The Sorrows of Empire
Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
By Chalmers Johnson
(Metropolitan Books, Paperback, 9780805077971, 400pp.)
Publication Date: December 23, 2004
"Impressive . . . a powerful indictment of U.S. military and foreign policy."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review, front page
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 in the wake of 9/11, as a "New Rome." In this important national bestseller, Chalmers Johnson thoroughly explores the new militarism that is transforming America and compelling us to pick up the burden of empire.
Recalling 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 support them. He offers a vivid look at the new caste of professional militarists 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 already 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 in the lead.
Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and The Nation. His previous books include the national bestseller Blowback, as well as MITI and the Japanese Miracle. He lives near San Diego.
"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