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Chalmers Johnson

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Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Johnson
Toshiaki Nakayama

Chalmers Johnson (August 6, 1931 - November 20, 2010) was an award-winning author, scholar and Truthdig contributor. Johnson taught from 1962 to...

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Bio   |   Book Reviews   |   Books   |   Columns

Stories by Chalmers Johnson

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The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century

None of America’s problems are likely to be tackled in a serious or successful way as long as we continue to spend our wealth on armies, weapons, wars, global garrisons, and bribes for petty dictators.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


Arts and Culture : Book Review

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Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

Author, scholar and Truthdig contributor Chalmers Johnson passed away Nov. 20. In his honor, we are reposting this 2009 book review, which, like much of Johnson’s work, remains relevant to this day.

Posted on May 15, 2009 READ MORE


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The Bailout vs. the Defense Budget

There has been much moaning, air-sucking and outrage about the U.S. government’s $700-billion bailout deal, but in fact we dole out similar amounts of money every year in the form of payoffs to the armed services, the military-industrial complex, and powerful senators and representatives allied with the Pentagon.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE


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The Military-Industrial Complex: It’s Much Later Than You Think

Since 1961, there has been too little serious study of, or discussion of, the origins of the military-industrial complex, how it has changed over time, how governmental secrecy has hidden it from oversight by members of Congress or attentive citizens, and how it degrades our constitutional structure of checks and balances.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE


Arts and Culture : Book Review

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Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’

Sheldon Wolin’s new book offers a controversial but ultimately convincing diagnosis of how America’s democracy has succumbed to an unacknowledged totalitarian temptation.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Arts and Culture : Book Review

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Chalmers Johnson on the Myth of Free Trade

A powerful new book by a young South Korean-born economist at Cambridge University provides a compelling critique of the contradictions and hypocrisies of globalization and neoliberalism. The perfect antidote to the nostrums of Thomas Friedman.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Arts and Culture : Book Review

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Chalmers Johnson on America’s Forgotten War

The best-selling author of “The Sorrows of Empire” takes a look at David Halberstam’s critical history of the Korean War.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Bio

Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Johnson
Toshiaki Nakayama

Chalmers Johnson (August 6, 1931 - November 20, 2010) was an award-winning author, scholar and Truthdig contributor.

Johnson taught from 1962 to 1992 at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California and held endowed chairs in Asian politics at both. At Berkeley he was chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies and of the department of political science. His B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics and political science are all from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1968 until 1972 he was a consultant to the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He first visited Japan in 1953 as a U.S. Navy officer and lived and worked there with his wife, the anthropologist Sheila K. Johnson, between 1961 and 1998. He wrote 18 books, including “Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power,” on the Chinese revolution; “An Instance of Treason,” on Japan’s most famous spy; “Revolutionary Change,” on the theory of violent protest movements; and “MITI and the Japanese Miracle,” on Japanese economic development. In 1976, Johnson was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Johnson was chairman of the academic advisory committee for the PBS television series “The Pacific Century,” and he played a prominent role in the PBS “Frontline” documentary “Losing the War with Japan,” both of which won Emmy awards. In 2006 he appeared in the prize-winning documentary film “Why We Fight.”

His 2008 Truthdig book review “Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’” was part of the winning entry that earned the site’s book section its first Maggie Award.

His last book, “Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope,” was published by Metropolitan Books in August, 2010.

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