Tom Engelhardt
  • Programs: TomDispatch, Nation Books, Fellows

    Tom Engelhardt created and runs, a project of The Nation Institute, and is a fellow of the Institute. His most recent books are Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World; The United States of Fearand, with Nick Turse, Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. 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 of Publishing, as well as a collection of his TomDispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished.   He is co-founder and co-editor of the American Empire Project book series at Metropolitan Books, where he is consulting editor.  

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Featured Work
  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Worst That Could Happen
  • In case you hadn’t noticed, while each morning’s screaming headlines contain terrible words -- “dire,” “catastrophic,” “ever worsening,” “racing against the clock” -- along with terrifying descriptions and ever-extending timelines for the crisis, few (not even, it seems, most anti-nuclear writers and groups) can bring themselves to speculate publicly about what might actually happen, no less ask the single scariest question: What’s the worst that might happen?

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Top Guns No More
  • To put it simply, it’s time for Americans to take the “war” out of “air war.”  These days, we need a new set of terms to explain what U.S. air power actually does...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Locking the Gates
  • Take former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who, on leaving government service — and I hope you don't mind if I mangle a quote from General Douglas MacArthur here — refused to die, or even fade away. Instead, he penned Known and Unknown, a memoir almost as big as his ego and almost as long — 832 pages — as the occupation of Iraq, which promptly hit the bestseller lists (making the American reader a Known Unknown)...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's Echo Chamber
  • This is a global moment unlike any in memory, perhaps in history.  Yes, comparisons can be made to the wave of people power that swept Eastern Europe as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989-91.  For those with longer memories, perhaps 1968 might come to mind, that abortive moment when...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Waist Deep in the Washington Quagmire
  • There’s a perfectly obvious path toward Republicans' goal to cut $100 billion.  If we were to embark on it, there would be even more cuts to follow and -- believe it or not -- they wouldn't be all that painful, provided we did one small thing: change our thinking about making war.

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Goodbye to All That
  • As we've watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line to hear from their people...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Alien Visitations
  • We in the United States have few doubts about who the aliens on this planet are: Them! (the title of a classic 1954 sci-fi movie about monstrous mutant ants that infest the sewer system of Los Angeles). In my childhood, “them” was  “the commies,” of course.  Now, it's certainly Muslims or jihadists or Islamo-fascists...

  • War is a Drug
  • Washington has a serious surge addiction, with all the delusions and madness that come with being addicted. A trip to rehab is long overdue.

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, War Is a Drug
  • If, as 2011 begins, you want to peer into the future, enter my time machine, strap yourself in, and head for the past, that laboratory for all developments of our moment and beyond...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Epitaph from the Imperial Graveyard
  • [Note for TomDispatch Readers: Just a reminder that, if you visit the “donate now” page at TomDispatch as the holiday season looms, you’ll be able to contribute to this site and, in return, get a specially signed book of your choice from Andrew Bacevich, Adam Hochschild, or me as a gift for you or a friend.

  • The United States of Fear
  • We now live not just with all the usual fears that life has to offer, but in something like a United States of Fear and that's just what both the National Security State and al-Qaeda want.

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The United States of Fear
  • We live, it seems, in a national security “homeland” of little angry bureaucrats who couldn’t be happier to define what “safety” means for you and big self-satisfied officials who can duck the application of those safety methods...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, General Petraeus's Two Campaigns
  • Going, going, gone!  You can almost hear the announcer’s voice throbbing with excitement, only we’re not talking about home runs here, but about the disappearing date on which, for the United States and its military, the Afghan War will officially end...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, War to the Horizon
  • You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it?  Not ever.  Rationally, you know perfectly well that whatever your “it” might be will indeed end, because everything does, but your gut tells you something different...

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