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Days of destruction, days of revolt by Chris…

Days of destruction, days of revolt (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco

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192861,408 (4.03)12
Title:Days of destruction, days of revolt
Authors:Chris Hedges
Other authors:Joe Sacco
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Public Library

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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges (2012)



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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 |
Started it, but just too sad to finish.
  alycias | Apr 4, 2013 |
A searing, angry indictment of contemporary economic injustice and social ills passionately told through Hedge's prose and Sacco's graphics. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Troubling, eye-opening & challenging to the conventional story told about the American dream. A call to action before it's too late. ( )
  joefreedom | Sep 28, 2012 |
This book is a thought-provoking (and anger-inducing) look at those who have been fed into the jaws of capitalism for the sake of cheap prices and higher profits: the native population of the United States, Camden NJ, former coal towns of West Virginia, illegal "workers" in Florida. It also has a chapter dedicated to the then-fledgling Occupy movement.

The chapter which resonated the most with me was the people of West Virginia. My great-grandfather worked in the mines for decades, until he was horribly disfigured in an accident. He then spent the rest of his life trying to eke out a living (with little success). There were no benefits or disability pay from the mine (there was a small amount from the US government). And, as I lived in Appalachia coal country for the first thirty years of my life, I know what it's like to grow up poor, with poisoned water, with trees dying all around you but the mines saying it's not because of all of the "harmless smoke" (in reality, clouds of toxins) they put in the air.

A recommended read, although many, I fear, would not be moved to do anything because "that's not me." Until they can't pay their medical bills even though they have insurance, or they lose their job due to outsourcing, or something of the sort, of course. ( )
  schatzi | Sep 22, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Hedgesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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