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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt Hardcover – June 12, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: From the dusty plains of North Dakota to the coal-veined hills of West Virginia to the desolate and ravaged streets of Camden N.J., Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist/journalist Joe Sacco introduce us to the nation's "sacrifice zones"--those regions where, in the authors' view, corporate greed has run wild, and the locals have suffered. A unique mashup of investigative journalism, man-on-the-street reportage, graphic novel, and anti-corporate manifesto, the result is a riveting and often chilling account of America's forgotten zones. The balance between Hedges' narrative nonfiction storytelling and Sacco's intimate and very human sketches is surprisingly effective. And the stark depictions (both written and visual) of abandoned coal mines and empty downtowns and crumbling houses are heartbreaking, as are the stories of people struggling to survive. This is a special and important book. --Neal Thompson


Boston Globe
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation) is as moving a portrait of poverty and as compelling a call to action as Michael Harrington's ‘The Other America,’ published in 1962.”

Philadelphia Weekly
“The tales therein—both the intimate personal ones and the big sociopolitical ones—are as unsettling as they are impossible to put down.”

Metro (UK)
“Eloquently written and embellished by spare, desolate drawings from Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is accessible and deeply uncomfortable.”
 Financial Times
“[A] growling indictment of corporate America.”

"Hedges carries the mantle of Upton Sinclair, Howard Zinn, George Orwell, and all the agitators in fighting for the soul of nations when so many have forgotten what that means. His eloquence is in the eloquence of the lives he presents, and Sacco lovingly animates them. It's rare that a book carries so much courage and conviction, forcing reflection and an urge to immediately rectify the problems."
 Associated Press
“…provides close accounts of some of the country's most devastated communities, "sacrifice zones." It ends with a detailed history of the Occupy protests and a declaration that "the mighty can fall.”

Portland Monthly magazine
"Days of Destruction is a riveting indictment of America’s failures.”

Seattle Times
“The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face.”
 Bill Moyers
“The journalist Chris Hedges is a unique force today, because of his fierce independence and candor.  He’s been writing about how politics is a charade aimed at making voters think the personal narrative of the candidate is the story although it never affects the operation of the corporate state.  No matter which candidate wins, the money power in Washington reigns.  That nails it, don’t you think?”

New York Times Book Review
“Sacco’s sections are uniformly brilliant. The tone is controlled, the writing smart, the narration neutral…. This is an important book.”
Brooklyn Rail Rapid Transit, Oct 2012
“This searing indictment of our unsustainable society is unsettling. To keep our chance for dignity, we must do our part to champion the organizers and whistleblowers, committee members and protesters. Amen. Pass the word.”
Toward Freedom
"[H]arrowing descriptions…. Hedges tells the story, not only of the people but of the town, and despite the differences in setting, certain similarities show through: poverty, addiction, violence; but more than that, a long series of broken promises and mounting despair. Sacco illustrates these chapters with his distinctive, careful line drawings…. [A]n excellent piece of journalism -- engaging, troubling, and in its own way, beautiful.”
“As quixotic as the quest may seem, Days of Destruction brings the rhetoric and the reality into a nobler focus after a very disturbing tour.”
Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch
“A powerful social and political exploration.”
Brooklyn Rail, Sept 2012
“Sacco brings his formidable skill to bear in Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.”

Asbury Park Press
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a journey through contemporary American misery and what can be done to change the course, interpreted through the eyes of two of today’s most relevant literary journalists…. The graphics illustrate what words alone cannot, capturing a past as it’s told, where there’s no longer anything left to photograph.”
Public Books
“[T]he radical disjunction between how Hedges and Sacco approach their subjects is fascinating and instructive. Hedges is at ease with the grand, sweeping Howard Zinn–moments of matchbook history…. And if sweeping, historical connect-the-dots is your cup of tea, then you will find Hedges deeply moving. But if, like Sacco, you distrust all history that does not have a face, a name, and a voice behind it, you will find more to call you to action in the voices that speak from the decimated landscapes of America’s deepest poverty, which we (like Dickens’s “telescopic philanthropists”) know even less well than we do the sufferings of peoples halfway around the world. Together, Sacco and Hedges might just have created a form that can speak across divides unbridgeable without the supplement of graphic narrative.”
Ian Chant, Geekosystem
“As someone who’s long been a fan of Sacco’s international reporting, there’s something truly jarring about seeing him turn his eye to the many Americans who are suffering and barely getting by…. [H]ighly recommended for anyone who wants to see the comics medium at its strongest and most human.”
The Capital Times
“[B]rilliant.” ­
Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
“…a bleak, fist-shaking look at the effects of global capitalism in the United States.” 
Globe and Mail (Canada)
“This is a book that should warm the hearts of political activists such as Naomi Klein or the nonagenerian Pete Seeger. And cause apoplexy among the Tea Party and its fellow travellers…. Sure, it's a polemic, but it's a polemic with a human face.” 
“Hedges gives us the commentary, the narrative; Joe Sacco provides us with a piece of graphic nonfiction to give us a visual. The combination is excellent and telling.”

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a harrowing account of the exploited American underclass…. It is their stories that shape Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to be a mesmeric indictment of an America that has failed its populace…. From the title alone it is evident that neither Hedges nor Sacco remain objective or shy away from the palpable condemnation of capitalism and the American government. Regardless, they develop an accurate account of the despondency that plagues and divides American culture. This is an imperative read in an era where widespread economic depression and grief reign supreme…. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is powerful and remarkable, arguably one of the best publications of the year.”

“One of the most significant books published this year.”
Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)
“This is an important book.”
Ed Garvey, Garvey Blog
“It is a fascinating journey… This book hit me in the gut. It will move you to engage in battle.”

Caffeinated Muslim
“[R]ead Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to know what is happening in this country.”
The Stranger (Seattle)
“… a scorching look at communities burned out not by foreign bombs but by American capitalism.” 
Denver Post
“…a unique hybrid of investigative journalism, graphic novel and polemic.”
Guardian (UK)
“…a heartfelt, harrowing picture of post-capitalist America.”  
Ralph Nader
“[B]rilliant combination of prose and graphic comics."
Seattle Times

“The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face.” –  
Portland Mercury
“As a portrait of poverty, the book succeeds stunningly well.”
Barnes and Noble Review
“When their narrative culminates in Zucotti Park, readers will feel just as outraged as the protesters portrayed on the page.”
Straight.com (Canada)
“The scenes in [Hedges’] new book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, unflinchingly depict the pockets of America in the worst shape, with the highest unemployment, poverty, and crime rates.”
“[A] treasure.”
“The stories shift seamlessly from Hedges’s passionate, on-the-ground reporting to Sacco’s intricate landscapes and humanizing portraits, penned with the kind of fine, stark detail that is often lost in a photograph…. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a gripping and thoroughly researched polemic.”
By the Book Reviews
“Chris Hedges… is the journalistic master of demonstrative evidence and never more so than in this book…. Using the stark, black-and-white style of graphic novels, [Joe] Sacco presents… illustrations which, if they don't break your heart you're not really worthy of having one…. You will want to read this one.”
Kirkus (Starred Review)
“An unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed…. Through immersion reportage and graphic narrative, the duo illuminate the human and environmental devastation in those communities, with the warning that no one is immune…. A call for a new American revolution, passionately proclaimed.”

San Francisco/Sacramento Book ReviewDays of Destruction Days of Revolt examines how corruption and greed have shaped the history of the United States in an unfortunate way…. This is an excellent book for those who actually need a reason to revolt, and should be read by anyone seeking public office.”  Book Group Buzz, Booklist Online“Be prepared for an emotional experience without a happy ending. Be prepared to be defensive. Be prepared to be angry. Be prepared to be ashamed…. [T]he book is accompanied by sections that area a graphic novel approach to the individual stories of the real people interviewed in these zones of despair. What is so overpowering, and discussable, in these biographies is that they read as much like a confessional as they do a history…. Can there be anything more important to discuss?” OpEdNews.com“This is indeed an extraordinary, must read book.”

Curled Up With a Good Book“This may well be the most important book of the century, and yet Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt  barely scratches the surface of our reality. But even that small peek into the system is mind-numbing. This book has the potential to wake us up—really Wake Us Up—to what is happening. The question is this: once we recognize the size and strength of the enemy, will we be so intimidated that we roll over and play victim? Or will we take a stand when and where we can, in small ways, alone or together, to start taking down the behemoth?”

Michael Moore" ...I’ve been a huge fan of [Chris Hedges] for a long time. Please read his books. Pass his books around. This man...he’s our 21st century Noam Chomsky, not that Noam isn’t still in the 21st century."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Edition edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568586434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568586434
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Chris Hedges has a great capacity for evoking the misery and hopelessness that is increasingly common in this country. This is often a depressing book--but it is strongly based in reality. Periodically in the book there are--provided by Joe Sacco--illustrations and comic book depictions of the lives of the individuals profiled in the book.

In the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, Hedges describes one of the poorest and most socially dysfunctional areas in the United States. Why are Pine Ridge residents in this predicament? Hedges finds the answer in the subduing of Indian resistance in the late 19th century. The basis for traditional Indian culture was wiped out, including the buffalo. The US government successfully used racist and murderous military violence to subdue native resistance. That violence included rape; Hedges quotes George Custer's chief of scouts as telling the historian Walter Camp that captured squaws in the 1868 raid on Washita were used as sex slaves. Custer selected one for himself. Custer was a big part of the US military operations designed to steal the Black Hills region from the Lakota Sioux. The Black Hills had been granted to the Indians by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie but gold, coal and other minerals were soon discovered in the region. A great many avaricious white people flooded into the region. The US military soon went into operation to steal Black Hills for white economic interests. The US government suppressed Indian language and culture. They instituted elected reservation governments that were easily controlled by the US government.
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Format: Hardcover
Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" was seen to be a literary project that humanized the people ground down by the Great Depression. I would like to think that this book by Hedges and Sacco does the same, only it is not a story. It's what Hedges does best: it is reporting. Sacco's drawings are highly effective and I would like to think that they may bring thoughtful discussion about this topic to people who would not be likely to slog their way through an essay by Hedges, Chomsky or Henry Giroux.

I particularly like the inclusion of Pine Ridge because it implicitly illustrates how long America's habit of discarding inconvenient people has existed. But all of it is good.

IF you have never read Hedges expect to be discomfited. Sit with it and keep reading. Know that this may not represent your reality but it is real enough for too many people. In the back of your mind, in the dark of the night, do you fear that this reality will be the reality of your children and grandchildren? I certainly do.

And again, with out trying to and almost begrudgingly, Hedges demonstrates a deep spirituality and paints a manifestation of the best of Christianity though certainly not that which you will see illustrated all too often by people who would call themselves religious leaders.

Read it preparing to be challenged. I think this book AND I HOPE THIS BOOK will find it's way into various college and high school classrooms. It has the possibility to take many students beyond the read and regurgitate style of so many classrooms today.

IT'S KILLING ME to see this book take it on the chops for how well it translated to electronic media. I guess if you are in the decision phase of buying this book then I would say buy the real thing not the virtual model.
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Format: Hardcover
a grim but exceptional book, as expected from Hedges, Sacco's art is a brilliant compliment to the writing, Chris Hedges is truly a hero, I urge evryone to watch his CSPAN book TV inteview on you tube. This is a guy that walks the talk and puts his ass on the line for freedom and human rights, BRAVO!

BTW, I paid the full price at our local independent bookstore, Amazon is fantastic, a real lifesaver, especially in rural areas, but lets not forget to support our local businesses
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Format: Hardcover
This book starts off pretty rough about the Native Americans in Pine Ridge and their tragic cycle of poverty and abuse. It continues on to Camden New Jersey and the devastation of deindustrialization and a government that did not plan for it.

Although Hedges and Sacco are obviously progressives, they don't spare the corrupt Democratic political machine in Camden nor do they spare the corrupt union leader who took over after John L. Lewis for the mine workers in West Virginia.

This book has a clear, consistent and overwhelmingly persuasive thesis- that unless we take control of the corporate behomoth that is slowly strangling America, we can expect the same fate as those we have ignored up until now- the coal miner, the Native American the farm workers who are virtual slaves in Florida.

I already see it happening in education as here in California. Corporate "reformers" are trying to attach a student test score to teachers as if all my students learn in my class is on a multiple choice test. I went into education so I wouldn't be a commodity but now, like everyone else, I will be a commodity forever associated with one number on a multiple choice test.

The price of the book is worth it alone for just the first few pages in the last Chapter discussing the uprisings in Eastern Europe in 1969 and then 1989. Fabulous, riveting and a book I will always cherish and keep. I will be buying copies so my students can read this book. Thanks to Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco.
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