It is with great sadness that I report the recent passing of Chalmers Johnson: academic, author, and passionate critic of American empire. Despite his prolific workload (and, I now realize, failing health), I was lucky enough to have Professor Johnson generously agree to watch and review The Insular Empire earlier this year. The Insular Empire touches on one small corner of America’s history of imperialism; but Johnson’s work shone a bright light on the American empire worldwide. Once a CIA advisor and hard-right supporter of the Vietnam War, Johnson ultimately became one of the far-left’s leading critics of US foreign policy and militarism. His scholarship and activism will live on after him, but his kind and generous spirit will be sorely missed.
Obituaries for Prof. Johnson are in The Atlantic and Common Dreams. For a peek at Johnson’s intellectual wizardry, watch this interview clip – a breathtakingly lucid exploration of the true cost of America’s military spending.