to dislike ceremony, the essays were collected on this website without his advice or consent. It was not hard to keep the site a secret from him. He never accesses the internet and, by his own admission, he is endowed with a gene which deselects for surprises. On the day of his birthday an elegantly printed list of all the contributors was placed on his desk in a modest red folder decorated discreetly with a gold ribbon. An unsigned birthday card lay on top, it's message: Happy Birthday From All Of US.

The existence of this site was spread by e-mail and word of mouth. As a result Noam received close to 200 contributions and over 2,000 well-wishers asked to have their names and their good wishes extended to him. This was done. We believe this way of expressing our respect and affection was the least intrusive and the most democratic. That we may have succeeded is attested to by two articles, one of which appeared in MIT's Tech Talk and one in The New Yorker.

Welcome to the Chomsky celebration site and please feel free to browse it at your leisure. We have left the site's architecture intact so that everyone will see how it was done, and so that future excavators may gauge our efforts.

If you have any additional questions or comments please contact Janet Fodor (, Jay Keyser ( or Amy Brand ( Please keep in mind that this site is now closed; that is to say, like a library, it is read only. Shhhhh....