Thomas F. Madden — Empires of Trust: How Rome Built and Amerca Is Building A New World — Chalmers Johnson — Dismantling The Empire: America’s Last Best Hope — Videos

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“A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both.

If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.”

~ Chalmers Johnson


empires of trustjpgmadden 2thomas f maddendismantling_the_empirenemisis_12the sorrows of empireblowbackchalmers_johnson

Remembering Chalmers Johnson and Frank W. Lewis

Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic

Chalmers Johnson – Speaking Freely

Domestic Democracy or Foreign Imperialism

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

TalkingStickTV – Chalmers Johnson – The Sorrows of Empire

The Bases Are Loaded: US Permanent Military Presence in Iraq

Chalmers Johnson: Militarism and the End of the Empire

What Does Blowback Mean in Politics?

Chalmers Johnson on the American Empire (2000)

The BLOWBACK SYNDROME: Oil Wars and Overreach

Conversations with History: Chalmers Johnson

Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony

The Bully! Pulpit Show Classics: Mark Joseph Interviews Chalmers Johnson

Are We Rome? Ben Powell Compares the U.S. with the Roman Empire

Thomas Madden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Thomas Madden, see Thomas Madden (disambiguation).
Thomas F. Madden

Madden, 2012
Born 1960
Residence St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality US
Alma mater University of New Mexico,University of Illinois
Occupation Historian
Employer Saint Louis University
Known for Crusades historian, Venicehistorian
Title Professor of History, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, SLU

Thomas F. Madden (born 1960) is an American historian, a former Chair of the History Department at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Director of Saint Louis University’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.[1] A specialist on the Crusades, he has often commented in the popular media after the events of September 11, to discuss topics such as how Muslims have viewed the medieval Crusades and their parallels to today’s interventions in the Middle East.[2][3][4][5] He has frequently appeared in the media, as a consultant for various programs on the History Channel and National Public Radio.[6] In 2007, he was awarded the Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America, for his book Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, also a “Book of the Month” selection by the BBC History magazine. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of theJohn Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.


Madden received his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 1986, and his Masters (1990) and PhD (1993) degrees in History from the University of Illinois.

Madden is active in the Society for the Study of the Crusades in the Latin East,[7] and organizes panels for the Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Saint Louis, Missouri.[8] He is the Director of the Crusades Studies Forum and the Medieval Italy Prosopographical Database Project, both housed at Saint Louis University.



Madden has written numerous books and journal articles, including the “Crusades” entry for the Encyclopædia Britannica. His research specialties are ancient and medieval history, including the Fourth Crusade, as well as ancient and medieval Italian history. His 1997 book The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople was a selection of the History Book Club. He is also known for speaking about the ways that the history of the Crusades is often used for manipulation of modern political agendas.[13] His book, The New Concise History of the Crusades has been translated into seven foreign languages.

His book Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice won multiple awards, including the 2007 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America and the Otto Gründler Prize from the Medieval Institute.[9][10] According to the Medieval Review, with this book “Madden more than ever stakes out his place as one of the most important medievalists in America at present.”[14]

His 2008 book, Empires of Trust, was a comparative study that sought elements in historic republics that led to the development of empires. In the case of Rome, he argued that their citizens and leaders acquired a level of trust among allies and potential enemies that was based upon an unusual rejection of hegemonic power. His most recent book, Venice: A New History is the culmination of decades of work in the archives and libraries of Venice.


  • Venice: A New History, 2012, Viking
  • Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict, 2010 Ashgate
  • Empires of Trust, 2008, Dutton/Penguin
  • The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath, and Perceptions, 2008, Ashgate
  • Crusades: The Illustrated History, 2005, University of Michigan Press
  • Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, 2003, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • The Crusades: The Essential Readings, 2002, Blackwell
  • The New Concise History of the Crusades, 1999, Rowman & Littlefield
  • Medieval and Renaissance Venice, 1999, University of Illinois Press
  • The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, 1997, University of Pennsylvania Press

Select popular articles

Select scholarly articles

  • “The Venetian Version of the Fourth Crusade: Memory and the Conquest of Constantinople in Medieval Venice,” Speculum 87 (2012): 311-44.
  • “The Latin Empire of Constantinople’s Fractured Foundation: The Rift Between Boniface of Montferrat and Baldwin of Flanders,” in The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath, and Perceptions (Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing, 2008): 45-52.
  • “Food and the Fourth Crusade: A New Approach to the ‘Diversion Question,'” in Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, John H. Pryor, ed. (Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing, 2006): 209-28.
  • “Venice, the Papacy, and the Crusades before 1204,” in The Medieval Crusade, Susan J. Ridyard, ed. (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2004): 85-95.
  • “The Enduring Myths of the Fourth Crusade,” World History Bulletin 20 (2004): 11-14.
  • “The Chrysobull of Alexius I Comnenus to the Venetians: The Date and the Debate,” Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002): 23-41.
  • “Venice’s Hostage Crisis: Diplomatic Efforts to Secure Peace with Byzantium between 1171 and 1184,” in Ellen E. Kittell and Thomas F. Madden, eds., Medieval and Renaissance Venice (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999): 96-108.
  • “Outside and Inside the Fourth Crusade,” The International History Review 17 (1995): 726-43.
  • “Venice and Constantinople in 1171 and 1172: Enrico Dandolo’s Attitude towards Byzantium,” Mediterranean Historical Review 8 (1993): 166-85.
  • “Vows and Contracts in the Fourth Crusade: The Treaty of Zara and the Attack on Constantinople in 1204,” The International History Review 15 (1993): 441-68.
  • “Father of the Bride: Fathers, Daughters, and Dowries in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Venice,” Renaissance Quarterly 46 (1993): 685-711. (with Donald E. Queller)
  • “The Fires of the Fourth Crusade in Constantinople, 1203-1204: A Damage Assessment,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 84/85 (1992): 72-93.
  • “The Serpent Column of Delphi in Constantinople: Placement, Purposes, and Mutilations,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 16 (1992): 111-45.

Recorded lectures

History Channel documentaries


  1. Jump up^ Townsend, Tim (December 1, 2007). “Louis IX’s spirit of charity lives on in work of a city church”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  2. Jump up^ Thompson, Bob (May 9, 2005). “How Muslims View the Crusades”. Washington Post.
  3. Jump up^ Mahoney, Dennis M. (May 6, 2005). “New view of Crusades abandons simple stereotypes”. Columbus Dispatch.
  4. Jump up^ Derbyshire, John (November 25, 2001). “For all their crimes, medieval Crusaders were our spiritual kin”. Star-Tribune (Minneapolis).
  5. Jump up^ Davis, Bob (September 23, 2001). “A war that began 1,000 years ago”. Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  6. Jump up^ Media | Thomas F. Madden
  7. Jump up^
  8. Jump up^ Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b WMU News – Grundler Prize awarded for book on Venetian leader
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b MAA Haskins Medal Winner
  11. Jump up^ Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America
  12. Jump up^ [1]
  13. Jump up^ Madden, Thomas F. (November 2, 2001). “Crusade Propaganda”. National Review. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  14. Jump up^ Johns Hopkins University Press | Books | Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice


Chalmers Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chalmers Johnson
Born August 6, 1931
Phoenix, Arizona
Died November 20, 2010 (aged 79)
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
Occupation President, Japan Policy Research Institute, University of San Francisco; Professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego
Genre Political Science
Literary movement Japan revisionists
Notable works Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power
MITI and the Japanese Miracle
The Sorrows of Empire
Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic
Notable awards Before Columbus Foundation(2001)

Chalmers Ashby Johnson (August 6, 1931 – November 20, 2010)[1] was an American author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He served in the Korean War, was a consultant for the CIAfrom 1967 to 1973, and chaired the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley from 1967 to 1972.[2] He was also president and co-founder with Steven Clemons of the Japan Policy Research Institute (now based at the University of San Francisco), an organization promoting public education about Japan and Asia.[3]

He wrote numerous books including, most recently, three examinations of the consequences of American Empire: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. A former cold warrior, his fears for the US changed:

“A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.”[4]


Johnson was born in 1931 in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned a BA in economics in 1953 and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science in 1957 and 1961 respectively. Both of his advanced degrees were from the University of California, Berkeley. Johnson met his wife Sheila, a junior at Berkeley, in 1956, and they were married in Reno, Nevada in May 1957.[5]

During the Korean War, Johnson served as a naval officer in Japan.[6] He was the communications officer on a ship (the LST 883) “tasked with ferrying Chinese prisoners of war from South Korea back to North Koreanports.”[5] He taught political science at the University of California from 1962 until he retired from teaching in 1992. He was best known early in his career for his scholarship on the subjects of China and Japan.[7]

Johnson set the agenda for 10 or 15 years in social science scholarship on China with his book on peasant nationalism. His book MITI and the Japanese Miracle, on the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry was the preëminent study of the country’s development and it created the subfield of what could be called, the political economy of development. He coined the term “developmental state“. As a public intellectual, he first led the “Japan revisionists” who critiqued American neoliberal economics with Japan as a model; their arguments faded from view as the Japanese economy stagnated in the mid-90s and beyond. During this period, Johnson acted as a consultant for the Office of National Estimates, part of the CIA, contributing to analysis of China and Maoism.[8]

Johnson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1976. He served as Director of the Center for Chinese Studies (1967–72[2]) and Chair of the Political Science Department at Berkeley, and held a number of important academic posts in area studies. He was a strong believer in the importance of language and historical training for conducting serious research. Late in his career he became well known as a critic of “rational choice” approaches, particularly in the study of Japanese politics and political economy.

Johnson is, perhaps, best known today as a sharp critic of American imperialism. His book Blowback (2000) won a prize in 2001 from the Before Columbus Foundation, and was re-issued in an updated version in 2004. Sorrows of Empire, published in 2004, updated the evidence and argument from Blowback for the post-9/11 environment, and Nemesis concludes the trilogy. Johnson was featured as an expert talking head in the Eugene Jarecki-directed film Why We Fight,[3] which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at theSundance Film Festival. In the past, Johnson has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, and The Nation.

The Blowback series

Johnson believed that the enforcement of American hegemony over the world constitutes a new form of global empire. Whereas traditional empires maintained control over subject peoples via colonies, since World War II the US has developed a vast system of hundreds of military bases around the world where it has strategic interests. A long-time Cold Warrior, he applauded the dissolution of the Soviet Union: “I was a cold warrior. There’s no doubt about that. I believed the Soviet Union was a genuine menace. I still think so.”[9] At the same time, however, he experienced a political awakening after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, noting that instead of demobilizing its armed forces, the US accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political. The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the U.S. and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy. Of four books he wrote on this topic, the first three are referred to as The Blowback Trilogy:

  • Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire

Chalmers Johnson summarized the intent of Blowback in the final chapter of Nemesis.

“In Blowback, I set out to explain why we are hated around the world. The concept “blowback” does not just mean retaliation for things our government has done to and in foreign countries. It refers to retaliation for the numerous illegal operations we have carried out abroad that were kept totally secret from the American public. This means that when the retaliation comes – as it did so spectacularly on September 11, 2001 – the American public is unable to put the events in context. So they tend to support acts intended to lash out against the perpetrators, thereby most commonly preparing the ground for yet another cycle of blowback. In the first book in this trilogy, I tried to provide some of the historical background for understanding the dilemmas we as a nation confront today, although I focused more on Asia – the area of my academic training – than on the Middle East.”[10]
  • The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic

Chalmers Johnson summarizes the intent of The Sorrows of Empire in the final chapter of Nemesis.

The Sorrows of Empire was written during the American preparations for and launching of the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. I began to study our continuous military buildup since World War II and the 737 military bases we currently maintain in other people’s countries. This empire of bases is the concrete manifestation of our global hegemony, and many of the blowback-inducing wars we have conducted had as their true purpose the sustaining and expanding of this network. We do not think of these overseas deployments as a form of empire; in fact, most Americans do not give them any thought at all until something truly shocking, such as the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, brings them to our attention. But the people living next door to these bases and dealing with the swaggering soldiers who brawl and sometimes rape their women certainly think of them as imperial enclaves, just as the people of ancient Iberia or nineteenth-century India knew that they were victims of foreign colonization.”[10]
  • Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic

Chalmers Johnson summarizes the intent of the book Nemesis.

“In Nemesis, I have tried to present historical, political, economic, and philosophical evidence of where our current behavior is likely to lead. Specifically, I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and in the end produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent. The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring. But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy. Nemesis stalks our life as a free nation.”[10]
  • Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope

Johnson outlines how the United States can reverse American hegemony and preserve the American state. Dismantling the Empire was listed by the CIA in “The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf: Intelligence in Recent Public Literature”,[11] compiled and reviewed by Hayden B. Peake.[12]

Audio and video



On November 20, 2010, Chalmers Johnson died after a long illness from complications of rheumatoid arthritis at his home in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. [14]


  1. Jump up^
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b “CCS History”, Center for Chinese Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b AMY GOODMAN (February 27, 2007). “Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic”.Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  4. Jump up^ Chalmers Johnson, 1931–2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Sheila K. Johnson (2011-04-11) Chalmers Johnson vs. the Empire,
  6. Jump up^ Chalmers Ashby Johnson. Blowback, Second Edition: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (January 4, 2004 ed.). Holt Paperbacks. p. 288. ISBN 0-8050-7559-3.
  7. Jump up^ Johnston, Eric, “Japan hand Chalmers Johnson dead at 79“,Japan Times, 23 November 2010, p. 2.
  8. Jump up^ Nic Paget-Clarke (2004). “Interview with Chalmers Johnson Part 2. From CIA Analyst to Best-Selling Scholar”. In Motion Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  9. Jump up^ Tom Engelhardt (March 22, 2006). “Cold Warrior in a Strange Land – Tom Engelhardt interviews Chalmers Johnson”. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic By Chalmers Johnson, 2006, Page 278, ISBN 978-0-8050-7911-1
  11. Jump up^
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up^ Listing on
  14. Jump up^ Shapiro, T. Rees (November 25, 2010). “Renowned Asia scholar Chalmers Johnson dies at 79”. The Washington Post.

External links

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