The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts

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Catherine Lutz, Cynthia Enloe
NYU Press, 2009 - History - 356 pages

A quarter of a million U.S. troops are massed in over seven hundred major official overseas airbases around the world. In the past decade, the Pentagon has formulated and enacted a plan to realign, or reconfigure, its bases in keeping with new doctrines of pre-emption and intensified concern with strategic resource control, all with seemingly little concern for the surrounding geography and its inhabitants.

The contributors in The Bases of Empire trace the political, environmental, and economic impact of these bases on their surrounding communities across the globe, including Latin America, Europe, and Asia, where opposition to the United States’ presence has been longstanding and widespread, and is growing rapidly.

Through sharp analysis and critique, The Bases of Empire illuminates the vigorous campaigns to hold the United States accountable for the damage its bases cause in allied countries as well as in war zones, and offers ways to reorient security policies in other, more humane, and truly secure directions.

Contributors: Julian Aguon, Kozue Akibayashi, Ayse Gul Altinay, Tom Engelhardt, Cynthia Enloe, Joseph Gerson, David Heller, Amy Holmes, Laura Jeffery, Kyle Kajihiro, Hans Lammerant, John Lindsay-Poland, Catherine Lutz, Katherine McCaffrey, Roland G. Simbulan, Suzuyo Takazato, and David Vine.


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This book is a thorough review of the process of U.S. Militarization throughout the world. Anyone interested in the impact of militarism should read this thoroughly as it is filled with tremendous insight and ethnographic sophistication. It provides an in-depth analysis of the process of militarization on both a meta and macro scale.  

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About the author (2009)

Catherine Lutz is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, where she has a joint appointment with the Watson Institute for International Studies. Her books include Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century.

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