The Sorrows of Empire
The Sorrows of Empire
Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
Metropolitan Books, Hardcover, 9780805070040, 400pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
From the author of the prophetic national bestseller Blowback, a startling look at militarism, American style, and its consequences abroad and at home
In the years after the Soviet Union imploded, the United States was described first as the globe’s “lone superpower,” then as a “reluctant sheriff,” next as the “indispensable nation,” and now, in the wake of 9/11, as a “New Rome.” Here, Chalmers Johnson thoroughly explores the new militarism that is transforming America and compelling its people to pick up the burden of empire.
Reminding us of the classic warnings against militarism—from George Washington’s farewell address to Dwight Eisenhower’s denunciation of the military-industrial complex—Johnson uncovers its roots deep in our past. Turning to the present, he maps America’s expanding empire of military bases and the vast web of services that supports them. He offers a vivid look at the new caste of professional warriors who have infiltrated multiple branches of government, who classify as “secret” everything they do, and for whom the manipulation of the military budget is of vital interest.
Among Johnson’s provocative conclusions is that American militarism is putting an end to the age of globalization and bankrupting the United States, even as it creates the conditions for a new century of virulent blowback. The Sorrows of Empire suggests that the former American republic has already crossed its Rubicon—with the Pentagon leading the way.
Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and The Nation. His previous books include MITI and the Japanese Miracle. He lives in Southern California.
"Chilling . . . a frightening picture . . . of the spread of American military and economic control over the world." -The New York Times Book Review
"Original and genuinely important . . . The role of the prophet is an honorable one. In Chalmers Johnson the American empire has found its Jeremiah. He deserves to be heard."
-The Washington Post Book World
"Trenchantly argued, comprehensively documented, grimly
eloquent . . . Worthy of the republic it seeks to defend."
-The Boston Globe