Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky on C-SPAN's BookTV

Watch the event on C-SPAN's website here.

October 29, 2011

Glenn Greenwald & Noam Chomsky

Former constitutional rights lawyer, Glenn Greenwald contends that the United States has a two-tiered judicial system, one for the "haves"and one for the "have-nots." Mr. Greenwald presents his argument by tracing the evolution of judicial inequality, from President Richard Nixon's pardon for the Watergate scandal to what the authors deems were economic and political crimes committed during the George W. Bush administration. The author posits that both political parties and the media are culpable for creating an unequal judicial system. Glenn Greenwald presents his thoughts in conversation with political theorist, Noam Chomsky at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


From the nation's beginnings, the law was to be the great equalizer in American life, the guarantor of a common set of rules for all. But over the past four decades, the principle of equality before the law has been effectively abolished. Instead, a two-tiered system of justice ensures that the country's political and financial class is virtually immune from prosecution, licensed to act without restraint, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in greater numbers than in any other country in the world.

Starting with Watergate, continuing on through the Iran-Contra scandal, and culminating with the crimes of the Bush era, Glenn Greenwald lays bare the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability. He shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud.

About Author(s)

Glenn Greenwald is the author of the New York Times bestsellers How Would a Patriot Act? and A Tragic Legacy. Recently proclaimed one of the "25 Most Influential Liberals in U.S. Media" by Forbes, Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights attorney and a contributing writer at Salon. He lives in Brazil and New York City.

Noam Chomsky, voted the world’s leading living public intellectual by Prospect magazine (UK) in 2005, 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.