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Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope (American Empire Project) by [Johnson, Chalmers]
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Editorial Reviews


"Stimulating and prescient. . ."
Times Literary Supplement
"Succinct, hard-hitting attacks on what the author perceives as America's ruinous imperial follies..."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Concise, clear, hard-hitting. . . Dismantling the Empire is a must read for anyone looking for meaningful information concerning the future of the American Empire."
Foreign Policy Journal
Praise for Chalmers Johnson
“Johnson wants the scales to fall from American eyes so that the nation can see the truth about its role in the world. His is a patriot’s passion: his motive is to save the American republic he loves.”
—Jonathan Freedland, The New York Review of Books
“The role of the prophet is an honorable one. In Chalmers Johnson the American empire has found its Jeremiah. He deserves to be heard.”
—Andrew J. Bacevich, The Washington Post Book World
“Chalmers Johnson’s important new book is something with which everyone who aspires to a worthwhile opinion about this country’s future must contend.”
The Los Angeles Times (on Nemesis)
“Trenchantly argued, comprehensively documented, grimly eloquent. . . Worthy of the republic it seeks to defend.”
The Boston Globe (on The Sorrows of Empire)
“Stunning and shocking. . . Blowback is a wake-up call for America.”
—John Dower, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Embracing Defeat

About the Author

Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, is the author of the bestselling books Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis, which make up his Blowback Trilogy. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, and

Product Details

  • File Size: 480 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805093036
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books (August 17, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 17, 2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003P8Q5OE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,930 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Chalmers Johnson is professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. Chalmers Johnson minces no words on his concerns with a U.S. overemphasis on the military. "The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will . . . condemn the U.S. to . . . imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union."

The 2008 Pentagon inventory includes 190,000 troops in 46 nations and territories, and 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. In just Japan, we have 99,295 connected to U.S. forces living there. The only purpose is to provide control over as many nations as possible. Britain, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Japan have given up their empires, and we should too. Per Nick Turse ('The Complex: How the Military Invades our Everyday Lives') we could net $2.6 billion selling our base assets at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and another $2.2 billion for Guantanamo Bay - just two of those facilities. The Pentagon also has 234 golf courses around the world, 70 Lear Jet airplanes for generals and admirals, a ski resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Meanwhile, we continue trying to pacify Afghanistan, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Britain and the Soviet Union previously failed. Even Pakistan cannot command the Pashtun tribes in its own area; worse yet, its army trains Taliban fighters in suicide attacks and orders them to fight American and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, while extorting huge amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf emirates, and the U.S. to train 'freedom fighters.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Professor Chalmers Johnson, a Korean War veteran and former CIA consultant, obviously is well-informed. This review is based on the unabridged audio CD.

Chalmers has the catchiest book titles: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire; The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic; Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic; and now Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope. His stature as an author, critic of U.S. foreign policy and declinist has grown with his audience.

In summary, Chalmers presents a well-researched and well-reasoned argument that the U.S. has to urgently scale back its commitments around the world, including withdrawal from military bases abroad, to save its democracy. The alternative appears to be bankruptcy and some form of dictatorship. It's not difficult to imagine either when listening to Chalmers' calm presentation of the facts.

Retreat from any type of venture is never easy. Yet Chalmers is calling on the U.S. to retreat from Empire. The listener would have benefited from examples of empires that deliberately and methodically scaled down - if for no other reason than to be assured it is possible. Observance of current events does not provide encouragement that any of Chalmers' recommendations will be followed.

I recommend this book not because there is any likelihood that policy will be informed by it, but because it may help prepare the listener/reader for what lies ahead. The arguments presented herein can't hurt you.
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I have read, reviewed, and urged Johnson's work on others for years, going back to his work on peasant nationalism vs communism. This time, however, I am saddened to make a case that this book can be skipped. Of course, any critic of Johnson stands on a land mine of his prescience but in this case, I feel quite safe. Why does one read him? In the first place, to learn from his incredibly skillful research methods which are, sad to say, absent here. No footnotes. Check for yourself before you buy, on p197. The footnotes are online only and may have disappeared. Secondly, we read Johnson for his wit and razor like critique, which is here, but for the most part, it has been elsewhere, online at TomDispatch. That is doubly no fair when he criticizes others for the same thing in his Dismantling text. Moreover, Johnson softens in this book his sharp analysis of fascism in the US, which appears all the time elsewhere. Next, we read Johnson for his insider knowledge, perhaps most of it drawn from his days as a CIA asset. This is here too. But it's just not as keen. Dismantle the Empire? Like the British? Probably not. The US does not have the Brits to hide behind. But Johnson, a die-hard anti-Marxist and something of a patriot (maybe he picked that up from mentor Hannah Arendt who could well have recruited him to the CIA and bear in mind that his Marxism is always conflated with Sovietism or Maoism)still insists that imperialism is hubris mixed with militarism. It is far more than that. It is the birth twin of capital. It is necessary to the socio-economic system as it searches for cheap labor, raw material, markets and regional control.Read more ›
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