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Extended Audio Sample Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, by Chalmers Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,085 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chalmers Johnson Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”


  • 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.”


  • “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

  • “This is edgy, unconventional wisdom that deserves hearing and debating.”


  • “Engrossing and at the same time alarming, Johnson’s well-researched book nevertheless presents an easy solution to fundamental problems that have usually forced great powers into catastrophic predicaments.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rcoziahr | 2/14/2014

    " Really critical of the United States military, but it makes a lot of really good points. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jen | 1/26/2014

    " I think every American should read this book. Even if you come away from the book unconvinced and ready to research counter-arguments, you will have spent some valuable time thinking about US foreign and economic policy. Though rare, I found Chalmers Johnson's disenchanted personal comments a little annoying -- I prefer to enjoy my own disenchantment based on information that is free of overt persuasion. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Doug Knox | 1/18/2014

    " Very well written, very informative. A lot of information that will take time to digest. Definitely opens a new world of thought and informs about things never considered regarding American foreign policy and military-industrial complex. This will shape my reads for the forseeable future, and has caused me to be curious about our role in past and future in the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Laura | 1/13/2014

    " A real wake up call for America....... "

  • > Show All
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