mil·i·ta·rism, n, A military state or condition; reliance on military force in administering government. A characteristic of regimes like the Soviet Union or communist China, militarism is rarely associated with American society and government. Rather, Americans see their nation as the peaceful mediator, intervening in world affairs only to "make the world safe for democracy". The uncomfortable reality, however, scarcely fits this kind of fanciful mythology. In this hard-hitting critique, Carl Boggs argues that the United States is dominated by a new militarism, one that has become more potent and menacing since 9/11. He skillfully explores the origins and development of this new militarism and shows its devastating effects on American society and foreign policy. As America expands its influence, Imperial Delusions demonstrates how Americans have become addicted to war—allowing a military culture to control their interactions with each other and the world.
Boggs has written a provocative, engaging indictment of U.S. militarism.
The United States defends its militarism and imperialism by saying that it is trying to promote democracy. But the concept of democracy receives little critical scrutiny within American political discourse, and the postwar historical record reveals a pervasive legacy of U.S. support for military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. In his brilliant new book, Carl Boggs weighs this and numerous other contradictions that foretell the demise of 'lone superpower.' Imperial Delusions is the first book to deal comprehensively with the historical, economic, political, cultural, and criminal aspects of American militarism.
Imperial Delusions is a brilliant book. It is vintage Carl Boggs, perhaps even his best book to date. Imperial Delusions shatters the myth of 'humanitarian' intervention, revealing it to be little more than dressed up imperialist war. It is a stinging indictment of U.S. foreign policy and the expansion and consolidation of the military industrial complex. Boggs reveals how the U.S. military has routinely targeted civilian populations as an integral part of its strategy, from the firebombing of Germany and Japan in WWII and dropping of the atomic bomb, to Vietnam's scorched earth, search-and-destroy, 'kill em all' strategies, to the shock and awe invasion and occupation of Baghdad. Imperial Delusions is a text that students throughout the country need to read. In fact, it should be compulsory reading in our high schools and universities.
Imperial Delusions is a terrifyingly convincing portrayal of an aggressive, militarized state willing to risk everything in a historic bid for complete world domination. While not everyone will agree with Boggs’ controversial views, even the most skeptical reader will be swept away by the main force of his argument. Boggs shows how the American state, freed from the constraints of the Cold War, its influence augmented rather than diminished by globalization, has embarked on a reckless strategy that places it on a direct collision course with the rest of the world. Imperial Delusions promises to redefine the debate over the uses and misuses of American power.
Manfred B. Steger
Carl Boggs's timely study of growing U.S. militarism is a must-read for all critical citizens. Insightful, passionate, and hard-hitting, this book is pervaded by its author's unwavering commitment to the democratic ideal.
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The author is a clear communicator of his polemical position, and his erudite apparatus provides a valuable resource for studying the history of anti-military scholarship in the U.S.
- Karl Helicher
This collection of well-documented essays concludes that the resurgence of out-of-control militarism is in large part attributed to America's failure to confront a dark legacy of "imperialsim and empire building."
Carl Boggs is a professor in the School of Arts and Sciences at National University. His previous books include Masters of War: Militarism and Blowback in the Era of American Empire, The End of Politics: Corporate Power and the Decline of the Public Sphere, and The Socialist Tradition: From Crisis to Decline.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Rise of the Military Behemoth Chapter 4 The US Struggle for Global Domination Chapter 5 The Military and Subversion of Democratic Politics Chapter 6 The Culture of Militarism Chapter 7 The Crimes of Empire Chapter 8 The Eclipse of US Hegemony?