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The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (2003)

by Chalmers Johnson

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783729,029 (4.02)15
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 everything they do as “secret,” 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.… (more)
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» See also 15 mentions

English (6)  Swedish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A must read. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
5705. The Sorrows of Empire Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, by Chalmers Johnson (read 10 Sep 2020) I should, of course, read this book 15 years ago. It was published in 2004 and tells the dire story of the events relating to, inter alia, the disastrous war George W. Bush led us into in 2003. I was against that wa and this book details the big mistake it was--something which I believe is now generally acknowledged by clear-eyed students and observers. This book is devastatingly critical of much of U.S. behavior . And today it seems the dire outlook the author (who died in 2010) foretold is still likely. In fact, he was appalled by the debt the U.S. then had--whereas we today could wish the debt only was what it was in 2003. A good book which I should have read long before I did.. ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 10, 2020 |
I felt pretty beat up by the end of this book. That it was published in 2004! How is it that I have fond memories of G. W. Bush? Oh, yeah, that's why... that the horrific trends that Johnson outlines could have continued, have accelerated, as they have? Oh, the times!

Johnson runs through a list of foreign bases here, in places like Kosovo and Qatar. The satellite images on Google maps ... I bet I got myself on some CIA watch lists, but wow. Spot-checking Johnson... he's not making this stuff up!

It's all bleak until the last paragraph. Can the American people take back their government? From 2004 to 2018, we sure didn't move in any encouraging direction! Well, to fix a problem, surely one should understand the problem. Johnson does a very good job outlining at least a few dimensions of the situation. There's no climate change in here! Whew! ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Dec 13, 2018 |
Good overview of how the U.S. became an imperial power. ( )
  Jotto | Sep 20, 2010 |
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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 everything they do as “secret,” 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.

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