Chalmers Johnson

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Chalmers Johnson is a 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 the rest of Asia. He has written several books, including Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (ISBN 0805062394) and The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (ISBN 0805070044). Until the publication of Blowback his most famous and influential work was MITI and the Japanese Miracle, a study of Japanese industrial policy published in 1982. In that book Johnson critiqued the stronger claims made for the success of Japanese industrial policy.

His 1995 prediction that "English based" economics would fall into the ash heap of history along with Soviet style economics has not been realized as of 2006 but doubts about its relevance have not gone away.

Chalmers Johnson was born in 1931 in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught political science at the University of California from 1962 until 1992, when he retired. He served as chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies at Berkeley from 1967 until 1972 and was best known early in his career for scholarship about China including Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power (ISBN 0804700745) and Revolutionary Change (ISBN 0316467308).

Johnson's book Blowback won an American Book Award in 2001 from the Before Columbus Foundation. Sorrows of Empire, published in 2004, updated the evidence and the central argument about the long trerm negative consequences of U.S. imperialism made in Blowback for the post-9/11 period.

He was featured in the Eugene Jarecki film Why We Fight, which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

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