Of all the articles and books of Chomsky that I have read, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies is without doubt the most exhaustively researched (and footnoted), the most logically structured, and the most convincing. Chomsky reminds us that the majority of the populace rely on the various media institutions for their information about political affairs; both domestic and foreign. One can only hold an opinion on a topic if one knows about the topic. So take, for example, the popular myth of the 'persistent Soviet vetoe' at the UN during the cold war. Why do people believe the USSR was constantly vetoeing any and every Security Council Resolution? Simple! When they did, it generated front page condemnation. When the US or the UK exercised their right of veteo: silence. As Chomsky notes, during the years of 1970 and 1989 the former Soviet Union veteod 8 resolutions. The US veteod some 56. This is what Chomsky refers to as Thought Control. Unless the public examine the factual record of the UN themselves, they will never come by this information, (at least not in the mainstream press). So although Chomsky's title may appear somewhat paradoxical, or oxymoronic, a moments reflection on such facts shows it to be, in fact, extremenly pragmatic and truthful. The question is, have you the honesty and sheer guts to question yourself and challenge the information which has contributed to your beliefs? The crux of Chomsky's argument is that propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship. Chomsky points out that, in fact, propaganda is, contrary to popular postulations, more important and vital to a democratic society because people still have some rights. That is, since people can talk, the powers that be must ensure that only the correct words come out of the peoples' mouths. In a dictatorship it does not really matter too much what people think; for whatever they may think, they have to do what they are told, by pain of death. In countries such as the US (and the UK) other, more subtle, methods are required. People often critisise Chomsky for the sources of his information (the copious footnotes). No such critique can be levelled at this work. Chomsky's sources are declassified internal planning documents, naval proceedings documents, and the very institutions he examines, New York Times, Washington Post etc. If there was one Chomsky book I would suggest you to read, this would be it.