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

4.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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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; Reprint 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
At the beginning of "The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress," Chris Hedges suggests that he is no longer really a journalist — now, he’s more of a minister, trying to lead his flock down the paths of righteousness. It’s in this spirit that Hedges, a Harvard divinity grad before he gave up organized religion, titles one of his essays “War Is Sin.”

Hedges’s tone is a mixture of anguish and anger, and his acerbic prose takes no prisoners. His style may be unattractive, even unsettling, but I can find no fault with his main arguments. His is a voice of truth in a wilderness of spin, and I wish that it weren’t so.

Here’s his assessment of Barack Obama, the candidate of change who became the president of the status quo:

"The American empire has not altered under Barack Obama. It kills as brutally and indiscriminately ... It steals from the U.S. Treasury to enrich the corporate elite as rapaciously. It will not give us universal health care, abolish the Bush secrecy laws, end torture or “extraordinary rendition,” restore habeas corpus, or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of citizens. It will not push through significant environmental reform, regulate Wall Street, or end our relationship with private contractors that provide mercenary armies to fight our imperial wars and produce useless and costly weapons systems."

It’s hard to disagree with this appraisal, and Obama is just one of the targets in Hedges’s sights. Obama doesn’t get anything close to the most space in the book — that “honour” is reserved for the government of Israel and its oppression of the Arab peoples of Palestine.
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