William Blum

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William Blum
Author William Blum
Blum in 2007
Born (1933-03-06) March 6, 1933 (age 85)
OccupationJournalist, Author, U.S. foreign policy critic, historian
GenrePolitical journalism, history
Notable worksThe CIA: A Forgotten History (1986)
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (2000)
Killing Hope (2003)
Website
williamblum.org

William Blum (/blʌm/; born 6 March 1933) is an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy. He worked in a computer-related position at the United States Department of State in the mid-1960s. Initially an anti-communist with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War. He lives in Washington, DC.[1]

Journalism[edit]

Blum left the State Department in 1967 and became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital. In 1969, he wrote and published an exposé of the CIA in which were revealed the names and addresses of more than 200 CIA employees. He has worked as freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. In 1972–1973 Blum worked as a journalist in Chile where he reported on the Allende government's "socialist experiment". In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex-CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates "on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds".[2] He supports himself with his writing and speaking engagements on college campuses.[1]

In his books and online columns, Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. Noam Chomsky has called Blum's book on the CIA, "far and away the best book on the topic."[3] He has supported Ralph Nader's presidential campaigns.[4] He circulates a monthly newsletter by email called "The Anti-Empire Report". Blum has described his life's mission as: "If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It's causing so much suffering around the world."[1]

Osama bin Laden statement[edit]

In early 2006, Blum briefly became the subject of widespread media attention when Osama bin Laden issued a public statement in which he quoted Blum and recommended that all Americans read Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. As a result of the mention, sales of his book greatly increased. "I was quite surprised and even shocked and amused when I found out what he'd said," Blum said. "I was glad. I knew it would help the book's sales and I was not bothered by who it was coming from. If he shares with me a deep dislike for certain aspects of US foreign policy, then I'm not going to spurn any endorsement of the book by him. I think it's good that he shares those views and I'm not turned off by that."[5] On the Bin Laden endorsement Blum stated, "This is almost as good as being an Oprah book."[1] In a May 22, 2006 article entitled, Come Out of the White House With Your Hands Up, Blum wrote, "Since the bin Laden recommendation, 19 January, I have not been offered a single speaking engagement on any campus . . . This despite January–May normally being the most active period for me and other campus speakers."

Books[edit]

  • 1986: The CIA: A Forgotten History (Zed Books) ISBN 0-86232-480-7
  • 2000: Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-194-5
  • 2002: West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (Soft Skull Press) ISBN 1-56751-306-9
  • 2003: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, revised edition (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-252-6
  • 2004: Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (Common Courage Press)
  • 2013: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy - The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else (Zed Books) ISBN 1-78032-445-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Montgomery, David (January 21, 2006). "The Author Who Got A Big Boost From bin Laden". Washington Post. pp. C01.
  2. ^ Bill Blum's ZSpace Page Archived May 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Z Magazine online, accessed May 31, 2008.
  3. ^ http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/20869-our-leaders-do-not-mean-well
  4. ^ Blum, William On Liberals, Phil Agee, and the 9-11 Truth Movement, Dissident Voice, January 14, 2008. Accessed May 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Bin Laden plug boosts book sales". Sydney Morning Herald. Reuters. January 21, 2006.

External links[edit]