The United States of Fear
In 2008, when the US National Intelligence Council issued its latest report meant for the administration of newly elected President Barack Obama, it predicted that the planet's "sole superpower" would suffer a modest decline and a soft landing fifteen years hence. In his new book The United States of Fear, Tom Engelhardt makes clear that Americans should don their crash helmets and buckle their seat belts, because the United States is on the path to a major decline at a startling speed. Engelhardt offers a savage anatomy of how successive administrations in Washington took the "Soviet path"—pouring American treasure into the military, war, and national security—and so helped drive their country off the nearest cliff.
This is the startling tale of how fear was profitably shot into the national bloodstream, how the country—gripped by terror fantasies—was locked down, and how a brain-dead Washington elite fiddled (and profited) while America quietly burned.
Think of it as the story of how the Cold War really ended, with the triumphalist "sole superpower" of 1991 heading slowly for the same exit through which the Soviet Union left the stage twenty years earlier.
Praise for Tom Engelhardt's The American Way of War
“Tom Engelhardt’s biting look at United States militarism.. [is] pithy... [and] alarming.... He takes on our war-possessed world with clear-eyed, penetrating precision.”
—Mother Jones Online
“Essential…. seamlessly edited…. establishes him as one of the grand chroniclers of the post–9/11 era.”
—Dan Froomkin, Nieman Watchdog
“These simple pleas for readers to reconsider an idea they might previously have taken for granted are one of the strengths of this book. Engelhardt avoids the overly strident or self-righteous condescension that characterizes too much online political writing, instead using clear and unvarnished prose to attack the fundamental principles of the post–September 11 mindset.”
—Foreign Policy in Focus
"Tom Engelhardt, as always, focuses his laser-like intelligence on a core problem that the media avoid: Obama's stunning embrace of Bush's secret government by surveillance, torture, and sanctioned assassination. A stunning polemic."
—Mike Davis, author of In Praise of Barbarians and Planet of Slums
“With an excellent mind and an equally fine pen, Engelhardt demonstrates true patriotism to the American founding.... Reading such good prose invigorates like little else in this world of sorrows. But one should not consider Engelhardt merely a writer of golden prose. This body has a soul as well, and Engelhardt convincingly presents evidence as well as argument throughout the book.... The American Way of War is brimming with insights.”
—The American Conservative
"Reading this book feels like poking around with a flashlight in the unexamined corners of the post–9/11 American imperial mindset."