Tom Engelhardt
  • Programs: TomDispatch, Nation Books, Fellows

    Tom Engelhardt created and runs TomDispatch.com, 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 Arrival of the Warrior Corporation
  • In the American mind, if Apple made weapons, they would undoubtedly be drones, those remotely piloted planes getting such great press here.  They have generally been greeted as if they were the sleekest of iPhones armed with missiles...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Kicking Down the World's Door
  • The cuts in the Pentagon's budget will mean direct challenges to the sovereignty of other nations, with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as a model for the future: a secret operation undertaken without the knowledge or consent of our "ally" by an elite special ops unit backed by drones and other high-tech weaponry, without the declaration of any hostilities, to target "terrorism." 

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Superpower Adrift in an Alien World
  • Here’s the ad for this moment in Washington (as I imagine it): Militarized superpower adrift and anxious in alien world.  Needs advice.  Will pay.  Pls respond qkly.  PO Box 1776-2012, Washington, DC...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Lessons from Lost Wars in 2012
  • It was to be the war that would establish empire as an American fact.  It would result in a thousand-year Pax Americana.  It was to be “mission accomplished” all the way.  And then, of course, it wasn’t.  And then, almost nine dismal years later, it was over (sorta)...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Restless Planet
  • On the streets of Moscow in the tens of thousands, the protesters chanted: “We exist!”  Taking into account the comments of statesmen, scientists, politicians, military officials, bankers, artists, all the important and attended to figures on this planet, nothing caught the year more strikingly than those two words shouted by massed Russian demonstrators...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The 1% Election
  • Sometimes words outlive their usefulness.  Sometimes the gap between changing reality and the names we’ve given it grows so wide that they empty of all meaning or retain older meanings that only confuse us.  “Election,” “presidential election campaign,” and “democracy” all seem like obvious candidates for name-change...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Into the Whirlwind
  • He was 22, a corporal in the Marines from Preston, Iowa, a “city” incorporated in 1890 with a present population of 949.  He died in a hospital in Germany of “wounds received from an explosive device while on patrol in Helmand province [Afghanistan].”  Of him, his high school principal said, “He was a good kid.” He is survived by his parents...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Movie-Made Me
  • Every childhood has its own geography and every child is an explorer, as daring as any Peary or Amundsen or Scott...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Wall Street by the Book
  • Once the Arab Spring broke loose, people began asking me why this country was still so quiet.  I would always point out that no one ever expects or predicts such events.  Nothing like this, I would say, happens until it happens, and only then do you try to make sense of it retrospectively...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's Field of Screams
  • In the world of weaponry, they are the sexiest things around.  Other countries are desperate to have them.  Almost anyone who writes about them becomes a groupie.  Reporters exploring their onrushing future swoon at their potentially wondrous techno-talents.  They are, of course, the pilotless drones, our grimly named Predators and Reapers...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Dearest President and Professor Barack Obama
  • Who hasn’t received one -- or 100 -- of those “Nigerian” letters offering you, in florid prose, millions of potential dollars and with nary a catch in sight?  But who knew that the highest officials in Washington have been receiving them as well -- and from our war zones rather than Africa.  Today, TomDispatch.com is proud to release examples of such letters from a treasure trove of documents shown to us by the new website ScamiLeaks...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Tear Down the Freedom Tower
  • Let’s bag it. I’m talking about the tenth anniversary ceremonies for 9/11, and everything that goes with them: the solemn reading of the names of the dead, the tolling of bells, the honoring of first responders, the gathering of presidents, the dedication of the new memorial, the moments of silence.  The works...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Pentagon's Fake Jihadists
  • Put what follows in the category of paragraphs no one noticed that should have made the nation’s hair stand on end.  This particular paragraph should also have sent chills through the body politic, launched warning flares, and left the people’s representatives in Congress shouting about something other than the debt crisis...

  • Lowering the War Ceiling?
  • Almost a decade into America's second Afghan War, we are assured it will continue to 2014 and beyond. In a war in which every gallon of gas used by a fuel-guzzling US military costs $400 to $800 to import, time is no object and — despite the panic in Washington over debt payments — neither evidently is cost.

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