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, 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, 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.

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's No-Friends Franchise
  • In the method, there is madness; in the comedy, nightmare; in the tragedy, farce. And despite everything, there’s still good news when it comes to what Americans can accomplish in the face of the impossible!  No, not a debt-ceiling deal in Washington. So much better than that...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Defining an American State of War
  • War has a way of turning almost anything upside down, including language.  But with lost jobs, foreclosed homes, crumbling infrastructure, and weird weather, who even notices?  This undoubtedly means that you’re using a set of antediluvian war words or definitions from your father’s day.  It’s time to catch up...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The 100% Doctrine in Washington
  • Here’s a scenario to chill you to the bone...Without warning, the network -- a set of terrorist super cells -- struck in northern Germany and Germans began to fall by the hundreds, then thousands.  As panic spread, hospitals were overwhelmed with the severely wounded.  More than 20 of the victims died...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Welcome to Post-Legal America
  • Is the Libyan war legal?  Was Bin Laden’s killing legal?  Is it legal for the president of the United States to target an American citizen for assassination?  Were those “enhanced interrogation techniques” legal? These are all questions raised in recent weeks.  Each seems to call out for debate, for answers. Or does it?

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Osama Dead and Alive
  • Back in the 1960s, Senator George Aiken of Vermont offered two American presidents a plan for dealing with the Vietnam War: declare victory and go home. Roundly ignored at the time, it’s a plan worth considering again today for a war in Afghanistan and Pakistan now in its tenth year...

  • Tomgram: Engelhardt, Are We Still on an Imperial Planet?
  • Tired of Afghanistan and all those messy, oil-ish wars in the Greater Middle East that just don’t seem to pan out?  Count on one thing: part of the U.S. military feels just the way you do, especially a largely sidelined Navy -- and that’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why, a few months back, the specter of China as this country’s future enemy once again reared its ugly head...

  • This Can't End Well
  • The United States is an imperial power: We have our array of semi-client states; our military garrisons much of the planet; and we continuously wage war abroad. Yet who doesn't sense that the sun is now setting on us?

  • 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?

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