In my literature class, I got to research and write a letter to any non-fiction author of my choice. I chose Noam Chomsky, a linguistics professor at MIT. I enjoyed writing this letter a lot and can’t wait to see if I get a response.
Dear Prof. Chomsky,
I’m a freshman at Milton High School and a fan of your work. In my literature class, I was assigned to study a non-fiction author of my choice and review four of their published works. Being a fan of yours prior to this assignment, I chose you as my author and found a number of articles by you that I found interesting. Out of the four articles, your article “Saving the Commons” in The Nation interested me the most. The timing of the article with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta was perfect, and your explanation of the Charter of the Forest was very concise and easy to understand. I would also like to compliment you specifically on your inclusion of current events into almost all of the articles that I have read. I’m a member of my school’s Model United Nations team, so this gives me a more personal connection to the topics that you discuss and also helps me understand them on a deeper level.
One of the things I find appealing about your work is your abundant use of details when providing background on the topic. A clear depiction of the issue being discussed allows the reader to really appreciate the message being portrayed. For example, in the article “On Israel-Palestine and BDS”, you educated the reader with a brief but in-depth history of the relationship between the United States and Israel before making your main argument that they should be condemned for the crimes committed against the stateless peoples residing in Israel. This way, a reader who knows nothing on the subject will be able to grasp the message you are trying to carry. You also use this same format in “Saving the Commons” when you explain the different charters within the Magna Carta (Great Charter, Charter of the Forest) and how they influenced modern legislation.
Another thing I admire while reading your work is your compassionate tone of voice. It lets the audience get involved and form their own opinion on the subject rather than just read yours. For example, when you are developing your argument in “On Israel-Palestine and BDS”, you get down to a personal level with the major actors in the BDS movement; this level of coverage provides a point on which the reader can base their own opinion. Again, in your article “The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux.” your compassionate tone really takes precedence as you explain your concept of intellectuals as the defenders of justice. In my honest opinion, the compassion in your argument makes your articles so much more interesting from a reader’s point of view.
I know you are a very busy man, so I would like to thank you for reading this letter. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work and catching up on some of the books you wrote that I have not gotten around to reading yet. If you don’t mind answering a question, in all of your years of writing and teaching, what was the moment when you realized you love what you do? Thank you again for taking the time to read this letter.