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Extended Audio Sample War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning Audiobook, by Chris Hedges Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,378 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Hedges Narrator: Chris Hedges Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781400174584
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As a veteran war correspondent, Chris Hedges has survived ambushes in Central America, imprisonment in Sudan, and a beating by Saudi military police. He has seen children murdered for sport in Gaza and petty thugs elevated into war heroes in the Balkans. Hedges, who is also a former divinity student, has seen war at its worst and knows too well that to those who pass through it, war can be exhilarating and even addictive. "It gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living." Drawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those on the front lines but entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting basic human desires. Mixing hard-nosed realism with profound moral and philosophical insight, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is a work of terrible power and redemptive clarity whose truths have never been more necessary. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant, thoughtful, timely, and unsettling book…It will rattle jingoists, pacifists, moralists, nihilists, politicians, and professional soldiers equally.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Bitterly poetic and ruthlessly philosophical…. A powerful message to people contemplating the escalation of the 'war against terrorism.' Los Angeles Times
  • “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

  • “As the ‘war on terror’ continues on its…potentially catastrophic course, America would do well to heed Hedges’…warning.”

    Salon.com

  • A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 nicebutnubbly | 2/16/2014

    " Chris Hedges was a war correspondent in some of the ugliest wars of the twentieth century, and this book is the product of his observations and research. He is fascinated by what makes us people who go to war, who do this awful thing, and who keep doing it. I read this years ago, but I think I may re-read it soon, because I recall his insight being absolutely fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lubna | 2/14/2014

    " Everyone should read this book. Its amazing & lays bare the lies that surround the glorification and promotion of war. It shows war for what it is - a messy, ugly, evil that brings out the worst in humanity. Hedges, a war correspondent, intersperses his eyewitness accounts of war with ruminations on the nature of war and what it is that attracts humanity and keeps us in a state of war. His conclusions - that the pursuit of truth is necessary to pierce the lies that surround war and that individual human relationships, most of all love, are all that can keep us from falling into the evils that war brings out - are powerful. This book is sobering, especially given that the US has brought war & destruction to so many parts of world (& the Bush Admin. threatens to bring even more). Hedges does not mince words in describing the horrors he has seen and there were a multitude of passages that brought me to tears and provoked much thought. I hope that all those who support war and try to silent dissent end up reading this book. Seriously an amazing book - I highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/13/2014

    " Finished this book awhile ago. Great, original read. Hedges at his very best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shishir | 2/3/2014

    " Many great examples of the mayhem and destruction of materials and people caused by warfare. Its causes its motivations its marketing and its selling - the emptiness feeling after. A call to repentance "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 1/19/2014

    " Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent, presents his theory regarding the proliferation of warfare. By using his experience of being embedded in conflicts in such places as Kosova and El Salvador, Hedges keeps the reader at the edge of their seat while providing an indepth analysis of war as the proliferation of a myth. I would recommend this book to anyone who asks themselves why young men unnecessarily march off to die in armed combat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dirk | 12/28/2013

    " It's just plain difficult to explain my reaction to this book. So instead of hurling adjectives about let me just say that it's true, will and has been wildly misunderstood - even by those heaping praise upon it - and is truly a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 12/26/2013

    " Powerful, passionate, troubling book. The author has several more recent books as well, one on the religious right and a new one on the mess we are currently in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 12/18/2013

    " This author has some really interesting thoughts on war and why we seem so doomed to repeat it. Don't be put off by the horrible title. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles Weinberg | 12/17/2013

    " a nerd who's been in the shit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Kosakowski | 11/23/2013

    " One of the most important books ever written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Courtney | 11/19/2013

    " I really don't like this book. I didn't read it all the way through for class because I had no time to finish it, but it really isn't worth reading. The literature references were helpful because that's the way I can connect to things. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter Colclasure | 9/26/2013

    " Haunting, moving, and utterly true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich Martin | 8/29/2013

    " Reporter who's been through the wars and was prescient about the folly of Iraq explains why we rally around the flag. He's right -- nationalism, especially when combined with religion, is an incredibly strong force during a time of crisis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 6/17/2013

    " Great analysis of the horrors of war, our national shame, and our current dilemma. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luz Costa | 4/1/2013

    " Necessary trauma literature. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vanessa | 3/23/2013

    " ...is it? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean Lamberty | 9/18/2012

    " Hedges presents a very articulate argument against war based on his personal experience as a journalist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Beth | 8/22/2012

    " Amazingly written, "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 6/25/2012

    " I wish I had had more time with this book. it was a lot to take in. I want to come back to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 6/8/2012

    " Eloquent, powerful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 1/4/2012

    " This book will never get old. Certainly does an accurate job at debunking myths about war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri | 12/18/2011

    " Brilliant and searing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/3/2011

    " Amazing and gripping read. Anyone who reads this will never think of war or watch the news in the same way again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dylan | 1/16/2011

    " One of the most extraordinary, unforgettable, powerful and important books I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 12/10/2010

    " War isn't pretty. A sad but great little book. "

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About the Author
Author Chris HedgesChris 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.