Tom Engelhardt

Tom Engelhardt

nation_unmade_by_war.jpgTom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His sixth and latest book, just published, is A Nation Unmade by War (Dispatch Books).Previous books include: Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (with an introduction by Glenn Greenwald). Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 (co-authored with Nick Turse), The United States of Fear, The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's, The End of Victory Culture: a History of the Cold War and Beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here.

Articles by this author

Think of Donald Trump as the American imperial establishment’s ultimate gift to humanity. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The Pre-History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire: A Rant
Let me rant for a moment. I don’t do it often, maybe ever. I’m not Donald Trump. Though I’m only two years older than him, I don’t even know how to tweet and that tells you everything you really need to know about Tom Engelhardt in a world clearly passing me by. Still, after years in which America’...
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This is the moment when I would normally say: class of 2020, gather yourselves together and, arm in arm, take this path through that gate and off this beautiful campus where you’ve just spent four years of your life. It’s time for you to enter our world and make it a better place. (Image: 'Class of 0000' campaign) Views
Monday, June 01, 2020
Donald Trump May Not Be Herbert Hoover
Class of 2020, wherever you are, I had planned to address you on this graduation day. But how can I? Yes, I know that former President Obama , Oprah Winfrey , and Tom Hanks all took part in elaborate online graduation ceremonies, offering commentary, advice, and encouragement in our now campus-less...
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Still, historically speaking, killing Afghans or Iraqis or Syrians or Yemenis or Somalis has always been one thing, but Americans? That’s another story entirely, no? (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, April 30, 2020
The Killer-in-Chief
“Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief.” So I wrote back in June 2012, with a presidential election approaching. I was referring then to the war on...
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In some sense, President Trump has been exhibiting the sort of detachment from reality that American presidents and other officials did less openly in the Vietnam years.  And for this president, Covid-19 could indeed prove to be the disease version of a Vietnam War. (Photo: Getty) Views
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Might the Coronavirus Be a Peacemaker?
Let me quote a Trumpian figure from long ago, Henry Ford. That’s right, the bigot who created the Ford Motor Company (and once even ran for president ). Back in 1916, in an interview with a Chicago Tribune reporter, he offered this bit of wisdom on the subject of history: "Say, what do I care about...
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As last year ended, Science magazine reported that, in North America, there were three billion fewer birds than in 1970; in other words, almost one out of every three birds on this continent is now gone. (Photo: Frozen Stills) Views
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
In Memoriam: A Planet of Missing Beauties
The other morning, walking at the edge of a local park, I caught sight of a beautiful red cardinal , the first bird I ever saw some 63 years ago. Actually, to make that sentence accurate, I should probably have put either “first” or “ever saw” in quotation marks. After all, I was already 12 years...
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After all—god save us—he might even find himself in the White House for a second term. (Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, March 04, 2020
The Trump Conundrum
Here’s the truth of it: I’d like a presidential pardon. Really, I would. And I think I deserve it more than Michael Milken or Rod Blagojevich or—because it’s obviously heading our way— Roger Stone (not to speak of Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort). Unlike the rest of them, I genuinely deserve a...
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At 18-plus years or, if you prefer to combine Washington’s two Afghan wars, 28-plus years, we’re talking about the longest American war in history. (Photo: U.S. Army/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, February 13, 2020
War Addicts, Inc.
My first question is simple enough: After 18-plus years of our forever wars, where are all the questions? Almost two decades of failing American wars across a startlingly large part of the planet and I’d like to know, for instance, who's been fired for them? Who’s been impeached? Who’s even paying...
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Climate change, after all, looks to be nature’s slo-mo version of nuclear war. (Photo: David Gray/Getty Images) Views
Monday, January 27, 2020
For the Fate of Planet Earth, Please See Page 5
Let me betray my age for a moment. Some of you, I know, will be shocked, but I still read an actual newspaper. Words on real paper every day. I’m talking about the New York Times, and something stuck with me from the January 9th edition of that "paper" paper. Of course, in the world of the Internet...
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After more than 18 years of war with neither end nor victory in sight, says Tom Engelhardt, absolute failure is the "new success" as Pentagon budgets and arms makers' profits soar while the military-industrial complex enjoys the bounty of endless conflict and blood further than the eye can see. (Photo: Jeff Owens / EyeEm / iStock via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, January 09, 2020
The Global War of Error
Yes, our infrastructure stinks , our schools are failing , this country’s a nightmare of inequality, and there’s a self-promoting madman in the White House, so isn’t it time to take pride in the rare institutional victories America has had in this century? Arguably, none has been more striking than...
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A visitor waves a flag while listening to President Donald Trump deliver a speech at the Flight 93 National Memorial commemorating the 17th Anniversary of the crash of Flight 93 and the September 11th terrorist attacks on September 11, 2018 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The nation is marking the seventeenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, when the terrorist group al-Qaeda flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people. (Photo: Jeff Views
Monday, December 23, 2019
Is Donald Trump America's Second 9/11?
Here's the question at hand—and I guarantee you that you’ll read it here first: Is Donald Trump the second or even possibly the third 9/11? Because truly, he has to be one or the other. Let me explain, and while I do, keep this in mind: as 2019 ends, thanks to Brexit and the victory of Boris...
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