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Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists first spoke of the United States becoming a Christian nation that would build a global Christian empire, it was hard to take such hyperbolic rhetoric seriously. Today, such language no longer sounds like hyperbole but poses, instead, a very real threat to our freedom and our way of life. In American Fascists, Chris Hedges, veteran journalist and author of the National Book Award finalist War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, challenges the Christian Right's religious legitimacy and argues that at its core it is a mass movement fueled by unbridled nationalism and a hatred for the open society. <P><P> Hedges, who grew up in rural parishes in upstate New York where his father was a Presbyterian pastor, attacks the movement as someone steeped in the Bible and Christian tradition. He points to the hundreds of senators and members of Congress who have earned between 80 and 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian Right advocacy groups as one of many signs that the movement is burrowing deep inside the American government to subvert it. The movement's call to dismantle the wall between church and state and the intolerance it preaches against all who do not conform to its warped vision of a Christian America are pumped into tens of millions of American homes through Christian television and radio stations, as well as reinforced through the curriculum in Christian schools. The movement's yearning for apocalyptic violence and its assault on dispassionate, intellectual inquiry are laying the foundation for a new, frightening America. <P> American Fascists, which includes interviews and coverage of events such as pro-life rallies and weeklong classes on conversion techniques, examines the movement's origins, its driving motivations and its dark ideological underpinnings. Hedges argues that the movement currently resembles the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s, movements that often masked the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and were willing to make concessions until they achieved unrivaled power. The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are -- the American heirs to fascism. Hedges issues a potent, impassioned warning. We face an imminent threat. His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant.
Collateral Damage brings together testimony from the largest number of on the record, named, combat veterans who reveal the disturbing, daily reality of war and occupation in Iraq.<P><P> Through their eyes, we learn how the mechanics of war lead to the abuse and frequent killing of innocents. They describe convoys of vehicles roaring down roads, smashing into cars, and hitting Iraqi civilians. They detail raids that leave families shot dead in the mayhem. And they describe a battlefield in which troops, untrained to distinguish between combatants and civilians, are authorized to shoot whenever they feel threatened.
With illustrations by award-winning comic artist Joe Sacco, Chris Hedges portrays a suffering nation on the cusp of widespread revolt and addresses Occupy Wall Street in his first book since the international protests began. In the tradition of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Hedges and Sacco travel to the depressed pockets of the United States to report on recession-era America. What they find in Camden, New Jersey, the devastated coalmines of West Virginia, on the Lakota reservation in South Dakota, and in undocumented farmworker colonies in California is a thriving neofeudalism. With extraordinary on-the-ground reportage and illustration, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt provides a terrifying glimpse of a future for America and the nations that follow her lead--a future that will be avoided with nothing short of revolution. ing of a movement that largely baffled the press. - Joe Sacco's approximately 50 illustrations bring a power and vitality to Hedges's searing analysis, bolstering the 75,000 words by this high-profile American polemicist whom Canadians have embraced
Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels.The book starts in the western plains, where Native Americans were sacrificed in the giddy race for land and empire. It moves to the old manufacturing centers and coal fields that fueled the industrial revolution, but now lie depleted and in decay. It follows the steady downward spiral of American labor into the nation's produce fields and ends in Zuccotti Park where a new generation revolts against a corporate state that has handed to the young an economic, political, cultural and environmental catastrophe.
The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy. It gives moral legitimacy to the state. It makes limited forms of dissent and incremental change possible. The liberal class posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us, through its appeal to public virtues and the public good, to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, on behalf of the power elite the liberal class serves as bulwarks against radical movements by offering a safety valve for popular frustrations and discontentment by discrediting those who talk of profound structural change. Once this class loses its social and political role then the delicate fabric of a democracy breaks down and the liberal class, along with the values it espouses, becomes an object of ridicule and hatred. The door that has been opened to proto-fascists has been opened by a bankrupt liberalism The Death of the Liberal Class examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state and the consequences of a liberalism that has become profoundly bankrupted. Hedges argues there are five pillars of the liberal establishment - the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party-- and that each of these institutions, more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress, sold out the constituents they represented. In doing so, the liberal class has become irrelevant to society at large and ultimately the corporate power elite they once served.
We now live in two Americas. One-now the minority-functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other-the majority-is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority-which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected-presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this "other America," serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.In the tradition of Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture-attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies-to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.
The more we sever ourselves from a literate, print-based world-- a world of complexity and nuance, a world of ideas-- for one informed by comforting, reassuring images, fantasies, slogans, and a celebration of violence, the more we implode. We ask, like the wrestling fans or those who confuse love with pornography, to be fed lies. We demand lies. The skillfully manufactured images and slogans that flood the airwaves and infect our political discourse mask reality. And we do not protest. The lonely Cassandras who speak the truth about our misguided imperial wars, the global economic meltdown, and the imminent danger of multiple pollutions that are destroying the ecosystem that sustains the human species, are drowned out by arenas full of fans chanting "Slut! Slut! Slut!" or television audiences chanting "Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!" The worse reality becomes, the less a beleaguered population wants to hear about it and the more it distracts itself with squalid pseudo-events of celebrity breakdowns, gossip, and trivia. These are the debauched revels of a dying culture.
The 10 Commandments -- the laws given to Moses by God -- are beyond the scope of human law. They are rules meant to hold us together but, when dishonored, they lead to discord and violence. <P><P> In this fierce, articulate narrative, Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, looks through the lens of each commandment to examine the moral ruin of American society. With urgency and passion, he challenges readers to take a hard look at the disconnect between their supposed values and the shallow, self-absorbed lives many people actually lead. <P> Taking examples from his personal life and twenty years of reporting, Hedges explores one commandment at a time, each through a particular social group. With each story, he reveals the universal nature of personal suffering, discovery, and redemption -- and explores the laws that we have tried to follow, often unsuccessfully, for the past 6,000 years.
At Trickle Creek in northern Alberta, Wiebo Ludwig thought he'd buffered his tiny religious community from civilization, but in 1990 civilization came calling. A Calgary oil company proposed to drill directly in view of the farm's communal dining room. Ludwig wrote letters, petitioned, forced public hearings, and discovered the provincial regulator cared little about landowners. After the oil company accidentally vented raw sour gas, Ludwig's wife miscarried. Hostilities against the oil company began with nails on the roads, sabotaged well sites, and road blockades. They culminated in death threats, shootings, and bombings. The RCMP recruited a Ludwig acolyte as an informant, and in an attempt to establish the man's credibility the police themselves blew up an equipment shack. Ludwig was charged with 19 counts of mischief, vandalism, and possession of explosives, and he was later convicted on five charges. This taut work of nonfiction, first published in 2002, won both a Governor General's Award and the Arthur Ellis Award for True Crime Writing. With the escalation of oil and gas extraction over the past decade, the unsettling questions Saboteurs raises about individual rights, corporate power, police methods, and government accountability are more relevant than ever.
In the face of modern conditions, revolution is inevitable. The rampant inequality that exists between the political and corporate elites and the struggling masses; the destruction wreaked upon our environment by faceless, careless corporations; the steady stripping away of our civil liberties and the creation of a monstrous surveillance system--all of these have combined to spark a profound revolutionary moment. Corporate capitalists, dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting.<P><P> In Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges--a renowned chronicler of the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline--investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution and resistance. Focusing on the stories of radicals and dissenters from around the world and throughout history, and drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and novelists, Hedges explores what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Hedges, using a term coined by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, cites "sublime madness" as the essential force that guides the actions of rebels--the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unwavering fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces.<P> From South African activists who dedicated their lives to ending apartheid, to contemporary anti-fracking protestors in Canada, to whistleblowers in pursuit of transparency, Wages of Rebellion shows the cost of a life committed to speaking truth to power and demanding justice. This is a fight that requires us to find in acts of rebellion the sparks of life, an intrinsic meaning that lies beyond the possibility of success. For Hedges, resistance is not finally defined by what we achieve, but by what we become.
For bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges, we are once again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. From the vantage point of a world on the edge, Wages of Rebellion investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians and literary figures, Chris Hedges shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. His message is clear: popular uprisings across the globe are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization. Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, he describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as "sublime madness"--the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this "sublime madness." From South African activists who dedicated their lives to ending apartheid, to contemporary anti-fracking protests in Alberta, to whistleblowers in pursuit of transparency, Wages of Rebellion shows the cost of a life committed to speaking the truth and demanding justice.
As a veteran war correspondent, Chris Hedges has survived ambushes in Central America, imprisonment in Sudan, and a beating by Saudi military police. He has seen children murdered for sport in Gaza and petty thugs elevated into war heroes in the Balkans. Hedges, who is also a former divinity student, has seen war at its worst and knows too well that to those who pass through it, war can be exhilarating and even addictive: "It gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living."Drawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those on the front lines but entire societies-corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting basic human desires. Mixing hard-nosed realism with profound moral and philosophical insight, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning is a work of terrible power and redemptive clarity whose truths have never been more necessary.
AcclaimedNew York Timesjournalist and author Chris Hedges offers a critical -- and fascinating -- lesson in the dangerous realities of our age: a stark look at the effects of war on combatants. Utterly lacking in rhetoric or dogma, this manual relies instead on bare fact, frank description, and a spare question-and-answer format. Hedges allows U. S. military documentation of the brutalizing physical and psychological consequences of combat to speak for itself. Hedges poses dozens of questions that young soldiers might ask about combat, and then answers them by quoting from medical and psychological studies. What are my chances of being wounded or killed if we go to war? What does it feel like to get shot? What do artillery shells do to you? What is the most painful way to get wounded? Will I be afraid? What could happen to me in a nuclear attack? What does it feel like to kill someone? Can I withstand torture? What are the long-term consequences of combat stress? What will happen to my body after I die?This profound and devastating portrayal of the horrors to which we subject our armed forces stands as a ringing indictment of the glorification of war and the concealment of its barbarity.
From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects. <P> <P> Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle. <P> The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason. <P> This book critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice. <P> Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image -- a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious and secular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.
Many liberals are disappointed with Barack Obama. Some talk of "betrayal," while others are writing abject letters to the White House asking the president to come back to his "true self." Chris Hedges, however, is a progressive who doesn't feel betrayed. "Obama was and is a brand," he argues. "He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged by the corporate state." <P><P> In his newest book, Hedges argues that the conscious inertia of the left is destroying the progressive movement. Inaction and empty moral posturing leads not to change, but to an orgy of self-adulation and self-pity.Hedges argues that the gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although the right may well inherit power. Instead, the threat comes from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.
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