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The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress Paperback – February 12, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Indicative of the longtime war correspondent's experienced eye and commitment to social justice...[Hedges'] descriptions of the dangers of American 'political passivity' deserve careful consideration along with much else in these powerfully written pages" -Publishers Weekly, starred review"

About the Author

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; Revised Edition edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568587287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568587288
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Hedges is a cultural critic and author who was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. He reported from Latin American, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges, who holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute and writes an online column for the web site Truthdig. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

311 of 329 people found the following review helpful By Dustin G. Rhodes VINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Hedges defies easy categories: he's part journalist, part poet, part zen master -- always with his finger pointing toward the (often very painful) truth. I consider him to be among the very best living writers.

Hedges' work is a downer. Sometimes I read his columns and his books, and I am filled with paralyzing fright and sadness. He knows how bad the world is; he can articulate the horrors of war, greed, capitalism, corporate power, etc. ad nauseum in a way that is visceral and devastating. I know of no other writer who speaks the truth in such a dense, but accessible and compassionate way.

I am grateful to Chris Hedges. His books and columns have transformed me -- changed both my personal habits and outlook. The World As It Is is filled with wisdom, sanity and unsettling truth -- a truth we are wise to not only embrace but act upon before the world descends into a place from which there is no escape.

My description might sound bleak (ahhhh, but: the world is bleak, if we choose to see 'the world as it is'), but Chris Hedges doesn't blather on about hopelessness and despair; he states the truth as if we might choose a different way of life -- one that respects our fellow citizens and the planet we live on. Hedges knows the world we live in is filled with enormous pain and suffering, and also that there's another way. His sobering work has the power to nudge us in the right direction.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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135 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Tom Markus on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While working as a civilian contractor in Iraq I read Chris' book "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning". It affected me deeply and confirmed my exact feelings about what I was seeing over there. This new book is another excellent one. Why can't a deep thinker like this be in charge of our foreign policy instead of egotistical politicians who constantly play games? When people started hypnotically and robotically chanting "U...S...A.....U...S...A" the other night, it reaffirmed that we are in a period of psychotic patriotic hype that Mr. Hedges has written so presciently about.
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130 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Future Watch Writer on April 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Hedges is one of the most creative American writers today. I have read his columns regularly on the Truthdig web site. Why is this book important? It is important because it represents a truly prophetic vision of where we are headed. He points out many of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern plutocratic world system and the need to confront them. I am less pessimistic than he is about the prospects for reform in the Democratic Party in the U.S.. As a reporter for the New York Times in the Middle East and Bosnia, he saw the fury of religious war first hand. He has a unique insight into the world that is likely to come as things collapse. The power of the misuse of religion will be a major factor. He wrote a very interesting book on the religious right called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. He also wrote a good book on the failure of the liberal establishment in America Death of the Liberal Class... You may not agree with everything he says. I don't. However, he is a unique and creative voice of integrity. You can get a good idea of what's here by clicking on some parts of the book you can read on Amazon. Check this out.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Lorentz on June 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, The Word As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress, is highly readable. For those who are not afraid to face the stark political and
social dilemmas that confront the human community, this book is a must. It challenges the reader to ask: "What can I do in my local situation that might make a difference in our world?" The writer is radical in his perceptions and candid in his analysis. Nevertheless, the book leaves the reader with hope. I
recommend this book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Margaret A Anderson on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of Hedges insightful commentaries on current affairs. He comes from a unique perspective of one with a solid education in religious studies and the humanities topped off by real world experience in foreign wars and the not-so-obvious war zones in US politics and society. This allows Hedges to speak with an authentic prophetic voice that makes the reader sit up and pay attention. It's a book to share but not give away as you'll want to keep it on your shelves in a prominant place to read again and again.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Snyder on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For people who are fans of Hedges and/or tired of the two-party duopoly, this book needs no introduction, just reading.

For those of you curious about Hedges, but unfamiliar with the degree to which both parties allow big biz to rape America, U.S. inflammations of problems around the world with its imperialism, etc. ... this book needs a read.

That said, Hedges more than once makes reference to his religious beliefs, while at the same time indicating that the content of those beliefs is probably pretty tenuous. And, given that, under provocation of some Gnu Atheists, he pretty much ripped *all* atheists in a book before this, Chris should have included, in such an intro, comments on what his religious beliefs are, how they've evolved, what role he sees religion has if there's not an omnipotent deity (he doesn't believe in one himself), etc.

Also in said extended intro, to alleviate the depression factor, it would have been good to h ear suggestions for what we can do (other than something like voting Green) to fight back.

Teh columns are good ... but ... this could have been more!
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