from the publisher:
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, 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 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 blow-back. The Sorrows of Empire suggests that the former American republic has already crossed its Rubicon -- with the Pentagon in the lead.
"There is no more important book to read than The Sorrows of Empire. Like Rome, the United States today is struggling with the consequences of a permanent global military engagement, from which self-dealing political elites derive great benefits at the expense and ultimately the survival of America's heretofore resilient republic." --Steven C. Clemons, executive vice president, New America FoundationChalmers 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 and Japan: Who Governs? He lives near San Diego.
"Chalmers Johnson's relentless logic, authoritative scholarship, and elegantly biting prose distinguish The Sorrows of Empire, like all his other work. Anyone who reads it will have a much sharper sense of the costs of America's new world-girdling commitments -- and I hope it is widely read." --James Fallows, author of Breaking the News
"In Blowback, published before 'September 11,' Chalmers Johnson introduced us to a chilling code word for our times. The Sorrows of Empire is even more sobering, for it associates the United States with a dynamic most Americans still find unmentionable -- our ever-deepening militarism, with all the sorrow of perpetual war and the moral as well as political and economic bankruptcy that inevitably accompany it. Here is a scholar's critique and a patriot's cry, presented with unflinching courage." --John W. Dower, author of Embracing Defeat, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"Chalmers Johnson's searing indictment of America's flirtation with an imperial foreign policy should be required reading for all concerned citizens. One need not agree with all of his arguments to conclude that The Sorrows of Empire is an extremely important and disturbing book." --Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute
"Since the mainstream media have abdicated their responsibility to be watchdogs of government and to serve the public, books like The Sorrows of Empire are essential if we are to defend ourselves against the military-industrial-Congressional complex." --Janeane Garofolo
"Johnson's new book is a stunner. He blows away the Defense Department's cover story that our empire of military bases exists to support humanitarian intervention. Something funny is happening on the way to the American forum: citizens are discovering they have an empire they never wanted -- paid for in casualties, with civil liberties the first victim." --Patrick Lloyd Hatcher, U.S. Army colonel (retired), author of The Suicide of an Elite: American Internationalists and Vietnam
"Chalmers Johnson is a legendary scholar . . . In this cri de coeur, he asks us to grasp, before it is too late, that America's modern militarist empire threatens to destroy the democratic republic. His analysis is powerful and dreadfully persuasive." --William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy