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So it is champion Chomsky. With nearly 5,000 votes to his name, Noam Chomsky has run out the easy winner of the Prospect/Foreign Policy global public intellectuals poll. Not too much should be read into the vagaries of one poll, but on the face of it this is an odd choice. The readers of two politically liberal but hardly radical magazines have chosen a thinker with no influence at all in the mainstream politics of his own country—rather a man who conforms to the old-fashioned, romantic image of the engaged intellectual waving his fists impotently at the geopolitical status quo.

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