Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Obituaries for Chalmers Johnson

The obituaries now have come out for Chalmers Johnson, the noted Japan scholar (and my onetime mentor) who died Saturday.

The best dead tree obit was in the Los Angeles Times by Dennis McLellan — the only obit indexed by Google News that addressed the breadth and depth of his influence, capturing all three phases of his career: China, Japan, and the “empire trilogy.” (The NYT fixated on the latter and ignored the work that created Chal’s reputation in the first place). Two other good obits were on the SF Chronicle website by Zennie Abraham (a student of Chal’s at the Berkeley poli sci dept in 1985) and the Seattle Business website by Leslie Helm, the Japan correspondent of the LA Times from 1990-1993.

More personal tributes came from Steve Clemons (his JPRI co-founder), and fellow “revisionists” Clyde Prestowitz and Jim Fallows. The coda to these tributes comes from Arthur Salm, a San Diego writer who got to know Chal in his final years.

1 comment:

Leslie Helm said...

Hi Joel,

Thanks for your great remembrances and for providing all the links. I was reading the Atlantic Monthly's piece this month on John Mearsheimer and thinking how fun it would have been to hear Chalmers and Mearsheimer debate on what U.S. policy should be in response to the rise of China.