Author and Historian Chalmers Johnson to Speak at Pitzer College

Claremont, Calif. (January 24, 2008) – Noted historian and author Chalmers Johnson will be speaking at Pitzer College on the topic “Can We End the American Empire Before It Ends Us?” on 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2008, in Avery Auditorium.

Chalmers Ashby Johnson is an author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is also president and co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute, an organization promoting public education about Japan and Asia. He has written numerous books including, most recently, three examinations of the consequences of American Empire, Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and his most recent, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.

Mr. Johnson’s first book, Blowback, initially published in 2000, became a must-read after 9/11 as the book clearly laid out potential dangers to American citizens from the consequences of misguided foreign actions. The term “blowback” was created by the CIA as a way to describe unintended consequences of policies kept secret from the American people. In other words, when the media reports of a “terrorist bombing” or a “drug-lord massacre” they are describing only the reaction to what was almost certainly a previous action.

An avowed cold-warrior, Mr. Johnson was an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency when he had a change of heart after the 1989 symbolic fall of communism in the Soviet Union, and argues that American clandestine and military activity has led to unintended, but direct disaster here in the United States. Mr. Johnson is today best known as a sharp critic of what he sees as American imperialism. His book Blowback won a prize in 2001 from the Before Columbus Foundation, and was re-issued in an updated version in 2004.

This event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Pitzer College’s Dining With Democracy student-run organization. The purpose of Dining with Democracy is to facilitate discussion, debate, and dialogue about important contemporary political and social issues in a participatory atmosphere, and to bring the leaders of today to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

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