Lummis was born in 1936 in San Francisco. He attended UC Berkeley on a Navy ROTC contract, and later did three years active duty in the Marines - the last year in Okinawa. He retired from teaching at Tsuda College in 2000.
Lummis' writings - many of which concern Japan's relationship to the United States - are extremely critical of US foreign policy. His works include the books Radical Democracy, A New Look at The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and Japan's Radical Constitution. He has also published numerous pieces in journals such as The Nation and Japan Focus.
Susan Sontag has called Lummis "one of the most thoughtful, honorable, and relevant intellectuals writing about democratic practice anywhere in the world," while Karel van Wolferen has referred to him as an "eminent observer of the American-Japanese vassalage relationship."
- Charles Douglas Lummis, Sang-jung Kang, and Toshihito Kayano. Kokka to Aidentiti wo Tou [An Inquiry into the State and Identity] (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten, 2009.
- Charles Douglas Lummis. Radical Democracy. Cornell University Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-8014-8451-3
- Sung-won Suh. Book Review Global Asia: A Journal of the East Asia Foundation, Fall, 2010
- Japan Focus: Douglas Lummis japanfocus.org
- Radical Democracy book ecobooks.com
- Karel van Wolferen. "The most monstrous lie of the twenty-first century" karelvanwolferen.com, jottings, articles, books, 19 Sep. 2011
- Douglas Lummis. "Round up The Usual Suspects...and Shoot Them" counterpunch, WEEKEND EDITION, MAY 11-13, 2011
- Author Bios: C. Douglas Lummis thenation.com
- Francis Fukuyama. "Radical Democracy, C. Douglas Lummis" Foreign Affairs, September/October, 1996