War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

Front Cover
Random House, 2002 - History - 211 pages
302 Reviews
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 the most 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The intro is amazing. - Goodreads
The imagery and polemic of this book are strong. - Goodreads
Hedges is a beautiful, poetic writer. - Goodreads
A great book, hard to read. - Goodreads
Some excellent insights into the tragedy of war. - Goodreads
The prose is wonderful. - Goodreads

Review: War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

User Review  - James - Goodreads

I usually don't touch books by journalist but I make sure to look after a book has been published for more than 5 years to see if it stands up . This is a must read and must have , one of the few ... Read full review

Review: War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

User Review  - David - Goodreads

A powerful indictment of war with firsthand accounts of war's senseless killing and death; War as lie, addiction, as mania, as perpetual, mistaken for heroism, as necrophilia: as an inescapable and ... Read full review

All 42 reviews »

About the author (2002)

Chris Hedges has been a foreign correspondent for fifteen years. Currently on staff at The New York Times, he has previously worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio. He holds a master of divinity from Harvard University. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information