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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.
Explores the political ambitions of the Christian right, discussing how their agenda gained momentum through alternative networks, schools, and publishers, and warns that another national crisis may enable the Christian right to seize political power.
Critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith, and 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. 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. Journalist Hedges makes a case against both religious and secular fundamentalism.--From amazon.com.
Acclaimed New York Times journalist 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.
The connections between religion and violence are complex and multifaceted. From the conflicts in Middle East and the Balkans to those in Southeast Asia and beyond, religion frames and legitimates political violence. Moreover, in international relations since 9/11, religious language and metaphors have acquired a new significance. In this context the emerging consensus appears to be not only that violence is intrinsic to religion, but also that religions incite, legitimate, and intensify political violence. However, such an unambiguous indictment of religions is incomplete in that it fails both to appreciate significant counter examples and to recognize the diversity that exists within religions on the issue of violence, particularly the religious roots of pacifism and the ethics of non-violence. This collection explores aspects of this ambivalence between religion and violence. It focuses on traditions of legitimation and pacifism within the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and concludes with an examination of this ambivalence as it unfolds in each tradition's engagement with the politics of gender.
A veteran war correspondent shares examples from his personal life and career to discuss how specific American social groups can benefit from an adherence to the Ten Commandments.
A startling investigation of what people do in disasters and why it matters Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster? whether manmade or natural?people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities? In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.

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