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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris…

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012)

by Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco

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So depressing, how people treat each other humans, and how corporations, business, and government oppress in the United States. ( )
  yvonnea | Jan 20, 2017 |
The message is simple: the drive for corporate profit has bulldozed over all the highest values of American society and left massive human wreckage in its wake. The book focuses on four "sacrifice zones," where the damage is especially evident--the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the city of Camden, NJ, the agricultural workers of Immokalee, FL, and the coal country of West Virginia.

I found the profiles of these communities especially compelling. And I've always loved the graphic journalism of Joe Sacco. The last chapter of the book, however, profiling Occupy Wall Street, was hardly more than stark polemic. While I sympathize with the sentiments contained therein, the harangue got too thick. Besides, to see that the hopeful alternative to the evils of corporatism is the Occupy movement is probably to doom us all. With the anarchic nature of Occupy, there's little chance of its having much impact against the organized power of the corporate culture.

As an aside, Christ Hedges suggests the alternative of new "monastic communities" of resistance, and that's certainly an intriguing proposal that deserves more exploration. But the reason monastic communities endured over generations was that they were organized and disciplined (typically with strong hierarchies). Occupy already has proven to have been pretty much a flash in the pan, due to its lack of organization and discipline. If the evils of corporatism are to be combatted, we're going to need more. ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
In this sequence of reportages complemented with graphic novel sequences Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco visit some of the poorest neighborhoods in the US. The places they take us are the Pine Rigde Reservation, Camden, West Virginia and Immokalee. Places populated by those left behind by a society that judges success by material wealth only. By giving voice to the disenchanted and tracing back their plight to the anonymous corporate juggernauts and their disregard for human rights and moral obligations, they paint a drastic picture of the negative effects of unconstrained capitalism. This is balanced by the last chapter, which introduces the Occupy movement as a consequence and counterpoint to these developments and gives some hope for a better future. ( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
"Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" visits four sites of a downtrodden United States, from Native American reservations to formerly prosperous coal towns, to talk with its remaining citizens about their lives and their politics. The book is a collaboration between activist-journalist Chris Hedges and activist-comic artist Joe Sacco; as a result, it is a mix of text, illustration and comics.

Hedges and Sacco are both masters at the top of their respective crafts; the narrative is always riveting, despite its immersion in some pretty heavy themes. The narrative also centers around people, with ample time given to the personal histories of specific individuals, which helps bring the book to life. A must read for all. ( )
  jasonli | Nov 9, 2014 |
Hedges and Sacco examine colonialism in the United States by actively investigating communities of Native Americans both on and off reservations, poverty stricken neighborhoods (reservations) in Camden, New Jersey, mining areas in West Virginia, and current day slavery in Immokalee, Florida (which Senator Bernie Sanders calls the bottom in the race to the bottom). Each separate section on these places and topics include history and facts of colonial takeover laid out very clearly and logically. The authors have managed to make institutional racism and discrimination, something that many people struggle with understanding or believing, very clear. That is quite a feat.

Each section is also illustrated with personal stories of local individuals, families or groups with detailed stories of their struggles. This makes this one of those educational books that read so well you can't put it down. Although I DID put it down between sections that were so self-contained I could get the complete idea, theory and real stories in one sitting and then let the information percolate for awhile before I went on to the next section. The authors draw clear connections to illustrate how and why people make some of the choices that look destructive from the outside, such as why we take our rage out on each other, burning our own communities, etc.

I am American so it is especially eye-opening to see these terms such as colonialism applied to myself as a colonized person. No matter how much I read, learn, study and come to understand and believe these ideas, I am still sometimes surprised to hear this language applied to the U.S. It is so much easier to think in terms of the other while I am, e.g., reading about Palestine and -you know - OTHERS!

This book is hard hitting and depressing, but does not leave the reader there. The closing section is about the Occupy movement, its history, founders, possibilities for the future and to NOT coin a phrase, "Being the change". This history of Occupy has not received a lot of media attention so many think it was simply very spontaneous and unorganized, although before the physical occupation began, well trained teams were already in place to provide legal services, security at the park, medical services and food as well as the famous library and educational team. These are people who know revolution, how it has worked historically, and are full of creative ideas such as my personal favorite movement, Strike Debt. The media kept saying Occupiers were simply a bunch of homeless addicts going nowhere and accomplishing nothing. And yes of course there were plenty of homeless and addicts. The beautiful difference is how they were included and cared for rather than ostracized. The media kept asking all the wrong questions of Occupy - who are your leaders and what are your demands. You'll also develop an understanding of those issues before you finish the book. AND.....you will finish it quickly - it is a fast and easy read and still covers all of this! Amazing accomplishment! Five stars and highly recommended.

P.S. If you can't tell, I really, really loved this book! ( )
4 vote mkboylan | Jun 15, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Hedgesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sacco, Joemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For they have sown the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind

—HOSEA 8:7
For Amalie and Eunice
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Joe Sacco and I sent out two years ago to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in the country that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. (Introduction)
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Camden, New Jersey was once an industrial giant. It employed some 36,000 workers in its shipyards during World War II and built some of the nation's largest warships. It was the home to major industries, from RCA Victor to Campbell's Soup. It was a destination for immigrants and upwardly mobile lower middle class families. Camden now resembles a penal colony. In Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and American Book Award winning cartoonist Joe Sacco show how places like Camden, a poster child of postindustrial decay, stand as a warning of what huge pockets of the United States will turn into if we cement in place a permanent underclass.… (more)

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