G. Branden's Reviews > Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire

Blowback by Chalmers Johnson
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Mar 06, 09

really liked it
Read in October, 2001

As I recall, this is the first book I read after the September 11th attacks.

It was a good choice. Originally published in 2000, it saw a reprinting not long after I bought my copy--evidently I wasn't the only person impressed with Johnson's appearances on NPR at the time.

Essential reading for anyone who doubts that the United States constitutes an imperial power in the world (whether for good, ill, or both).

Johnson also makes the strongest case I've yet read for a civilian peacetime draft. The idea of such has filled me with horror all of my life, and yet Johnson just about pushed me onto the fence on the subject.

Now my objections to compulsory military service are better-informed, and I can say this--there are advantages to it that our current professionalized force lacks, and we'd be well-advised to address those deficiencies by some means. Or suffer the blowback.
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