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The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic… (2003)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805077979, Paperback)Since September 2001, the United States has "undergone a transformation from republic to empire that may well prove irreversible," writes Chalmers Johnson. Unlike past global powers, however, America has built an empire of bases rather than colonies, creating in the process a government that is obsessed with maintaining absolute military dominance over the world, Johnson claims. The Department of Defense currently lists 725 official U.S. military bases outside of the country and 969 within the 50 states (not to mention numerous secret bases). According to the author, these bases are proof that the "United States prefers to deal with other nations through the use or threat of force rather than negotiations, commerce, or cultural interaction." This rise of American militarism, along with the corresponding layers of bureaucracy and secrecy that are created to circumvent scrutiny, signals a shift in power from the populace to the Pentagon: "A revolution would be required to bring the Pentagon back under democratic control," he writes.
In Sorrows of Empire, Johnson discusses the roots of American militarism, the rise and extent of the military-industrial complex, and the close ties between arms industry executives and high-level politicians. He also looks closely at how the military has extended the boundaries of what constitutes national security in order to centralize intelligence agencies under their control and how statesmen have been replaced by career soldiers on the front lines of foreign policy--a shift that naturally increases the frequency with which we go to war.
Though his conclusions are sure to be controversial, Johnson is a skilled and experienced historian who backs up his claims with copious research and persuasive arguments. His important book adds much to a debate about the realities and direction of U.S. influence in the world. --Shawn Carkonen
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 08:15:26 -0400)
Publisher's description: With the words "this Crusade, this war on terror," George W. Bush defined the purpose of his presidency. And just as promptly, James Carroll-Boston Globe columnist, son of a general, former antiwar chaplain and activist, and recognized voice of ethical authority-began a week-by-week argument with the administration over its actions. In powerful, passionate bulletins, Carroll dissected the President's exploitation of the nation's fears, invocations of a Christian mission, and efforts to overturn America's traditional relations-with other nations and its own citizens. Crusade, the collection of Carroll's searing columns, offers a comprehensive and tough-minded critique of the war on terror. From Carroll's first rejection of "war" as the proper response to Osama bin Laden, to his prescient verdict of failure in Iraq, to his never-before-published analysis of the faith-based roots of current U.S. policies, this volume displays his rare insight and scope. Combining clear moral consciousness, an acute sense of history, and a real-world grasp of the unforgiving demands of politics, Crusade is a compelling call for the rescue of America's noblest traditions. A cry from the heart, a record of protest, and a permanently relevant analysis, Carroll's work confronts the Bush era and measures it against what America was meant to be.
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