When the terrorist hijackers flew their planes into the Twin Towers in 2001, the American people were stunned, and many began a search for answers. One powerful voice on this subject was Prof. Chalmers Johnson. A year prior to the attacks, he had published the book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire . In it, Johnson described the ways in which US foreign policy dominated the globe, and how it was inevitable that some nation or group would strike back.
Johnson then continued his “Bloback Trilogy” with The Sorrows of Empire, detailing the impacts that American military dominance has on our nation and democracy, and Nemesis, arguing that the United States’ foreign policies were on the verge of destroying it from within. Then, as if to soften the blow, he laid out a plan to back away from the precipice of disaster with Dismantling the Empire, a hopeful work about how the nation could pull back its imperial aims and return to American democratic practices.
I can only speak here of Johnson’s books, which had a huge impact on my understanding of the nation and world. But I would urge you to read more about the man behind the books, by reading this eulogy from one of Johnson’s long-time colleagues.