More on Chalmers Johnson

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(See update below.) When I got the news in the middle of last night that Chalmers Johnson had died, I put up a very brief commemoration, intending to do more later.

It turns out that that will not be necessary. My friend Steve Clemons, who knew Chal very well and both agreed and (occasionally) disagreed with him, has done a wonderful and thorough appreciation on The Washington Note. A sample:

>>In one of my fondest memories of Chalmers and Sheila Johnson at their home with their then Russian blue cats, MITI and MOF, named after the two engines of Japan's political economy -- Chal railed against the journal, Foreign Affairs, which he saw as a clap trap of statist conventionalism. He decided he had had enough of the journal and of the organization that published it, the Council on Foreign Relations. So, Chalmers called the CFR and told the young lady on the phone to cancel his membership.

The lady said, "Professor Johnson, I'm sorry sir. No one cancels their membership in the Council in Foreign Relations. Membership is for life. People are canceled when they die."

Chalmers Johnson, not missing a beat, said "Consider me dead."

I never will.<<

Steve's assessment is very much worth reading in full. And for another heartfelt appreciation of what Chalmers and Sheila Johnson have meant, see Tim Shorrock's testimony here. And a photo, from here, of Chal with one of his beloved cats.

ChalWithCat.jpg

UPDATE: Clyde Prestowitz also has an insightful and warm remembrance, here.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

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