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Extended Audio Sample Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire Audiobook, by Chalmers Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 5 3.88 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chalmers Johnson Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455188345
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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!

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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.”

    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

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

    Booklist

  • “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 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 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 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 Laura | 1/13/2014

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anthony | 1/10/2014

    " The most un-American book I have ever read. Was forced to read it by a professor in college in pursuant of my political science degree. I do not recommend it to anyone, as I wouldn't want the author to profit any more than he already has off of this garbage. The professor was garbage as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Macmanj | 1/7/2014

    " What comes around, goes around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sania Sufi | 12/27/2013

    " To quote a friend of mine "This is one of the best books on 9/11. The irony: it was written prior to 9/11." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lboogiepeace | 12/2/2013

    " crazed fundamentalists just don't pop up out of the blue "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Thrift | 12/2/2013

    " It's a book a really didn't want to read, but it's been on my list for years. As I feared, it just filled me with liberal rage, which I already have plenty of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 11/20/2013

    " Good book if you want to understand the consequences of out Cold War and post Cold War policies in Asia. Good insight into the news I heard in the 1990's about Okinawa, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Shanley | 7/22/2013

    " Some reasons why the many in the world hate us so much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Max McCann | 7/20/2013

    " This book is scary, horrifying and absolutely true. It explains what you always suspected -- that the terrorists don't "hate freedom," they hate our foreign policy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sawung | 12/10/2012

    " How cia operative became enemy in the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jasmine | 10/10/2012

    " Wondered why the rest of the world hates America? Here ya go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 6/28/2012

    " This book was written before 9/11 and is somewhat prophetic. However, the title is misleading, as the majority of the book centers on East Asian politics and economics and American policy in that region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 5/27/2012

    " This book looks at the American empire through the eyes of East Asians from an American. It also deals some with the rest of the world. It shows the consequences of our actions and tries to predict future consequences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Hallmark | 2/2/2012

    " This book, the first in a series of three, is a must read for anyone who gives foreign policy any serious thought. Johnson is steady, and a coherent writer, and lays out his points in a very sound manner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carl | 1/14/2012

    " Think there aren't consequences down the road for foreign policy actions that we take now? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert Morrow | 11/17/2011

    " This repeats his other work and was seemingly thrown together in response to events. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Geo | 5/30/2011

    " ya gotta wonder if the guy isn't at least half right "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 2/26/2011

    " This is one of my favorites! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anthony | 2/20/2011

    " The most un-American book I have ever read. Was forced to read it by a professor in college in pursuant of my political science degree. I do not recommend it to anyone, as I wouldn't want the author to profit any more than he already has off of this garbage. The professor was garbage as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 2/18/2011

    " This repeats his other work and was seemingly thrown together in response to events. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 1/26/2011

    " It's a book a really didn't want to read, but it's been on my list for years. As I feared, it just filled me with liberal rage, which I already have plenty of. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jasmine | 10/7/2010

    " Wondered why the rest of the world hates America? Here ya go. "

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About the Author
Author Chalmers Johnson

Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, is the author of the bestselling books Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis, which make up his Blowback Trilogy. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, Nation, and TomDispatch.com. He lives near San Diego, California.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.