More on Chalmers Johnson

By James Fallows

(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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/11/more-on-chalmers-johnson/66861/