Blowback

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What to expect

The term “blowback,” invented by the CIA, refers to the unintended consequences of American actions abroad. In this incisive and controversial book, Chalmers Johnson lays out in vivid detail the dangers faced by our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms.

From a case of rape by US servicemen in Okinawa to our role in Asia’s financial crisis, from our early support for Saddam Hussein to our conduct in the Balkans, Johnson reveals the ways in which our misguided policies are planting the seeds of future disaster.

In a new edition that addresses recent international events from 9/11 to the war in Iraq, this now classic book remains as prescient and powerful as ever.

Critics Review

  • “Boldly provocative…A useful and timely alert.”

    New York Times
  • “Stunning…No one has exposed shortsightedness, hubris, corruption, and the instability of our country’s imperial overreach with such impassioned incisiveness. Blowback is a wake-up call for America.”

    John W. Dower, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Embracing Defeat
  • “A brilliant and iconoclastic assault on American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.”

    Los Angeles Times
  • “Johnson is on to something…It is indeed a new post–Cold War ballgame, and Johnson’s warning, if it were heeded in Washington, would help keep America safe from the temptation of untrammeled power.”

    Newsday
  • Blowback is expansive thinking…a straight-talking analysis of America’s global conduct during the Cold War and since, and what we’re eventually going to pay for it.”

    Nation
  • “This no-holds-barred indictment of what Johnson calls the post-Cold War American ‘global empire’ is not for the faint of heart…His chilling conclusion—backed by copious and livid detail—is that a nation reaps precisely what it sows.”

    Publishers Weekly

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