2017 Letter from TomDispatch

Dear TomDispatch Readers, 

If you just heard a deep sigh, that was me.  Right now, if we're not in the world from hell, then where the hell are we?  You know perfectly well what I think about it all, as I write weekly at TomDispatch on that president, those wars, those plutocrats, and the environmental crisis that's going to make our grandchildren's world, the one I will have long left, a potential nightmare of the first order. 

And worse yet, here we are at the end of another year!  (How did that happen?)  As I'm sure you're all too aware, I'm going to ask you, TD's most faithful readers, for the big bucks (or the small ones) to support this website I've been running since November 2002.  And you know as well that I hate having to ask as I do twice annually. 

I mean what in the world did you do to deserve this?  But the truth is that you're what keeps TomDispatch afloat, year in, year out.  Your donations ensure that Andrew Bacevich continues to write for me on the wars so few Americans seem to care about; that Nomi Prins keeps focusing on our trip to financial hell on board the U.S.S. Donald Trump; that Nick Turse continues to cover (as no one else in the media does) how America's secret military, those 70,000 Special Operations forces, are deployed to ever more countries each year; that U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen continues to explore what it means to fight our never-ending wars and how those wars are changing this country; that Alfred McCoy continues to focus on the United States as a declining imperial power; that William Hartung continues to put the scam that is the Pentagon in grim context; and that Rebecca Gordon continues to write hauntingly on our "forever wars" -- and that's just to start down a list of TomDispatch authors!    

In this new Gilded Era, it's a miracle that a modest place like TomDispatch continues to do what we've done for the last 15-plus years -- and for that, believe me, you're the ones responsible.  Your generosity keeps us rolling along (and unlike our president we don't have a TomDispatch International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue where we could pick up a few extra bucks from lobbyists, diplomats, and anyone else who might want to curry favor with this website).

Managing Editor Nick Turse and I operate with a tiny (but devoted) staff, posting our three well-thought-out, well-edited articles weekly from a line-up of authors many magazines would envy, and those pieces are then reposted across the Internet (and often across the globe).  Unfortunately, no matter what we do, a site like this costs money.  Wonderful as our staff is, they do need to get paid, as do our authors (however modestly) because it's important to support writers in this world as best we can. (In that vein, I'm hoping to raise the price of a TD piece to $300 in the new year!)  In addition, we've now plunged in to producing a significant, ongoing line of Dispatch Books, including most recently Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower's The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II and historian Alfred McCoy's In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (which has been quite a hit for us).  This unfortunately takes both time and money, even with the help of the wonderful folks at Haymarket Books. 

In 2018, we'll be publishing Every Body Has a Story, a stirring working class novel set during the mortgage foreclosure meltdown of 2008-2009 from acclaimed novelist Beverly Gologorsky.  (About it, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Elizabeth Strout has already written, "What a book!  Gologorsky is at her best, weaving a tapestry of the lives of very real people, people whose lives deserve her care, her unsparing eye, and her compassion.") We'll also be publishing my own new book, A Nation Unmade by War.  

While we do all this, you are indeed our major source of funds, since TomDispatch doesn't take advertising and no one has to pay anything to visit it and read whatever's there.

That's why your generosity makes all the difference to us.  So in the era of the president I just labeled our UnFounding Father, should you find yourself with a few extra bucks and an urge to lend a hand, please visit our donation page and think about what you might give.  As always, we have quite a range of signed, personalized books on offer, including Alfred McCoy's new volume, in return for a donation of $100 or more ($125 if you live outside the United States). 

Of course, many of you haven't waited for this letter.  You've already contributed this year.  I wish I could thank you all individually.  I know who you are, but the time just isn't there.  Still, whenever notice of one of your donations comes in, I can't tell you how thankful I am for your support, how much it means to me.  So a million thanks to all of you who have contributed or are going to do so before 2017 ends.  You really do make the difference.

Tom (Engelhardt) 


    • Tom Engelhardt
    • Tom Engelhardt created and runs the TomDispatch website, a project of The Nation Institute. His most recent book is The American Way of War: How Bush's War Became Obama's. He is also the author of a history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days...

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