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Showing posts from August, 2003
Hedges, Chris. War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. Public Affairs, 2002, bibliography, index, 211 p.

This book was recommended to me by a friend at the recent American Library Association conference in Toronto. And it is terrific. It is a heartfelt and devastating portrait of war, penned by a New York Times journalist who has been in many of the world's hot spots over the last 20 years. Hedges has seen some horrific scenes and talked to victims and victors from El Salvador, to Israel, to the former Yugoslavia. It is this latter conflict that provides Hedges with the fuel for his antiwar fire. What Hedges wants to do is strip war of its romance and justifications, which he does by closely looking at the language used by soldiers, generals, and politicians. And he succeeds brilliantly.

In seven chapters, Hedges looks at battlefield action, the addiction many develop to battle, the language of nationalism, and the close relationship of fear and death to love and sex. It is his exam…