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Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance Hardcover – September 11, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Berger's concentrated essays deal with the essentials: how we sustain ourselves, who has power, and how we are altering nature. For Berger, a Booker Prize winner, painter, philosopher, critic, and activist, the act of seeing––that is, looking at the world intently and inquisitively––is a form of empathy. He practices this art with particular intent in these provocative, gracefully composed post-9/11 dispatches. Especially attuned to the paradoxes of terrorism and the unremitting, bloody complexities of the Middle East, Berger attempts to fathom the mind of a suicide martyr and express the despair of Palestinians. Seeking revelation in art, he turns to the poet Nazim Hikmet, the painter Francis Bacon, and the composer Antonín Dvorák.Berger suspects that the world has "always been pitiless." But after reflecting on our obsession with profit and our proclivity for war, he concludes, "Today's pitilessness is perhaps more unremitting, pervasive and continuous. It spares neither the planet itself, nor anyone living on it anywhere." Compassionate and tender in his vision of our endangered world, Berger has seen much and felt more. Seaman, Donna

Review

"John Berger writes about what is important, not just interesting. In contemporary English letters he seems to me peerless; not since D. H. Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience."
--Susan Sontag
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; No Edition Stated edition (September 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375425098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375425097
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Berger was born in London in 1926. He is well known for his novels and stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His first novel, A Painter of Our Time, was published in 1958, and since then his books have included the novel G., which won the Booker Prize in 1972. In 1962 he left Britain permanently, and he lives in a small village in the French Alps.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. J MOSS on November 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
One of the wisest voices of our time, John Berger, has pieced together 17 thoughts or, 'dispatches'(with its military connotations) about the post 9/11 environment which we now, all share. For most of his long life, Berger has sided with the powerless and dispossessed, even taking the step of quitting a high profile career in London, where he seemed to be at the cutting edge of art criticism with his ground-breaking,'Ways of Seeing' made for BBC T.V and never out of print in book form.He relocated in a peasant village in rural France, to immerse himself in what would form the subject of some of his most compelling writing.There has been no diminishing of power in his thought or eloquence as he gains his senior years. The Palestine issue, in particular, gets coverage. And he returne to the pitiless paintings of Francis Bacon for what I suspect will be his final published view of him. And there is a re-contexturalising of the great Piero Pasolini; Berger having just watched his 'La Rabbia'(how and where can I ever get to see this?). I guess, I wish the collection had more in it. But what is there is potent, direct and as usual, poetic. Which leads me to its title; not one of John's pieces, but the publication in its opening pages of a very beautiful poem by one, Gareth Evans. Have a squizz! For more on art visit>rodmoss.com
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Georgia on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I love reading John Berger. He is an original thinker.
I don't always agree with his point of view but I love to read it.
This book was very moving at times but also very enigmatic. I think
that Mr. Berger is such a sensitive man that art criticism offers a safer space,
than political discourse,to provide a more succinct point of view.
I felt when reading his book the human tragedy that is going on
now in the middle east is so hard to believe even when one is a witness to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Andrews on December 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read! Each essay is packed with such eloquence and depth that it is hard not to reread them several times, as one would do with poetry, just to make sure the full intent of the author is grasped.

This is a must for lovers of contemporary literature, devotees of current events and modern political thought.

A beautiful piece of literature.
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