John Tirman

John Tirman

John Tirman is executive director of MIT's Center for International Studies. He is the author, or coauthor and editor, of nine books on international affairs. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars, a book about the origins, magnitude, and effects of the climbing casualties of American wars from Korea to Iraq was published by Oxford University Press in July.


John Tirman official website


Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade

One of the most important stories that's rarely in the newspapers is the foreign sales activities of American defense contractors. But an important issue it is, as illustrated by this book. Spoils of War focuses on the overseas marketing of helicopters to Turkey, which results in nice profits for Sikorsky, but has awful consequences for the Kurdish refugees they're used against. John Tirman, active in left-wing think-tank and publishing circles, makes the case that the main result of U.S. arms makers' market-making for weapons that the Pentagon doesn't want is a Third World human rights fiasco--one that, despite the company line, doesn't really help state and local economies.

(Free Press, June 1997)

The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars

Americans are greatly concerned about the number of our troops killed in battle--100,000 dead in World War I; 300,000 in World War II; 33,000 in the Korean War; 58,000 in Vietnam; 4,500 in Iraq; over 1,000 in Afghanistan--and rightly so. But why are we so indifferent, often oblivious, to the far greater number of casualties suffer by those we fight and those we fight for? This is the compelling, largely unasked question John Tirman answers in The Deaths of Others

(Oxford University Press, July 2011)