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The Greatest Evil is War by Chris Hedges
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The Greatest Evil is War by Chris Hedges
Paperback $14.95
Dec 26, 2023 | ISBN 9781644213315

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“Chris Hedges has compiled a remarkable record of reporting and analysis. He has been an incomparable source of insight and understanding, both in his outstanding career as a courageous journalist and in his penetrating commentary on world events. This is a contribution of great significance in these troubled times.”
—Noam Chomsky

“A plangent diatribe against war.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Savage honesty is a hallmark of everything Chris Hedges writes. Other writers seek to comfort or distract; his purpose is to agitate, unsettle, and demand moral accountability. The Greatest Evil Is War is no exception, which is precisely why every American should read it and reflect on its disturbing message.” 
⏤Andrew Bacevich, author of After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed

“Hedges refuses to reside in the abstract, creating instead a book about war that is meant to be experienced viscerally. . . . His book is nothing short of a gut punch.”
⏤Jake Whitney, The Progressive

“Journalist Hedges (Our Class) delivers a blistering condemnation of war in all forms and for all reasons. Opening the book with a forceful condemnation of the U.S. government’s role in provoking the Russian invasion of Ukraine by breaking its promise not to expand NATO into Central and Eastern Europe, Hedges draws on his experiences as a war correspondent in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere to paint a visceral portrait of the horrors of combat and its physical and psychological aftereffects. Throughout, he fiercely condemns the ‘war industry’ for prolonging conflicts and U.S. politicians and journalists for using “bellicose rhetoric” to demonize enemies and elevate allies into ‘demigods.’ Some of the book’s most powerful pieces draw on the firsthand testimonies of soldiers and their loved ones, including a former U.S. Army Ranger who speaks eloquently of how indoctrination into military culture made him ‘want to deliver death,’ and the father of a Marine killed by a sniper in Iraq. Elsewhere, Hedges lets personal aggrievements distract from his larger points, as when he complains that the Kremlin-funded news channel RT America, where he had a show, was shut down in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Though not all its provocations land, this spiky treatise deserves to be reckoned with.”
Publishers Weekly

The Greatest Evil is War is an excellent common read pick.  At SUNY Oneonta, our common read is, by design, related to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. Past selections have been made in an effort to stimulate conversation around such issues as race and racism, mass incarceration, and immigration. Chris Hedges’s book gives a voice to the silenced population of wounded veterans and the civilian victims of war. Of all the issues so frequently discussed in contemporary classrooms and on campuses, perhaps the most neglected is what Hedges calls our “permanent war” and the many victims of the culture and economy that support permanent war. Furthermore, perhaps more fully than most of our past titles, The Greatest Evil is War promises to generate vigorous debate, especially as it relates to competing narratives explaining the war in Ukraine and the U.S. war in Iraq.”
—George Hovis, Professor, Department of English, SUNY Oneonta

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