Aviva Chomsky

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Aviva Chomsky
Born (1957-04-20)April 20, 1957
Nationality American
Occupation Historian, author, and activist
Parent(s) Noam Chomsky
Carol Chomsky
Relatives William Chomsky (grandfather)

Aviva Chomsky (name sometimes shortened to Avi Chomsky; born April 20, 1957) is an American historian, author, and activist. She teaches at Salem State University in Massachusetts, where she is also the coordinator of the Latin American studies program.


She previously taught at Bates College in Maine and was a Research Associate at Harvard University, where she specialized in Caribbean and Latin American history. She is the eldest daughter of linguists Noam and Carol Chomsky. Her paternal grandfather, William Chomsky (1896–1977), was a Hebrew scholar at, and principal of, Gratz College for many years.

Her book West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica 1870–1940 relates the history of the U.S.-based companies that built railroads and cultivated bananas on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica and merged to form United Fruit in 1899. It also describes how the workers, including many Jamaicans, originally of African descent, developed their own parallel socio-economic system. The book was awarded the 1997 Best Book Prize by the New England Council of Latin American Studies.

She has also co-edited books, including The People Behind the Coal, Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State, and The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Latin America Readers).


  • Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, Beacon Press, Boston Massachusetts. 2014. ISBN 978-080700167-7
  • A History of the Cuban Revolution, Wiley-Blackwell, New York, NY . Paperback. 224 pages. October 2010. ISBN 978-1-4051-8773-2
  • Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class. Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina. 2008. ISBN 0-8223-4190-5
  • The People Behind Colombian Coal/Bajo el manto del carbon, Aviva Chomsky, Garry Leech, Steve Striffler (Editors), 2007. ISBN 958-97995-5-8
  • Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring People of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean, (Comparative and International Working-Class History), Aviva Chomsky and Aldo Lauria-Santiago (Editors), 1998. 404 pages. Duke University Press, Durham, North Caroline, (ISBN 978-0822322023)

External links[edit]

External video
"How Immigration Became Illegal": Aviva Chomsky on U.S. Exploitation of Migrant Workers, Democracy Now, May 30, 2014
Aviva Chomsky on "Undocumented: The Theory and Practice of Illegality", Pomona College, February 28, 2013
  • Official website
  • Faculty profile at Salem State College.
  • Review of The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Steven Palmer and Iván Molina, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, Durham North Caroline, November 2004.