The American Empire Project (AEP) was developed in 2004 by longtime book-industry editors Tom Engelhardt and Steve Fraser, in conjunction with the New York City-based publisher Metropolitan Books. Condemning the George W. Bush administration for having “embraced imperial ambitions openly,” AEP set out to produce a series of “short, argument-driven books” designed to “mount an immodest challenge to the fateful exercise of empire-building and to explore every facet of the developing American imperium, while suggesting alternate ways of thinking about, confronting, and acting in a new American century.”
The authors of AEP's publications include such notables as Anthony Arnove and Noam Chomsky, among numerous others. The books offered by AEP include such titles as the following:
• A People's History of the United States: In 2008, AEP produced an adaptation (in comic format) of the late Howard Zinn's famed Marxist tract bearing this title. Zinn's book describes America as a predatory and repressive capitalist state—sexist, racist, imperialist—that is run by a corporate ruling class for the benefit of the rich.
• Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2004, by Chalmers Johnson): This book “lays out in vivid detail the dangers faced by our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms.”
• Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (2007, by Noam Chomsky): This book shows “how the United States itself shares features with other failed states—suffering from a severe 'democratic deficit,' eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world.”
• Ideal Illusions (2011, by James Peck): Drawing on documents from the CIA, the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and development agencies, this book “shows in blunt detail how Washington has shaped human rights into a potent ideological weapon for purposes having little to do with rights and everything to do with furthering America's global reach.”