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Look out, Oprah! Chavez gives Chomsky a boost
MIT linguist's book gets plug from Venezuelan president; sales soar.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sales of a little-known critique of U.S. foreign policy have skyrocketed on Amazon.com after firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez brandished the book in speech to the United Nations on Wednesday.

Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance" moved from the rank of 20,664 Wednesday to No. 4 by Thursday afternoon, according to an Amazon.com spokesman.

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Venezuelan President Chavez holding Chomsky's book.

Noam Chomsky is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and prolific critic of U.S. foreign policy.

Chavez was giving a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in which he called President Bush "the devil."

Sean Sundwall, spokesman for Amazon, said it shows that big events can drive book sales.

"The phenomenon is not new," said Sundwall. "Although it may be new for Chomsky."

The Venezuelan president tore into his U.S. counterpart and his U.N. hosts Wednesday, declaring to the annual meeting of the General Assembly that the U.N. system is "worthless."

"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said, referring to Bush, who addressed the world body Tuesday from the same lectern. "And it smells of sulfur still today."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Wednesday he would not respond to Chavez's speech but characterized it as a "comic-strip approach to international affairs."

CNN contributed to this report

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