General George S. Patton famously said, "Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God, I do love it so!" Though Patton was a notoriously single-minded general, it is nonetheless a sad fact that war gives meaning to many lives, a fact with which we have become familiar now that America is once again engaged in a military conflict. War is an enticing elixir. It gives us purpose, resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble.
Chris Hedges of The New York Times has seen war up close—in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central America—and he has been troubled by what he has seen: friends, enemies, colleagues, and strangers intoxicated and even addicted to war's heady brew. In War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, he tackles the ugly truths about humanity's love affair with war, offering a sophisticated, nuanced, intelligent meditation on the subject that is also gritty, powerful, and unforgettable.
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“A brilliant, thoughtful, timely and unsettling book. . . . Abounds with Hedges’ harrowing and terribly moving eyewitness accounts . . . Powerful and informative.” – The New York Times Book Review
“The best kind of war journalism: It is bitterly poetic and ruthlessly philosophical. It sends out a powerful message to people contemplating the escalation of the ‘war against terrorism.’” –Los Angeles Times
“Chris Hedges has written a powerful book, one which bears sad witness to what veterans have long understood . . . [A] somber and timely warning to those – in any society – who would evoke the emotions of war for the pursuit of political gain.” —General Wesley K. Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and author of Waging Modern War
“[A] powerful chronicle of modern war . . . .A persuasive call for humility and realism in the pursuit of national goals by force of arms . . . .a potent and eloquent warning.” --The New York Times
“No one is in a better position than Hedges to pronounce on the revolting things war does to everyone caught up in it. . . . A confession of rare and frightening honesty.” –Slate.com
Chris Hedges has been a foreign correspondent for fifteen years. He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1990 and previously worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio. He lives in New York City.
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