Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic

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9781844675487: Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic

A stunning exposure of the policies that have led to American imperialism and the massive military deployment that accompanies it, The Sorrows of Empire proposes that the US could suffer the same "overstretch" that led to the demise of the Soviet Union. Johnson outlines the cost of Empire, both for the American people and their Republic, and for the rest of the world. Eloquent and impassioned, The Sorrows of Empire is a sombre and cogent analysis, written with an authority that is impossible to ignore.

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Review:

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constitutes national security in order to centralize intelligence agencies under their control and how statesmen have been replaced by career soldiers on the front lines of foreign policy--a shift that naturally increases the frequency with which we go to war.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

About the Author:

Chalmers Johnson is President of the Japan Policy Research Institute and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of numerous books including, most recently, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and Japan: Who Governs?

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Book Description Verso Books, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A stunning exposure of the policies that have led to American imperialism and the massive military deployment that accompanies it, The Sorrows of Empire proposes that the US could suffer the same overstretch that led to the demise of the Soviet Union. Johnson outlines the cost of Empire, both for the American people and their Republic, and for the rest of the world. Eloquent and impassioned, The Sorrows of Empire is a sombre and cogent analysis, written with an authority that is impossible to ignore. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9781844675487

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